Applications that have not yet been examined will be automatically laid-open in the official gazette called "Patent Laid-open Gazette" after 18 months from the filing date in the Republic of Korea or, if the right of priority is claimed from an earlier foreign filing, from the priority date.
The laid-open publication may be made, upon the request of the applicant, prior to the eighteen month period. This will provide an earlier protection to a patent application which is being infringed.
Once a patent application has been laid-open, any documents relating to the application are made available for public inspection. Furthermore, any person may submit to the Commissioner of KIPO information relevant to the patentability of the invention concerned together with any supporting evidence.
The Patent Act offers a special legal effect upon a laid-open patent application: under Article 65(1), if the applicant sends a warning letter to an alleged infringer after his application has been laid-open, any subsequent computation of a reasonable amount of compensation will be reckoned from the date when the infringer receives the warning letter. The compensation, however, can be collected only upon the publication after examination of the patent application.