July 18, 2023

Examiner-customer communication for patent examination strengthened in the post COVID-19 era

ㅇ Introducing an 'online reservation system for examination related inquiry' in step with online communication trend
ㅇ To maintain and expand places for a video interview and a telephone interview introduced in the COVID-19 era

KIPO Commissioner LEE Insil announced on June 21, 2023 that the Office planed to introduce an 'online reservation system for examination related inquiry' in an effort to strengthen active administration in the field of patent examination, to enable patent customers to communicate with examiners in various ways besides a telephone interview from July, 2023.

The online reservation system for examination related inquiry intends for customers to get an examiner's response on a designated date over the phone, if a customer files an inquiry of an office action, examination processes, etc. and enters a telephone number at an e-filing platform PatentRo (www.patent.go.kr).

【 online reservation system for examination related inquiry 】

The system has a merit for an examiner to provide an exact and high-quality answer to a customer by sufficiently reviewing a customer's inquiry. Also, if an easy question is filed, an examiner may reply through SMS or an e-mail in step with a new online communications trend, to get a communication between examiner and customer easier.

The online reservation system is an upgraded version of the pilot 'online interview system' introduced in April 2023. Customers can use it by connecting the PatentRo (www.patent.go.kr)*.
On the one hand, KIPO plans to enable customers to access the system more easily by introducing a QR code in an examination related file from the last half of the year as well.
* Request/Submit-Interview Request/Information Provision-Online Reservation for an Examiner's Reply

Furthermore, KIPO decides to maintain the expansion of available places for a video interview* and a telephone interview in the Post Covid-19 era, which are temporarily allowed to maintain communications between examiners and customers under the circumstances where a face-to-face interview is limited due to social distance policy. This decision is made by reflecting on the ever-growing interview requests** and customers' positive response to a telephone interview.
* Expansion to a requester's residence/office from limited places(KIPO's Seoul branch, etc.)
** Interview requests(No.): ('20) 4,106 -> ('21) 5,786 -> ('22) 6,450

KIM Jisoo, the General Director of Patent Examination Policy Bureau of KIPO, noted that "KIPO will make seamless efforts to get patent customers to maintain in-time communication with examiners in the post COVID-19 era", adding "to support customers to obtain strong IPRs by diversifying and improving examination related communication tools from the standpoint of patent customers".