1. KIPO carries forward customization support for the outstanding patent technology commercialization
From the second-half of this year, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) fully operates a customized support program for patent commercialization according to a ‘patent commercialization analysis plan’ for outstanding patent(s) of a medium/small company.
The ‘patent commercialization analysis plan’ which has been operated on a trial basis this year is to analyze the commercialization capability of a patent technology of a company having green patent technology together with the company’s capability and, as a result of the analysis, to support customized follow-up measures, such as manufacturing a trial product, obtaining a right in a foreign country, evaluating a patent technology, performing an education for investment invitation, and the like.
In this year, a total of 70 companies applied for this project and among these companies, 15 companies were selected. Regarding the selected companies, the supporting plan for effective patent commercialization by each company was completed by the end of May this year, through an on-the-spot actual inspection by patent technology commercialization experts (patent attorneys, technology dealers, management professionals, and the like) and an interview with the CEO of the company. The company receiving the analysis would take an average 3 or more customized follow-up supports per company according to a result of the analysis, from as early as June.
KIPO will make the information of the medium/small company receiving the ‘patent commercialization analysis’ as a database and perform a continuous follow-up control thereof, thereby finding out a role model of the patent technology commercialization and reflecting it in establishing the related policies. KIPO will also expand the same project so that a medium/small company can use patent technology to plan a product according to market demand. On the other hand, KIPO will connect the project to a technology transaction, to provide total service for the patent technology commercialization.
2. Accuracy of examination and trial of a patent application gets higher
KIPO has announced that the accuracy of examination and trial of an application for an intellectual property (IP) right has steadily improved.
KIPO analyzed the rate of filing appeals against examiners’ decisions to reject applications during the last five (5) years. According to a result of the analysis, the rate of filing appeals against the decisions to reject the applications sharply dropped from 18.4% in 2007 to 13.8% in 2010 and more lowered to 13.1% in the first quarter of this year, decreasing 5.3% compared with 2007.
Among the number of the appeals, the rate where the decisions to reject the applications were cancelled because the examiners’ decisions were wrong also trended continuously lower to 36.7% during the first quarter of this year, with a decrease of 6.8% in comparison to 43.5% in 2007.
In addition, the rate of filing actions with the Patent Court by applicants against the decisions of the appeals against the decisions to reject the applications has also trended continuously lower.
The rate of the number of decisions to register/grant IP applications to the number of trials to invalidate IP applications in KIPO is about 0.6%~1.0% per year, remarkably, making the lowest record in history, 0.6% during the first quarter of 2011.
Upon putting these results together, the level of KIPO’s examination and trial service processes during the last five (5) years has steadily improved. This is considered as indicating that the prompt and accurate examination and trial processing policies carried forward by KIPO have shown effects.
3. A first step to protect an intellectual property (IP) right, ‘research notes’
- KIPO fully operates a ‘head office to support and promote the use of research notes’
On June 3, 2011, KIPO announced that it established a ‘head office to support and promote the use of research notes’ within the R&D patent center, an affiliated organization of KIPO, to supply and promote the use of research notes and to strengthen the education and public relations related to research notes.
As the importance of the research notes has been magnified, it is an obligation to make a research note when performing a national R&D project. A pan-governmental research note activating policy is carried so that from 2013 it will be possible to file a patent application with a research note, a thesis or the like to fast secure a right of a result of research and development.
However, according to a ‘survey of a current state of research note use’, which KIPO conducted to the national R&D researchers in December, 2010, the understanding and use of the researchers regarding the research notes were very low.
According to results of the survey, among the total respondents (1,442 people), the number of researcher(s) recognizing the fact of the obligation to make the research note(s) upon performing the national R&D project(s) was about 16% and the number of the research(s) making the research note(s) with certain requirements was about 44%.
Through the establishment of the ‘head office to support and promote the use of research notes’, KIPO plans to operate an omnidirectional support to increase the rate of using research note(s).
The head office to support and promote the use of research notes plans to carry forward the following services:
- education and public relations to make, manage and use an accurate research note,
- supply of paper research note,
- support to build an electronic research note system, and so on.
4. KIPO established an ‘international patent examination team’
To more efficiently perform the PCT international searching services and to tighten professionalism, KIPO newly established an ‘international patent examination team’ within the Chemistry and Biotechnology Examination Bureau. KIPO announced that the international patent examination team would operate from June 1, 2011.
Since KIPO was designated as the PCT international searching authority and international preliminary examination authority in 1999, the number of cases requesting PCT international searches has continuously increased. In 2010, KIPO rose to 3rd in the world ranking in the number of the cases requesting the international searches. This is considered to have resulted from the reason that HP, MS and INTEL highly evaluating the KIPO’s capability greatly increased the number of the cases requesting the searches after 2006.
At present, KIPO examiners examine Korean patent applications and also conduct the PCT international searching services in the same technical field. The examiners belonging to the newly established international patent examination team are wholly responsible only for PCT international searching services.
The international patent examination team now started with four (4) areas and twenty-seven (27) examiners. The four (4) areas include bio, medicines, new materials and medical electronic equipment which have the most cases requesting the searches. When the results are good in the future, KIPO will increase the number of areas and examiners to be exclusively charged.
Taking the opportunity of starting the international patent examination team, KIPO will positively take part in the PCT-related international discussions as well as the PCT international searching services, expecting that it will be the world’s best PCT internat