1. The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO, Commissioner: Jung-sik KOH) held the “WIPO Training Course on Patent Law and Examination”
KIPO and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) jointly held the “WIPO Training Course on Patent Law and Examination” at the International Intellectual Property Training Institute located in Yuseong-gu, Daejeon, the Republic of Korea, for nine (9) days from March 22 to April 1, 2010.
Twenty (20) patent examiners from the ten (10) countries, including Brazil, Russia, Zimbabwe and Vietnam, among others, attended the Training Course to assist in the development of the intellectual property systems and to strengthen cooperation among the countries.
The Training Course consisted of lectures on Korean intellectual property policies, Korean patent law and patent examination criteria, Korean patent examination quality management, and patent examination practices using the Korean automated patent examination system. The attendees were instructed on the advanced Korean systems through the Training Course and are expected to develop their national intellectual property rights and to be human resources for cooperation among the counties.
The Training Course is considered as an opportunity to develop the intellectual property rights of the attendees’ countries, strengthen the cooperation among the countries, and show that the Republic of Korea has carried out its obligation to the fullest according to change its position, from a beneficiary to a benefactor, in the international society.
2. Samsung Electronics is in process of converting to the ‘quality-focused’ intellectual property (IP) management’
Samsung Electronics’ IP management is being converted to a ‘quality-focused’ management. Samsung Electronics’ IP management which had been developed on the basis of the ‘qualitative expansion’ since 2005 has changed.
On April 12, 2010, Samsung Electronics announced that the number of Korean patents registered in 2009 was 1,485, with a decrease of 200% compared with 4,749 in 2008. The number of the patents registered in 2009 is about 1/10, compared with 12,190 in 2006 when Samsung registered the most patents after 2005. The number of the Korean patents by Samsung was at its peak with 12,190 in 2006 but that continuously dropped with 10,974 in 2007 and 4,740 in 2008.
However, Samsung has constantly increased the number of the patents in the strategic countries, such as US and China, among others, where IP disputes frequently occur. Based on the end of 2009, the number of accumulated patents that Samsung registered in US was 22,531 and that in China was 6,565. The number of the patents registered in US which is the biggest law market in the world has been continuously increased since 2005. The number of the US patents increased from 3,515 in 2008 to 3,611 in 2009.
A spokesperson of Samsung Electronics said, “Samsung owns the next most patents in the US, following the most Korean patents, in the number of the accumulated patents, to effectively cope with the disputes in US. Specifically, the US where a considerable number of the patent trials occur is a very important market.”
3. The Korean Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) has developed the stereoscopic video call technology of a smart-phone
ETRI announced that they developed ‘3-dimensional core imaging technology’, which enables a stereoscopic video call by using a mobile device, such as a smart-phone. The developed technology naturally processes an image received from a binocular stereoscopic camera like human eyes, to show the image like a real image through a 3D display. This technology comprises a biomimetic stereoscopic camera, a universal chip for freely processing an image signal, and a high-efficiency power supply capable of self-charge.
3D camera equipment is bulky and expensive, like one that is used by an expert to make a film. However, when this technology is used, such 3D camera equipment is not needed and anyone can make a stereoscopic video call or make a 3D UCC (user-created content), by taking natural 3D images by a mobile device, such as a smart-phone.
A manager of the NT Convergence Components Research Department of ETRI said, “this technology is the original technology of the next-generation terminal components secured based on the IT convergence technology…..This technology will be an important base which will contribute to the recently activated 3D industrial development and which will help Korean companies to compete internationally.
4. KIPO allowed ‘the free use of government-owned patents for three (3) years’
Anyone can use the government-owned patents which are not being used for three (3) years or more, for free, for a time period of three (3) years. On March 29, 2010, KIPO announced that they changed the ‘system of using government-owned patents for free’ by extending the term of free use thereof, from one (1) year to three (3) years, to enhance the utility of the government-owned patents having excellent business values.
When the government-owned patents were allowed to be used for free for only one (1) year, it was considered that this period would be too short from the transfer of a concerned technology to the commercialization thereof. Thus, it was indicated that the one year term was no substantial help to companies using the government-owned patents.
When a government official makes an invention while (s)he serves as the government official, the government is entitled to ownership of the invention. This is called a government-owned patent. The number of the government-owned patents is 2,085 at present.
Classified by agencies making inventions, 1,124 (54%) cases are owned by the Rural Development Administration, 173 (8%), by the Korea Forest Research Institute, 163 (8%), by the national Fisheries Research and Development Institute, 98 (5%), by the National Veterinary Research and Quarantine Service, and 82 (4%), by the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards, among the others.
The information of the government-owned patents is available at the internet technology mart (www.ipmart.or.kr), and a request for using a government-owned patent can be submitted by internet or by mail.