1. The number of Korean patent applications for shipbuilding rapidly increased due to the expansion of compensation for an employee invention
The number of the patent applications filed by the three large Korean shipbuilding companies passed 4,000 in 2011
As a result of the 2011 patent application trends analyzed by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the total number of the Korean patent and utility model applications; hereinafter, referred to as patent applications, filed in 2011 was 183,762, an increase of 4.3% in comparison with the previous year. However, the number of the patent applications filed by the three large Korean shipbuilding companies was 4,315, an increase of 65% in comparison with the previous year. Therefore, the era of 1,000 patent applications filed by each shipbuilding company has begun.
In this regard, people in charge of the patent applications in these large domestic shipbuilding companies believe that, “the increasing number of the patent applications is the result reflecting the keen efforts of these companies to occupy the dominant position over the Chinese shipbuilding industry and the progressively intensified technological competition among the relevant companies”.
A spokesperson of KIPO said that, “The number of the patent applications in the shipbuilding and marine engineering fields has sharply increased relatively compared to the major competitive countries, such as China, Japan, etc. This is considered as reflecting the efforts of the domestic large shipbuilding companies to overcome the recession through technological development and therefore it will have a positive effect on the strengthening of technological competitiveness in the domestic shipbuilding and marine engineering fields.”
2. KIPO supports litigation insurance in a global patent battle
KIPO will be speeding up the support of the international patent dispute consulting and intellectual property litigation insurance
For medium and small export companies and middle standing export enterprises that have had difficulties due to the global patent disputes, KIPO announced that it would operate a supportive project to prevent and respond to an international patent dispute and a litigation insurance project.
Since 2009, KIPO has operated the consulting project to respond to and possibly prevent an international patent dispute. This consulting project is to seek counterstrategies to prevent or settle a patent dispute by referring a patent attorney or lawyer specializing in an international patent issue to a medium or small company or a middle standing enterprise that is having a patent dispute or that is expected to have a patent dispute with a foreign company.
Last year, KIPO supported only 72 individual companies. However, this year, KIPO will expand the number of beneficiary companies to 100. In addition, KIPO will support a group of companies having a common patent dispute issue as well as an individual company, so that medium or small companies related to the attack of a patent troll may build a united front to more actively counteract together.
3. KIPO supports the creation of export markets by developing a foreign customized brand
KIPO expands the support to a medium or small company in developing a local language brand, from 18 in 2011 to 20 in 2012
KIPO announced that it operated a project to ‘support to the development of a brand in a non-English-speaking area’ for 18 medium and small companies last year, to expedite exports by improving the competitiveness of local markets of the non-English-speaking nations where the medium and small companies have advanced.
This project has been carried forward by KIPO since 2008, to support the medium and small companies (which plan to advance into the non-English-speaking nations) in developing local customized brands and securing them with intellectual property rights and to promote these companies as global medium and small companies which are powerful in their intellectual property rights.
Specifically, in 2011 a brand suitable for a Chinese area was developed. This is expected to accelerate the advance into Chinese markets this year, so that overseas sales may greatly increase.
KIPO, the teaching staff for a non-English-speaking area in Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and brand experts, among other experts, took part in the same project, to lead to a successful local language brand development which positively reflects the local culture and language.
4. The support of intellectual property rights of medium and small companies located in the capital area is strengthened
In an era of intellectual property, the support of patents/designs/brands of venture companies and medium/small companies located in the capital area is strengthened.
This is considered as being based on a judgment that intellectual property issues will be more and more important due to the conclusion of Korea-US FTA, etc. Most of the agencies which are exclusively responsible for intellectual property in Seoul, Gyeonggi and Incheon have increased supportive budgets, compared to last year.
Gyeonggi-do and Gyeonggi Regional Intellectual Property Center announced that this year they would support 3 billion Korea Won for the intellectual property right creation and commercialization by medium/small companies and venture companies in the jurisdiction. This support shows an increase of 130% in comparison of 1.3 billion Korean Won last year.
In the past, the subject of the support was limited to patents. However, this year the subject of this support is expanded to brands (trademarks) and designs. The contents of this support are: △ search of prior art for high quality research and development △ fees for filing patent, trademark and design applications at home and abroad △ search for customized patent map △ analysis of patent rights △ consulting about brands and design rights, etc.