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Korean companies take lead the patent applications for next-generation WIFI ((News Letter No. 264)



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1. Korean companies take lead the patent applications for next-generation WIFI

- Big companies producing smart phone devices occupy 71% of the applications.

Wi-Fi is another technology for short-range communication which to some extent has overcome the transmission speed and distance limit by complementing the drawbacks of Bluetooth. However, since it is possible to use Wi-Fi in areas where a wireless short-range communication network is present , such as hot spot zone, there are still drawbacks in its use.

Wi-Fi Direct appears and is noticed as a new technology to overcome the aforementioned problems. This Wi-Fi Direct technology can send massive data within a short time (12 times Bluetooth) and over larger distances 100m (10 times Bluetooth). Therefore, now since it is possible to send massive data without a hitch, we can meet a new world of smart phones.

According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the patent applications for the Wi-Fi Direct technology started in 2009 when the Wi-Fi Direct communication standards were published. The number of these patent applications increased for 2 years and somewhat slowed in 2012.

Recently, the number of these applications has rapidly increased. This is considered as reflecting the expectation that a ripple effect of the Wi-Fi Direct technology in the communication industry field will be great.

By applicants, the current state of the patent applications has two features:

First, by applicants, the number of the relevant applications filed by big companies is 71%, that by medium/small companies is 12%, that by individuals is by 13% and that by the others is 4%. These percentages show that the filing of these applications is active with big companies producing/manufacturing Korean smart phone devices.

2. A patent that ‘TV screen is on glasses’ is registered

LG Electronics registered patent technology reminding people of the ‘Google glasses’ and have initiated the development of a new product.

According to Engadge, a US media specialized in IT, and the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), LG Electronics has registered a patent (US Patent No. 8,427,396) in which a TV screen shown in a smart TV or a tablet PC is shown in a device in the form of glasses.

In this technology, when a user wearing glasses watches TV, the glasses are in a transparent state. However, when the user turns away his/her eyes, an image is directly displayed and when (s)he turns his/her eyes toward TV, the glasses become transparent back again. If a product applying this technology is commercialized, these glasses will be expected to compete with Google glasses.

A spokesperson of LG Electronics said, “[the company] is proceeding with a technical review on the head mounted display (HMD) using this technology.”

3. Samsung Electronics’ patents are focused on the US rather than home

According to Samsung Electronics, the number of Korean registered patents is about 1,485~2,013 every year since 2009 which is less than half of the number of US registered patents, 3,611~5,081. In view of the number only, only one of two or three US patent applications is considered as being filed in the Republic of Korea.

In 2008, the number of Korean registered patents sharply decreased while the number of US registered patents increased, followed by this trend thereafter. A spokesperson of Samsung Electronics explained that Samsung Electronics placed more importance on the registration of foreign patents as patent disputes arouse in foreign countries.

The Samsung Electronics’ management focused on foreign patents looks to appear in other big companies and government funded research centers. For this reason, some analyses show that the number of Korean registered patents will decrease few years later.

4. The number of applications combining a black box communication technology has rapidly increased

A new wind arises in the black box technology for vehicles.

According to KIPO, the number of the applications related to a black box connected with a communication technology was only 2 or 3 every year early in the 2000s. However, it increased to 10 to 16 every year after 2010.

When a black box is connected to the communication technology, it can realize a new function.

If an accident occurs, a black box reports it by itself collecting the information of an accident vehicle(s) and surrounding vehicle(s). The police, hospital and insurance company analyze and use this information.

The relevant applications filed since 2000 are classified by technical fields as follows: 26 applications are in the accident information transmission field, 23 applications are in the vehicle management information transmission field, 7 applications are in the vehicle/black box control field, and 9 applications are in the other fields.

Based on 2010 when the number of these applications sharply increased, there is no substantial technical change in the accident information transmission field. However, there is a relatively great increase in the number of the applications in the management information transmission field where the information of a black box can be used in different ways.  


The number of patent & trademark applications filed during April 2013 has greatly increased (News Letter No. 265)


Application trend for intellectual property (IP) rights during the first quarter of 2013 (News Letter No. 263)