1. Trend of intellectual property rights for the fourth quarter in 2011
The number of Korean applications for intellectual property rights for the fourth quarter last year increased by about 10%.
According to the ‘trend of intellectual property rights for the fourth quarter in 2011’ published by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the number of the applications for intellectual property rights increased by 10.1%, from 98,962 for the same period in the previous year to 108,994.
Classified by the type of intellectual property right, the number of trademark applications (34,023) increased by 22.2%, the number of patent applications (53,091) increased by 5.8%, and the number of design applications (15,760) increased by 8.9%.
The number of the applications (92,464) filed by the domestic applicants increased by 10.8%, and the number of the applications (14,370) filed by the foreign applicants increased by 6.0%.
Classified by applicant, the number of the applications (23,933) filed by big companies increased by 5.4%, and the number of the applications (26,166) filed by medium and small companies increased by 4.0%.
The number of the intellectual property rights as registered during the same period in 2011 was 65,120, showing an increase of 45.4% in comparison with 44,797 for the same period in 2010.
2. The PCT international search service for this year is expected to reach 20 million dollars
- It will have the effect of creating new jobs for about 300 high value-added professionals.
KIPO’s service size for the international searches of PCT international patent applications is expected to total over 20 million dollars, possibly as early as this year. Such exports are the equivalent of providing jobs for more than 300 high quality professionals.
KIPO tentatively analyzed the current state of the international search services by PCT (Patent Cooperation Treaty). As a result, the total for international search services last year was over 17 million dollars and it seems likely to pass 20 million dollars this year or next at the latest.
The foreign companies which file many applications and request KIPO to conduct the PCT international searches include representative global companies, such as Intel (1st in ranking), Microsoft (2nd), Hewlett-Packard (3rd), 3M (6th) and Google (10th). Therefore, Korean competition of the PCT international search service is considered as obtaining universal recognition.
3. KIPO supports the ‘customized patent dispute strategies for medium and small pharmaceutical companies’
- KIPO strengthens support for domestic pharmaceutical companies in preparation for the effect of Korea-US FTA.
KIPO announced that it would provide consulting of international patent disputes and information regarding foreign patent dispute cases and precedents in the litigation insurance business and medical fields, so that the domestic medium and small pharmaceutical companies improve their capabilities to deal with patent disputes in preparation for the effect of Korea-US FTA.
KIPO also supports domestic medium and small pharmaceutical companies so as to properly respond to medicine and medical supplies-related litigation which is 11% of the international patent litigation (2004~2011) in preparation for the effect of the ‘approval-patent linkage system’ for medicines and medical products in the Korea-US FTA.
Domestic pharmaceutical companies which would be frequently sued for the common patents by huge global pharmaceutical companies may prepare preventive and proper counterstrategies against such patent disputes, through international patent dispute consulting and the use of litigation insurance.
The international patent dispute consulting project is to find a patent dispute preventive and counterstrategies by connecting medium and small companies or enterprises of middle standing to patent attorneys or lawyers specializing in international patents. This project supports not only an individual company but also a group of pharmaceutical companies with a common patent dispute issue to enable a joint counteraction.
4. The technology of directly extracting lithium has been first developed in the world
Postco has developed a new technology to shorten the period of producing lithium from 12 months to 1 month.
Pohang Research Institute of Industrial Science & Technology (RIST), an affiliated research of POSCO, announced that it has succeed in developing the technology of directly extracting lithium by having an electrical and chemical reaction in salt water and producing 5kg lithium using 1000 liters salt water per day in a pilot plant.
Until now, lithium extraction is made by using a method of evaporating salt water. Posco has first realized in the world a technology to directly extract lithium by a chemical reaction.
Unlike the natural evaporating method, this direct extracting technology has the merits of shortening the process period from 12 months to 1 month or less and increasing the rate of collecting lithium from 50% to 80% or more. If the process is shortened to the maximum, it is possible to extract lithium within 8 hours. Also, since magnesium, calcium and etc. remaining in the form of impurities can be separated when lithium is extracted, high value added elements can be obtained as resources.
POSCO filed the patent applications for about 30 major technologies related to the direct extraction at home and abroad, to secure the intellectual property rights. In the final verification step, it proved that the technology could be applied in natural salt water, beyond the experimental step, using Bolivian Uyuni salt water of 15,000 liters.