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KIPO published a “Patent Precedent Study Casebook by Issues” (News Letter No. 210)



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1. KIPO published a “Patent Precedent Study Casebook by Issues”

Complicated patent precedents are understood at a glance.

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) will publish the law reports in which precedents are classified by issues so that the summary and developments of a case and the commentary of a decision can be understood at a glance.

In the previously published law reports, since it was not easy to understand which case supported patentability or which case invalidated patentability, it would be often necessary to finally research the relevant cases.

Furthermore, respective patent cases are different in terms of the technical fields and contents and the case development circumstances case by case. However, since the previous law reports recited only the gist of the requirements for patentability or the grounds for invalidation, a particular case would not be properly understood and thus it would be difficult to be used in actual practice.

Therefore, KIPO has made the “Patent Precedent Study Casebook by Issues” by classifying not only the past important precedents but also the precedents of the Supreme Court and the Patent Court after 2006 by issues and enhanced its utility, so that the outline and developments of a case and the commentary of a decision can be understood at a glance. This casebook will be used as educational material in the education of a newly appointed examiner.

In addition, the “Patent Precedent Study Casebook by Issues” will be made in an application for a smart phone and will be distributed so as to be easily used by the industry-university-institute collaboration people in connection with patents.

2. KIPO ignites a patent diplomacy with the European Patent Office (EPO)

- KIPO and EPO agreed to promote the cooperative projects including patent examination, cooperation for information, expansion of personal exchange, etc.-

KIPO agreed to build a relationship as a strategic partner with EPO and to expand the mutual cooperation in the intellectual property fields.

In the commissioner’s meeting between KIPO and EPO held in the Shilla Hotel in Seoul on January 11, 2011 (Tuesday), Soowon LEE, Commissioner of KIPO, and Benoît Battistelli, Commissioner of EPO, agreed to jointly promote nine cooperative projects including personal exchange, information system and data exchange and cooperation in the patent examination field.

According to the agreement between the two commissioners, the following projects will be promoted:
- cooperation in the patent examination field, to promptly obtain a patent,
- exchange of technical information data for high-quality patent examination,
- cooperation in the information field for patent administration efficiency,
- hosting a seminar of the European patent system for Korean applicants, and
- exchange of experts, to share the know-how between the two Patent Offices.

3. Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) has developed a technique of fabricating a high efficiency OLED

On January 25, 2011, KAIST announced that a team led by Prof. Minyang YANG of Department of Mechanical Engineering developed a technique to easily fabricate polymer organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) in the air. According to the technique developed by Prof. YANG’s team, all the functional layers (hole injection layer, light-emitting layer, electron transporting layer, electron injection layer), except for the metal electrodes (such as a cathode or anode of the OLED), are designed to be fabricated in a liquid state. Since a solution process, such as the printing technique, can be used for the liquefied material, it is expected that the polymer OLED can be fabricated at very inexpensive costs.

Specifically, the alkali and alkaline-earth metal materials forming the electron injection layer of the conventional OLED are unstable in the air. However, since the process suggested by the research team uses a zinc oxide nano solution (ZnO particle being 5nm in size) and an ammonium ion solution and does not include the alkali and alkaline-earth metals, it is stable in the air.

The research team realized the high performance of 10cd/A in light-emitting efficiency and 50,000cd/㎡ in brightness, by using the new technique.

The results were published online in the “Applied Physics Letters”, the authoritative academic journal, on December 14, 2010. An international patent application has been on the tehnique.

4. Korea Institute of Machinery & Materials (KIMM) has developed the world’s first high-quality LED producing technique

A Korean research team has developed the world’s first technique to fabricate high-quality light-emitting diodes (LED) by using a semiconductor a quantum dot as a fluorescent substance. KIMM announced that a team lead by Dr. Changsoo-HAN of the Nano Dynamics Lab. has succeeded in fabricating the high-quality LED by apply ultraviolet (UV) rays to a compound including a multi-shell quantum dot to increase the light-emitting efficiency by 2 times and using only a small amount of quantum dots, through a ‘project to develop a next generation LED module based on a nano quantum dot fluorescent substance’.

A semiconductor quantum dot is a semiconductor crystal which is 2~10 nanometers (1nm is one billionth of a meter) in size. A semiconductor quantum dot has a characteristic in that a color changes if a crystal size changes. Thus, a semiconductor quantum dot is capable of significantly improving the performance of LEDs, OLEDs, solar batteries, biosensors, counterfeit preventing prints, etc.

Due to this technical development, the color definition of an existing LED which is on 70% of a natural color is enhanced up to 91%.

In the conventional art, since it was difficult to express fine colors, many poor LEDs were produced during the manufacturing process. However, when the quantum dots are used, fine color control is possible and thus the failure rate is expected to be low.

A Korean patent application for this technique has been filed and an international patent application will be filed.

Dr. HAN said, “Up to now, since the efficiency of the quantum dots or the photo-stability thereof was low, there were difficulties in commercializing them” and “the technique to enhance the light emission of the quantum dots, which has been developed at this time, will maximize the performance of the products including LEDS and using all composite materials including the quantum dots and advance the commercialization of the products.  


The number of Korean registered patents exceeded one million (News Letter No. 211)


The number of patent applications filed by companies last year greatly increased thanks to the business recovery (News Letter No. 209)