Introduction of additional fee system for designated goods and services

The regulation regarding the official fee system for trademark applications, registrations and renewals has been amended. Under the new regulation, additional fees are charged for trademark applications, registrations and renewal petitions designating over 20 goods/services within a single class.

Under the previous system, the official fee was the same regardless of the number of designated goods/services. Thus, applicants were able to designate and maintain many items without any limitation when filing new trademark applications, paying registration fees or renewing trademark registrations. However, due to the excessive numbers of designated goods and/or services claimed in filed applications, the workload of the Korean Intellectual Property Office's (KIPO) examiners had been particularly heavy and, as a result, KIPO had been experiencing severe delays with regard to the examination process.

Furthermore, the designation of an excessive number of goods and/or services had the effect of restricting the choices of other applicants when adopting a new trademark. For these reasons, it was necessary to introduce an additional fee system under which KIPO would charge additional fees based on the number of designated goods and/or services.

Under the amended regulation, when filing a new trademark application, or when registering or renewing a trademark, an additional fee of KRW2,000 (approximately $1.80) is incurred for each designated good/service in excess of 20 per class.

The amended regulation is applicable as of April 1 2012. The additional fees system for new trademark applications, amendments of goods/services and registrations applies to trademark applications filed on or after April 1 2012. Moreover, the additional fees for renewal apply to registrations renewed on or after April 1 2012.

Sung Nam Kim and Alexandra Bélec, Kim & Chang, Seoul

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