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The Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) leads in defeating a RFID foreign patent holder (News Letter No. 216)



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1. The Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) leads in defeating a RFID foreign patent holder

The Korean government decided to actively deal with the foreign patent holder’s attack to the Korean domestic radio frequency identification (RFID)/ubiquitous sensor network (USN) industries. This action was prepared after the Italian patent holder, ‘Sisvel’, started the attack on domestic RFID/USN industries last month.

According to the relevant industries and agencies, MKE started preparing the positive countermeasure of proceeding with a research service to grasp the patent pool owned by Sisvel and the current situation of the alleged patent infringement by the Korean companies. Once the detailed plans have been decided, patent trial consulting and financial support will be carried out through the Korea association of RFID/USN convergence.

To prepare the fundamental countermeasures against the patent holder’s attack, the government is in the process of reviewing the projects to establish the patent invalidation strategies, to secure the cross licensing through the domestic patent pool constitution of industry-university-research, and to support the research and development to avoid a foreign original technology patent.

Among the projects, the plan to invalidate a patent is the government’s strong countermeasure to show that it is ready for a suit. That is, it is the government’s counterattack strategy against the patent holder’s attack on the domestic RFID/USN industries. Specifically, since the Korean industries have the advantage in the commercialization sector even though they are weak in the original technology sector, the government hopes that the Korean industries have a chance of success by confronting the issue.

The government is also reviewing the strategy of taking the bull by the horns against the patent attack by Sisvel. Sisvel has forty-five (45) core patents but it is only two (2) patents that are used in the Korean market. One of them is the patent owned by the Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), a government funded institute.

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

Since the demand for 3D in the TV market is beginning in the digital multimedia broadcasting (DMB) market, the number of the patent applications for 3D DMB in the relevant field is increasing.

The 3D DMB is a service making it possible to view an image in three dimensions by receiving TV and multimedia by using the digital broadcasting technology while moving.

According to the statistics of the applications filed by Koreans and foreigners, the number of the applications filed by Korean applicants is 87 of a total number of 94 (93%). Classified by the Korean applicants, the Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) filed the most applications, followed by LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics, among others. Therefore, these companies are considered as leading the technology in this field.

A Korean company has recently developed a 3D DMB terminal needing no glasses so that a viewer can watch stereoscopic images without glasses. This company is preparing for releasing the product in the market. Last year, ETRI finished the 3D DMB broadcasting demonstration to efficiently send the 3D images while maintaining the compatibility with the preexisting DMB net.

3. Enjoy a game with your body!

- The number of the patent applications for ‘sensory games’ that a user enjoys with his/her body.

There is increasing popularity for games that a user enjoys with his/her body (such as a fishing game making it possible to directly feel the sensation with the user’s hands, a boxing game like an actual fight making it possible to swing with the user’s fist). Consequently, the number of the patent applications for a so-called ‘sensory game’ is increasing.

As the ‘sensory game’ market is activated by the release of the Nintendo Wii in 2006, not only the global game developers but also the Korean companies positively started developing the technology in this field and thus the number of the applications is increasing.

A few foreign big companies, such as Nintendo, MS and Sony, accounted more than half of the applications only five(5) years ago. However, the Korean applicants accounted 86% of the applications in 2010.

The Korean company filing the most applications was Samsung Electronics (35 cases), followed by SK Telecom (14 cases). The Korean small/medium company was NCsoft (10 cases).

4. The Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS) developed the world’s first technology to measure the efficiency of thermoelectric elements

It is announced that a research team led by Dr. Sooyong Kwon of the Center for Thermometry in KRISS achieved success in the world’s first development of the technology to accurately measure and evaluate the performance of thermoelectric elements and the efficiency of generating electric energy as an environmental friendly energy generation technology.

The research team developed a system for evaluating the performance of thermoelectric elements, whereby an error of measurement is minimized by using the principle of measuring the thermo conductivity, a so-called ‘protective heat plate method’. This system is capable of simultaneously measuring the thermo conductivity, electrical conductivity and thermoelectric performance of the thermoelectric elements, from room temperature to about 250℃, within an error range of ±5%. This system is also usable for large area thermoelectric materials being 10x10㎝ or more.

Meantime, the thermoelectric generation technology has been very limitedly applied because the conversion efficiency of heat and electricity is low.

The thermoelectric generation is a technology to directly convert waste thermo energy into electric energy. Since the temperature difference is used, it is usable in various fields of not only solar heat, ocean heat, geothermal heat and human heat but also automobile waste heat, industrial waste heat and garbage incinerating waste heat, among others.  


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