To become a patent attorney in Korea, one must pass the “Patent Attorney Qualification Examination,” which is a national exam. The “Patent Attorney Qualification Examination,” which is offered once a year, is an examination that requires one of the highest levels of academic competency in Korea, such as the “Judicial Examination” for judges, prosecutors, and lawyers, and the “Public Administration Examination” for high-ranking public officials. Even after passing the exam, the person must go through an off-the-job training (OJT) course and a practical training course which includes a six-month field training course at a patent office.
Five trainee patent attorneys joined Lee International at the end of 2019. During the practical training period, it is mandatory to complete the 7-week OJT required by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). In this year's OJT course (which ended on February 18, 2020), our trainee patent attorneys earned the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place among 209 participants, and they were awarded by the Commissioner of KIPO. It is very unusual that trainee patent attorneys of one patent office earn the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd ranks in the OJT course.