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1. “Hang in there, Japanese patent applicants!” (News Letter No. 213)



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1.“Hang in there, Japanese patent applicants!”

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) has prepared a plan to delay the required patent procedures affected by the devastating earthquake in Japan.

KIPO announced a plan to relieve damages that may be done to the patent applicants affected by the big earthquake that occurred in Japan (Northeast area of the Pacific coast) on March 11, 2011 because they are unable to take normal the patent procedures.

First, the due date for paying a patent maintenance fee is extended until the effects of the earthquake have been brought back to a more normal state.

Second, although an examination of a patent application should be conducted in the order as prescribed by the Law, if a victim of the earthquake wants, the examination can be deferred to the time that s(he) desires.

Third, although an applicant shall extend a due date for submitting an argument up to four (4) months during the patent examination process, a victim of the earthquake may extend the due date to the time that s(he) can normally submit documents.

Fourth, although a trial (appeal) regarding a patent application decided as being unpatentable as a result of the patent examination shall be filed within the time limit prescribed by the Law, a victim of the earthquake may defer the time limit and thus file the trial after the effects of the earthquake have been brought to a more normal state.

2. Examination cooperation among IP5 countries is supported with information

The experts in the information field from the Patent Offices of the five (5) advanced countries (called “IP5”), including the Republic of Korea, US, Japan, China and Europe, are strengthening cooperation in the information field for examination services.

KIPO held a 3rd IP5 working-group meeting in the Daejeon government office during the period of March 15-18.

About 30 people including chiefs and directors in the IP5 information field and related the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) personnel attended this meeting to discuss the situation of carrying forward the six (6) information basic tasks and future plans.

The subjects discussed during the meeting included: machine translation led by KIPO, common search documents, examination result sharing systems, common application forms, searched information sharing, and search and examination supporting tools.

3. The filing of 3D drawings for a design application has been successfully operated for the first time in the world

KIPO announced that the number of the design applications with a 3D drawing(s) as submitted for one (1) year since 2010 totaled 786 (1.4% of the number of the total design applications) and the design applications filed by small/medium companies and individuals was 98.6% of the number of the design applications with 3D drawing(s).

The 3D drawing filing system was first operated in the world. Under this system, 3D drawings indispensably made upon product development can be filed directly without any additional processes. This system greatly improved the conveniences for designers and applicants and reduced costs by about 200,000,000 Korea Won.

From April 1, 2011, KIPO also added the initial graphics exchange specification (IGES) file format being most used in the relevant industry, thereby planning to support 90% or more of the 3D programs used in the field. Further, various filing systems including the filing of a video of a moving image icon design as a referential drawing are added to be easily used by applicants.

4. A patent for an AM -OLED phosphorescent material has been decided to be invalidated in Japan…Korean relevant industry has a sudden change

A patent for a phosphorescence material owned by Universal Display Corporation (UDC), a US company which has an exclusive status in the active matrix organic light emitting diode (AM-OLED) material market, has been invalidated by the Japanese Intellectual Property Tribunal (JIPT). The patent license scale of Samsun Mobile Display (SMD) is expected to be reduced and Korean OLED material companies’ advance into the phosphorescence material market is expected to be active.

According to the relevant industry, last month JIPT made the decision to invalidate the one core patent related to the phosphorescence material used for AM-OLED. This invalidated patent is a high-efficient organic light emitting apparatus based on electric phosphorescence (Patent No. 3992929), which is a core patent related to the chemical constitution of the phosphorescence light emitting material. UDC has publicly announced this matter through the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The dominant view in the relevant industry is that at the beginning of the next month, JIPT will make a decision to invalidate the other two (2) phosphorescent material patents similar to the aforementioned invalidated patent.

A person of the relevant industry said, “since the organic light emitting material patent monopolized by UDC has been invalidated, the way is now open for other organic light emitting material companies (which have technical skills but only grasp the situation) to produce phosphorescent materials. As the phosphorescent light emitting material companies are diversified in the future, the AM-OLED industry is expected to be more expanded.”  


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