1. The Republic of Korea concluded the MOU of the ‘Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)’ with Canada and Finland.
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO: Commissioner: Jung-sik KOH) agreed to operate PPH with Canada and Finland, concluding the relevant Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in Geneva, Switzerland.
During Mr. Jung-sik KOH뭩 visit to Geneva to attend the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) general assembly, he concluded the MOU with Ms. Mary Carman, the Commissioner of the Canadian Intellectual Property Office (CIPO) and Mr. Martti En??vi, the President of the National Board of Patents and Registration of Finland (NBPRF).
The PPH trial program between KIPO and CIPO has been in operation from October 1, 2009 and the PPH trial program between KIPO and NBPRF will be in operation from January 4, 2010.
The number of the countries with which the Republic of Korea has operated or will operate PPH is increased to seven (7) by the conclusion of the MOU with Canada and Finland.
KIPO first fully operated the PPH with the Japanese Patent Office in April, 2007 and secondly fully operated with the US Patent and Trademark Office in January, 2009. KIPO operated the PPH trial program with the Danish Patent and Trademark Office in March, 2009. Further, KIPO will operate the PPH trial program with the UK Intellectual Property Office in October this year and the PPH trial program with the Russian Agency for Patents and Trademarks in November this year.
A KIPO spokesman announced that since the time required from filing a patent application to obtaining a patent in the US is actually remarkably reduced from 35 months to 12 months, the effects brought about by PPH can be easily seen.
2. Samsung Electronics has produced the LCD panels to avoid patent disputes
It is known that, beginning September, 2009, Samsung Electronics, a Korean company, has started producing the LCD panels for TVs in a new mode, which is free from patent disputes.
Samsung Electronics has had the patent dispute in the LCD TV panel field with Sharp, a Japanese company, for about 2 years. Therefore, as the TVs applying the new panels have been produced, the patent trouble is expected to be smoothly settled.
Sharp filed a trial for patent infringement with the Texas Court in the USA in August, 2007, asserting that Samsung Electronics infringed the technology of widening the LCD viewing angles.
Against this trial, Samsung Electronics asserted that Sharp infringed the method of manufacturing the LCD panel and filed a trial for patent infringement against Sharp. The trials for patent infringement between two companies are pending in the USA, Japan and the Republic of Korea.
In February, 2009, Samsung Electronics lost the trial for patent infringement against Sharp in the Tokyo District Court, Japan. However, in March, 2009, Samsung Electronics prevailed over Sharp in the trial involving a patent on the LCD manufacturing method. Therefore, the two companies experienced the winning and losing, respectively, in Japan.
In the Republic of Korea, the judgment in the Intellectual Property Tribunal was given for Samsung Electronics because Sharp뭩 LCD patent is similar to the existing technology and therefore it is not patentable.
In the USA, in June, 2009, the International Trade Commission (ITC) made a preliminary decision of the trial for patent infringement filed by Sharp in January, 2008 against Samsung Electronics. In the preliminary decision, ITC decided that Samsung Electronics infringed four patents of Sharp. The final decision is expected on November 9, 2009.
A spokesman of Samsung Electronics said, ?E]ven if it is finally decided that Samsung infringed the patents of Sharp, Samsung has already finished the development of the technology avoiding the relevant patent(s). Therefore, there is absolutely no problem in exporting the products to the USA.?
3. KoMiCo won the patent dispute with Tokyo Electron Ltd. (TEL), a Japanese company
KoMiCo, a company of manufacturing semiconductor equipment components, won the patent dispute related to the ceramic material (Y2O3) spray coating technology with TEL, a worldwide equipment company.
In this technology, ceramic particles are used as coating powder, to be melt-blown on the core components of the chemical vapor deposition (CVD) equipment, such as an electrostatic chuck, a ceramic heater and the like. Accordingly, the durability and reliability of the semiconductor equipment components are enhanced.
According to KoMiCo, the Patent Court dismissed the trial filed by TEL to cancel the decision that the ceramic material spray coating technology is patentable. Since the Intellectual Property Tribunal and Patent Court of the KIPO dismissed the trial filed by TEL, KoMiCo may drop the patent dispute completely.
Especially, taking this opportunity, KoMiCo has removed the obstacle in making inroads into foreign markets for semiconductor equipment because TEL lost the Korean patent dispute related to the ceramic material spray coating technology and KoMiCo holds a leading case which frontally refutes TEL뭩 argument of patent infringement in the event that such a patent dispute is brought in Taiwan, the USA and other countries. KoMiCo registered four Korean improvement patents related to the ceramic material spray coating technology. Therefore, KoMiCo is able to take the initiative in the ceramic material spray coating technology.
4. The number of 4G Patents owned by Korean companies is the top in the world ranking
270 patents in the mobile WiMAX field is 1st in ranking ?82 patents in the LTE field is 4th in ranking
Korean companies lead the world in the 4-generation (4G) technological patent field, such as mobile WiMAX (its Korean name is WiBro) and Long Term Evolution (LTE), among the others.
Korean companies own the most patents related to the mobile WiMAX in the world. In the LTE field which is expected to be the leading technology of the 4G market, Korean companies are on the list of the top four patent powers of the world, following Qualcomm and Inter Digital. However, since the technology owned by the Korean companies is too much focused on the WiMAX, it is thought that the technological investment on the LTE needs to be strengthened.
Open Patent Alliance (OPA), a patent council, analyzed the present status of the mobile WiMAX patents recorded in the USPTO by the end of February, 2009. According to the analysis results dated September 13, 2009, Samsung Electronics was recorded as the company owning the most WiBro patents, a total of 245 patents including the registered patents (56 cases) and contributed cases (189 cases). This total number is more than twice the number of patents (107 cases) of Ericsson and that (106 cases) of Nokia, which are 2nd and 3rd in ranking.
LG Electronics owns 25 relevant patents. Therefore, the number of the mobile WiMAX patents which are owned by the Korean companies totals 207.
The number of patents in the LTE field, owned by Korean companies, is a total of 82. TechIPm, a US intellectual property consulting company, analyzed the ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) IPR (intellectual property right) online sites. According to the analysis results, the number of the LTE-related essential patents recorded by the end of April, 2009 totals 579. LG Electronics owns 55 patents, making it 4th, following Qualcomm (207), Inter Digital (147) and Nokia (66).