Where can you find the most up-to-date English translation of the Patent Act of South Korea?

As of October 2014, the answer is: on the Korean Intellectual Property Office website, in the “Industrial Property Laws” section. (Direct link to PDF)

KIPO’s translation was last updated to reflect the amendments of January 21, 2014. That means that it is already three amendments behind the Korean version.

And more changes, including some with significance for international applicants, will take effect in January 2015.

But for all that, it’s by far the most up-to-date translation out there.

And that same section of the KIPO website also has a number of other surprisingly up-to-date English translations of Korean intellectual property laws, including the Copyright Act, Utility Model Act, Trademark Act and Design Protection Act.

For comparison, here are various English translations of the Korean Patent Act that can be found online, and the effective date of the last amendment of the original Korean statute that these translations reflect:

A change to a single word in the law can make a huge difference for your clients. So when in doubt, always check the original source.

On that note, the current Korean version of the Patent Act of South Korea (along with past and future versions) can be viewed here, via the Ministry of Legislation. You can view the various versions of the law by clicking on the “연혁” tab in the top left.

The very first patent law was adopted in 1474. But ideally you’d like your research to be a bit more current than that.