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The support for Korean medium/small companies and middle-grade companies advancing abroad will be fully operated with promising patent technologies of Korean universities and public institutes(News Letter No. 254)



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1. The support for Korean medium/small companies and middle-grade companies advancing abroad will be fully operated with promising patent technologies of Korean universities and public institutes

- A intellectual property (IP) result-diffusion forum 2012 was held

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) jointly held an ‘IP result-diffusion forum 2012 for a global leader of universities and public institutes’.

Through this forum event, KIPO will award a prize to an agency which takes full charge of IP commercialization of public sectors (such as universities, etc.) having created excellence or an individual contributor thereof, to better diffuse the results of IP commercialization of Korean universities and public institutes. KIPO and KOTRA will support and promote a global IP company by building a ‘global IP business platform’, to raise a Korean medium/small company’s IP competitiveness in foreign markets.

Starting from this forum, KIPO and KOTRA plan to provide positive cooperation for Korean medium/small companies and middle-grade companies in finding diversification of business and in securing competitiveness in foreign markets by taking over promising patent technologies of Korean universities and public institutes.

2. The number of patent applications related to a color steel sheet has continuously increased

Color steel sheets are widely used for the exteriors in the high quality home appliances, such as washing machines, refrigerators, televisions, etc. Especially, as the use of color steel sheets as indoor interior building materials has increased, its market scale has rapidly expanded.

In the Korean color steel sheet market of about 1.15 million tons per year, Union Steel which is a subsidiary company of Dongkuk Steel has led the market with a share of 30% or more, Posco C&C has 20%, and about ten (10) companies including Dongbu Steel has the remaining share.

In color steel sheets, the technology of evenly applying paint or attaching a film to steel sheets is the core competitiveness. According to KIPO, a total of 367 patent applications related to the technology of manufacturing a color steel sheet were filed from 2004 to 2010. 33 applications were filed in 2004 and 88 applications were filed in 2010, showing a steady increase in the number of the relevant patent applications.

By technical fields, the most applications were related to a reactivity coating method (31%), followed by applications related to a hot dip coating layer (27%), applications related to a composite coating layer (17%), and the remaining related to the other coating methods (25%).

3. A glass window becomes a display

- Filing the patent applications of an oxide thin-film transistor

A transparent display technology is realized by using an oxide thin film transistor (TFT). A TFT for driving a previous display was opaque because it was made of silicone. However, as an oxide semiconductor replacing silicone has been developed, it became possible to manufacture a transparent TFT.

The filing of the patent applications related to an oxide TFT is active. An oxide TFT has a high mobility. The mobility is a velocity ratio that an electron moves to an electric field. The greater the velocity value, it enables a large screen high speed driving.

According to KIPO, the number of the patent applications related to the oxide TFT technology was just about 30 before 2006. However, from 2007, at least 60 applications per year have been steadily filed. The number of the cumulative applications totaled 597 after 2003. 407 applications (68%) were filed by Korean applicants and 190 applications (32%) were filed by foreign applicants.

A spokesperson of KIPO emphasized that it needed to research and develop the oxide TFT which is a core technology and to secure a patent(s) to legally protect the developed oxide TFT, to lead the transparent display technology. The spokesperson also said that from now on it needed to make an effort to develop the commercialization technology to prepare a full-scale mass production.

4. Counterstrategies to patent disputes in Europe at a single glance

- A KINPA annual conference where the major companies including Samsung Electronics, etc. attended was held

- A winner for a ‘best patent engineer award of this year’ was selected and awarded

While Samsung Electronics and Apple have waged a patent war over the whole world including Europe, US, etc., a special conference was held to see the European intellectual property systems and patent dispute counterstrategies at a single glance.

KIPO and the Korea Intellectual Property Association (KINPA) held a ‘KINPA intellectual property special conference’ on ‘countermeasures to patent disputes in Europe and cases thereof’, etc.

Mr. Jong-Yong YOON, the chairman of the Presidential Council on Intellectual Property (PCIP) attended this conference. Dr. Eugen Popp, a director of the German Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property (formerly, the president of German Patent Attorneys Bar Association) delivered a keynote speech on the ‘EU unified patent court and unitary patent system update’. Accordingly, Korean companies could see the trends of recent changes in European major patent systems at a glance.

“This becomes an opportunity for Korean companies to enhance the capability to cope with overseas patent disputes by reviewing the trends of patent disputes and the changes in intellectual property systems abroad including Europe, etc., and seeking counterstrategies thereto”, said Mr. Young-Dae LEE, a chief of the Industrial Property Policy Bureau of KIPO.


2012 business achievements of the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO)(News Letter No. 255)


The Patent Offices of the five advanced countries (IP5 countries) took a first step toward the unification of examination standards (News Letter No. 253)