Korean Design Codes

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Like designs from many other authorities, Korean design patents are classified with Locarno classification codes, as Korea is a party to the Locarno Agreement, an international agreement related to industrial designs.

However, Korea has also indexed their design patents with a national classification system. Performing a search using these codes can be a useful strategy for design searchers, especially those who are not native Korean speakers. These alphanumeric codes can be found published on the face of Korean design patents. They are usually in the format of a letter followed by four numbers.

Finding Korean Design Codes

No known English-language schedule of Korean design code classes is available. However, some general information about the examination of Korean designs is published on the KIPO website.[1]

The best strategy to locate useful codes is to keyword search to find highly relevant results, and then use the codes on those documents to expand the search to those classifications. The design code lookup feature can be used to give a definition in Korean for the identified codes.

Searching Korean Design Codes on KIPRIS

The KIPRIS website offers an advanced design code search form which has a fielded search box for design codes.

The Korean Design Code field of the KIPRIS Advanced Design Search page.

There is a small magnifying glass icon next to this field, which opens a "code lookup" window. An image of the lookup window is below.

The Design Code lookup page of the KIPRIS Advanced Design Search.


  1. "Overview of the Design System in Korea." KIPO website. http://www.kipo.go.kr/kpo/user.tdf?a=user.english.html.HtmlApp&c=93001&catmenu=ek04_01_02&nbsp. Accessed July 21, 2011.

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