1. The number of Korean patent and trademark applications has increased in spite of a financial crisis in Europe, etc.
- The number of patent and trademark applications increased by 8% and 7%, respectively.
Despite uncertain economic conditions by the financial crisis in Europe, US, etc., the number of Korean intellectual property (IP) applications for patents, trademarks, etc. increased in 2012.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the tentative number of patent, trademark, design and utility model applications for 2012 totaled 400,815, showing an about 8% increase in comparison with 371,116 in 2011.
The fact that the number of patent and trademark applications increased in 2012 regardless of the dark outlook of economic conditions based on an uncertainty in the world economy is considered to be the result of companies preoccuping new technologies and brands through future-oriented investments, such as R&D, etc.
By IP rights, the number of patent applications was 192,575 with a 7.6% increase compared with the previous year, the number of utility model applications was 12,467 with a 5.2% increase, the number of trademark applications was 132,620 with a 7.1% increase, and the number of design application was 63,153 with an 11.7% increase.
After the number of patent applications passed 170,000, which was the level prior to the financial risk in 2008, it continued to increase to 178,924 in 2011 and 192,575 in 2012, showing an increasing trend for the last three (3) years.
2. A language barrier of Chinese patent information like the Great Wall will be broken down
- KIPO provides a Chinese-Korean machine translation for world-class level examination and trial.
To support high-quality patent examinations and trials at a world-class level, KIPO has formally provided Chinese-Korean machine translation service beginning in January, to lower the language barrier regarding Chinese patent information.
Meanwhile, KIPO exchanged the mutual patent information through the MOU with the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the People’s Republic of China in 2011. KIPO also built service environments through the projects of introducing a Chinese-Korean machine translation engine and expanding the translation dictionary in 2012.
The quality of examinations and trials is expected to be higher by lowering the language barrier as to the patent information of China, which is a world top-ranked country in filing patent applications and Korea’s greatest trade-partner, by using the Chinese-Korean machine translation service as provided at present.
In the future, KIPO will continuously improve the quality of the Chinese-Korean machine translation service by expanding the translation dictionary and cooperating with Korean machine translation companies.
A free search service provider (KIPRIS) for people plans to provide the Chinese-Korean machine translation service, so that Korean companies advancing to China may easily understand the Chinese patent information and be more competitive.
3. An ‘allied force of Samsung and LG’ will bring a profound impact
Samsung and LG waging a patent dispute on organic light emitting diodes (OLED) started to settle the situation through a ‘cross license on a display patent’. Accordingly, the cross license on the display patent between Samsung and LG looks to be soon visualized.
When the cross license on the display patent between Samsung and LG is concluded, it has been twenty-one years after Samsung Display Devices Inc. and Goldstar concluded a cross license agreement in 1992.
According to the relevant industry and government, while the government stepped in to mediate the patent dispute between Samsung Display and LG Display, both companies have reviewed the patent cross license internally. A concerned person requesting anonymity said, “it is not important to simply end the trial to improve the Korean display competitiveness.” And the person explained that it would be important to share the display patent(s) owned by Samsung and LG. The person also added that it was reported that the two companies shared their viewpoints on this matter.
Another patent relevant person also added that Samsung Display and LG Display have the killer patents to mutually remedy their weakness in the display field and therefore it is sufficiently possible to interact with each other.
4. The number of patent applications filed by the three countries, the Republic of Korea, China and Japan, has been more than 1,000,000 per year.
The number of patent applications filed by the three countries is more than 1,000,000. This is twice the number of patent applications filed by US and seven (7) times or more the number of patent applications field by Europe (18 countries). The center of global IP is focused on North East Asia.
According to ‘IP5 statistics’ recently announced by ‘IP5 (Five IP offices)’ which is an alliance of the major IP five (5) countries, the number of the patent applications filed by the three countries, Korea-China-Japan, in 2011 greatly increased to 1,047,900, which passed the 1,000,000 cases for the first time, showing a 15.7% increase in comparison with the previous year. IP5 includes the Patent Offices of the Republic of Korea, China, Japan, US and Europe. Eighteen (18) countries including England, Germany, France, among others have joined the European Patent Office.
The number of patent applications filed by China, among the IP5, was 526,400 with a big increase of 34.6% in comparison with the previous year, beating US (503,600). The number of patent applications filed by US was increased by 2.7% in comparison with the previous year. The number of patent applications filed by the Republic of Korea was 178,900 with a 5% increase and the number of patent applications filed by Japan was 342,600 with an about 0.5% decrease. The number of patent applications filed by Europe was 142,800 with an about 5% decrease reflecting the on going economic recession. The number of patent applications filed by the three countries, Korea-China-Japan, was more than that filed by Europe which is an association of eighteen (18) countries.
Interestingly, in the other major IP four (4) countries, changes in the increase/decrease rate of patent applications filed by their own companies (individuals) and foreign companies (individuals) was not big. However, in China, the rate of patent applications filed by its own companies greatly increased. The number of patent applications filed by Chinese companies in 2011 was 415,800, showing a rapid increase of 41.9% in comparison with 293,000 in 2010. The number of patent applications filed by foreign companies (individuals) was 110,600, showing a 13% increase in comparison with 98,000 in 2010. This is considered as a result of the increase of China’s interest in IP.