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KIPO has published an analysis collection of IP patent precedents of the Supreme Court (News Letter No. 230)



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1. KIPO has published an analysis collection of IP patent precedents of the Supreme Court

- The flow of patent disputes is easier to understand at one glance

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced that it published the ‘analysis collection of the patent precedents of the Supreme Court’. In the analysis collection, decisions (a total of 230 cases including 47 ex parte cases and 183 inter partes cases) related to intellectual property rights which were made by the Supreme Court from 2008 to 2010, are analyzed so that the core issues and the development processes of the cases can be more easily understood.

In this published analysis collection comprising a total of 230 precedents decided by the Supreme Court in the patent and utility model areas during the recent three years, ① the history of each case, including trial decision steps reaching the Patent Court and the Supreme Court, is sequentially arranged; ② the details and main issues of the case are described to be easily understood; and ③ in the case of complicated issues, the technical contents are described in greater detail, to aid in understanding the decisions.

KIPO also plans to make the ‘analysis collection of the patent precedents of the Supreme Court’ in e-book format for distribution and to carry forward this project so that the general public or experts interested in the intellectual property rights can easily get the analysis collection in the governmental publication sale center.

2. Trend of patent applications related to the next generation memory semiconductor technology development

The reputation of ranking 1st in semiconductor continues in next generation memory semiconductor.

The number of patent applications for P-RAM (phase-change memory), STT-MRAM (spin-transfer torque magnetic memory) and Re RAM (resistive-switching memory) which will substitute the exiting memory semiconductors, such as D-RAM, flash memory, etc.

P-RAM, STT-MRAM and Re RAM are considered as the next generation memory semiconductors to realize all of the characteristics, i.e., high density of D-RAM, non-volatility of flash memory and high-speed operation of S-RAM.

According to KIPO, the number of patent applications related to all of the P-RAM, STT-MRAM and Re RAM increased in 2009 by more than twice in comparison with 2004. The most patent applications are related to P-RAM, with a noticeable increase in the number of patent applications related to STT-MRAM and Re RAM.

Classified by Korean and foreign applicants, Korean applicants filed 76% of the total patent applications related to P-RAM, STT-MRAM and Re RAM and foreign applicants filed 24% thereof, with the percentage of domestic applicants being much higher.

As the Korean applicants among the semiconductor companies, Samsung Electronics and Hynix filed many applications. As the foreign applicants, Toshiba, Sony, Hitachi and Fujitsu of Japan and Qualcomm, Micron and Grandis of the USA filed many applications.

It is noteworthy that Samsung Electronics and Hynix filed applications evenly in all fields of P-RAM, STT-MRAM and Re RAM, compared with the foreign semiconductor companies.

3. KIPO opened a ‘presentation of BM patent in the financial field’

- Discussion on plans to deal with patent disputes according to the opening of financial market

About 500 applications for the BM patents in financial field have been filed per year. Disputes involved with the BM patents have occurred in the securities business and bank industry inside and outside of Korea. For example, Phoenix Licensing L.L.C. has brought a trial for patent infringement regarding financial products and service technology against HSBC Bank.

Considering the opening of the financial market according to the FTA between Korean and US and the increase in patent dispute cases, KIPO opened the ‘presentation of BM patent in the financial field’ for the Korean financial agencies and relevant companies in the Bank hall in Myong-dong, Seoul, on November 15, 2011.

This presentation held by KIPO and the Korea Federation of Banks presented an opportunity of: reviewing the trend of BM patent applications in the financial field and the plans to develop/use financial patents according to the changes of financial market environments; and improving the capability to deal with the patent disputes of the Korean relevant agencies.

4. The number of patent applications related to the smartphone micro-electromechanical system (MEMS)

The number of patent applications related to the MEMS technology to be the core technology of smartphones has greatly increased, along with the explosive supply of smartphones.

The MEMS is a technology to manufacture micro mechanical components by applying the existing semiconductor processing technology.

Until now, the MEMS technology has been mainly applied to a pressure sensor for measuring the air pressure, a reflective mirror for displaying a screen, etc. However, recently as the MEMS technology is introduced in a smartphone, a second MEMS revolution appears to be emerging.

According to KIPO, the number of patent applications related to the MEMS used in smartphones greatly increased in 2010 by 83% in comparison with 2009.

Specifically, upon classifying the trend of the MEMS technology relating applications by nations, US filed 198 applications (41%), Korea filed 150 applications (31%), Japan filed 86 applications (17%) and EU filed 53 applications (11%). As a result, the MEMS technology is led by US, such as Qualcomm which is a US representative communication company.

Classified by the Korean companies, many applications were filed by large companies as shown by Samsung Electronics with 49 applications (10%), LG Electronics with 20 applications (4.1%), LG Innotek with 16 applications (3.3%) and ETRI (Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute) with 11 applications (2.3%).  


The total number of applications for intellectual property rights passed 7,000,000 (News Letter No. 231)


Foreigners can easily read the Korean international patent publications (News Letter No. 229)