Some interesting and potentially useful changes to the Korean Patent Act were recently outlined in a newsletter from Kim & Chang Intellectual Property (http://www.ip.kimchang.com/). Among these changes are:
1) Patent term adjustments: If registration of a patent is delayed more than the later of 4 years from the filing date or 3 years from the request for examination, the term of the patent may be extended for a time equal to the delay.
2) Novelty grace period: The previous 6-month grace period is now 12 months.
3) Trade secrets: Where a party of a lawsuit proves that its trade secrets are in filed or to-be-filed briefs and release may interfere with the business of the party, the court may order that the trade secrets shall not be disclosed.
4) Generic drugs: A party that obtains approval of a new drug must request the Korea Food and Drug Administration to list any patents relating to the approved product (active ingredient, formulation, use, relevant to safety, efficacy and quality of information in the application) on the “Patent Listing” (like the US Orange Book) within 30 days (or 3 months for pre-amendment approvals). And generic manufacturers to notify that party within 7 days of its application for approval of a generic product. It is predicted a 12 month stay of approval will also be implemented.
For more information, please contact a patent attorney specializing in Korean Patent Law, as my understanding may or may not be accurate. This posting, as for all other posts on this blog, is merely informative and does not constitute legal advice.