We investigate a novel nanofabrication process called soft ultraviolet (UV) nanoimprint lithography (NIL), for nanopatterning of compound semiconductors. We use flexible stamps with three layers and analyze their performance with wafers composed of III-V semiconductors. The developed stamp configuration is in many ways advantageous for the fabrication of precise gratings for various applications in photonics. We describe how to handle the deformation in both lateral and vertical directions by tuning the softness of the stamp and using a two step imprint process. As an application of the UV-NIL, we demonstrate a fabrication process for a laterally corrugated distributed feedback laser. Our laser fabrication process is free from regrowth and therefore easily adaptable to various material compositions and emission wavelengths. Because of the cost-effective full-wafer NIL, these lasers are attractive in various applications where low-cost, single-mode laser diodes are required. Our development work improves the design freedom of the NIL fabrication process of the laser diodes and improves the quality of the transferred patterns. To the best in our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a single-mode laser diode fabricated by soft UV-NIL.