1. IP incubation project of 500 billion Korea Won is operating in earnest in August …with a scale of 50 billion Korea Won in this first year|
The ‘Intellectual Discovery (creative capital corporation)’ established to cope with a foreign patent troll is starting to purchase intellectual properties (such as patents owned by university and institutes) from this month. A goal is to non-governmentally and governmentally conduct various projects by preparing finances of 500 billion Korea Won by 2015.
According to the government and relevant industries, Intellectual Discovery, which is the first domestic company specializing in intellectual properties, starts the ‘IP (intellectual property) incubation’ project from this month. Although the company had difficulties in preparing business funds, it has reached the finishing stage of securing its own finances and a government support. The project opened at a scale of 50 billion Korea Won for one year starting in August when the security of the budget is finished. The finances include a government budget of 33.3 billion Korea Won and a self-finance of 16.7 billion Korea Won.
The IP incubation project to be carried forwarded by the company has a core of a patent pool collecting excellent patents. The company starts purchasing patents owned by foreign universities, institutes and the like as well as domestic ones. The company carries forward the patent development. The company plans a necessary patent based on a company’s opinion and makes it in the form of a subcontract with a medium/small company or a venture company. The company secures domestic/foreign good ideas and invention techniques and goes through formalities in order that these good ideas and invention techniques may be patented as rights. At present, the company has decided the ten (10) major patent securing areas but it decided not to publish them, apprehensive about a patent price jump.
2. Samsung patent strategies are fast converted, focused on an ‘offensive’
Samsung patent strategies have changed now focusing on an offensive position in patent issues from a defensive position. Samsung finished modifying the patent human power and organization aspects through extensive supplementation over the last few years. This is considered as a factor in converting to an offensive strategy.
Samsung LED announced that they brought a trial for patent infringement, a trial for an import prohibition and a trial for a claim for damages against ‘Osram, Osram Opto Semiconductor (LED manufacturer) and Osram Sylvanina (lighting equipment manufacture) before the US International Trade Commission (ITC) and Delaware Federal Court.
This is a counterattack to the fact that Osram first brought a trial for patent infringement against Samsung LED in the USA and Europe at the beginning of June this year. Samsung LED sued Osram before a Korean court and subsequently sued it before the US ITC on the same day, enhancing the offensive level.
Samsung Electronics is more offensive. Samsung Electronics brought a trial for patent infringement and filed an application for an import prohibition and an injunction against Apple before the US ITC at the end of June. In April, Apple sued Samsung for infringing a patent in court but did not file an application for an import prohibition.
Prior to this, Samsung Electronics sued four (4) Taiwanese and Japanese companies for infringing a patent related to an LCD panel technology before the US ITC. Samsung Electronics asserted that the four (4) companies, AU Optronics, Japanese Sanyo which is a client company of AU Optronics, Taiwanese Acer and BenQ, illegally used the LCD related technology.
When a competitor brought a patent trial or filed an application for an import prohibition and an injunction before the ITC, Samsung took counteraction in some cases. However, a case where Samsung first sues in the ITC, as in the Apple case, is very rare.
According to observation, the recent offensive patent reply of the Samsung group is considered as gaining confidence through sufficient preparation processes.
During the second-half of the last year, Samsung Electronics brought together the patent counteracting power scattered in Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology and unified it as an ‘IP center’. After that, this company has had the symbiotic relation with Intellectual Ventures owning about 30,000 patents and IBM owning the most US patents. Samsung Electronics is continuously increasing the relevant manpower by embracing global patent experts.
3. KIPO decides to actively deal with international patent disputes
- Support a form of a ‘company consultative group’ to jointly deal with international patent disputes
- Carry forward an establishment of an “international patent dispute counteracting center” (tentative name)
Foreign companies’ patent offensives against Korean companies (Apple’s suit against Samsung Electronics, Phillips’ suit against Seoul Semiconductor and etc. ) have been serious.
These trends correspond to the results of a survey conducted by KIPO (Korean Intellectual Property Office) that the international patent trials during the first-half of 2011 are concentrated on big companies and in the electric, electronic, information and communication fields. Regarding a total of 33 international patent trial cases during the first-half of 2011, 26 cases (79%) involved with big companies and 30 cases (91%) involved with the electric, electronic, information and communication fields.
Hereupon, to learn of the difficulties regarding international patent disputes and opinions regarding government policies, KIPO had a meeting with companies recently experiencing international patent disputes in the council chamber of KIPO Seoul office.
KIPO decided to utilize the matters which it can immediately take measures within August, by arranging the matters proposed and discussed in the meeting. Regarding some matters needed for additional review, KIPO decided to prepare countermeasures substantially required to companies, by jointly forming a taskforce with the participant companies.
As a part of the countermeasures, KIPO will positively support a form of a ‘company consultative group for counteracting international patent disputes’, so that a company may jointly deal with a patent offensive of a foreign company.
In addition, KIPO will establish an ‘international patent dispute counteracting center (tentatively named)’ which professionally provides the specialized consultations, relevant counter-measuring strategies and information regarding an international patent dispute, for the medium/small companies which are weak in the capability responding to international patent disputes.
4. KIPO held a meeting for exchanging Korean and Japanese patent management experts and a seminar for intellectual property boom-up
KIPO held a meeting for exchanging Korean and Japanese patent management experts in Soowon from July 27 (Wed.) to 29 (Fri.).
The meeting has been held every year since 2009. In the meeting, patent management experts sent to major universities in the two countries gather to discuss the strategies to create and use intellectual properties of universities and to strengthen the cooperation between the two counties.
In this seminar, the Japanese presented ‘Japanese global patent distribution strategies and future development directions’ and the Koreans presented ‘patent management strategies for high-profit creation through NPEs of universities’ and ‘strategies for joint using the technologies owned by public institutions’.
Specifically, this seminar provided experiential programs of counseling regarding patent reinforcement or avoidance strategies, by immediately installing the ‘invention/patent interview counseling offices’ by technical fields (IT, NT, BT, ET) and visiting a laboratory of Ajou University.