1. Patent examination human resources have been reassigned due to an increase of 6.2% in the number of Korean patent applications filed 2013
- The quantity of patent examinations to be handled this year will be adjusted through an examination planning and coordination committee.
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced the opening of the examination planning coordination committee to perform the function of adjusting the examination human resources and the quantity of the patent examinations handled.
This committee deliberated and voted for a “plan for adjustment of human resources and examination quantity in the examination bureaus”, including the following matters: a check of the quantity of examinations to be handled by the patent examination bureaus, an arrangement of examiners based on the quantity, an examination of examiners by technical fields, etc.
The two reasons for opening the committee are summarized as:
The first reason is to rearrange examiners according to the increase in the number of patent applications. The number of patent applications filed in 2013 was about 205,000, increasing by 6.2% compared with 2012. The number of cases requesting PCT international searches also increased by 8.5%. Therefore, the examination planning coordination committee is to perform an efficient rearrangement of examination human resources reflecting the quantity of the increased patent applications, by arranging the examiners of non-examination departments to the examination departments. This will achieve the 2014’s examination processing period aiming at 11.7 months.
The second reason is to solve the internal and external concern about the difficulties in moving the examiners and the quantity of examinations to be handled since the examination organization was fully reformed in September 2013. KIPO reorganized the organization taking into consideration the technical convergence and professionalism during the last reorganization. However, after the reorganization, a fine tuning in the number of examiners in charge and the number of examinations was required in some fields, due to a deviation in the quantity of applications by technical fields. This examination planning coordination committee is to adjust the examination human resources and the examination quantity by considering the number of applications by technical fields, thereby solving the concern of securing the examination professionalism and contributing to the improvement of examination quality.
2. ‘Designmap’ has hot popularity in KIPO
- Information is open and shared, customized services are provided, and the number of visitors increased by 582%
According to KIPO, the number of visitors to www.designmap.or.kr, which is a portal service site for design rights making it possible to easily learn the information of major design rights in the whole world, was about 1,900,000 in 2013, showing an increase of 582% in comparison with 2009 when the service fully started and an increase of 36% in comparison with 2012.
The number of the visitors was about 280,000 in 2009, 640,000 in 2010, 1,360,000 in 2011, 1,390,000 in 2012 and 1,900,000 in 2013.
Designmap is a design right information infrastructure at a national level which KIPO built to support medium/small companies, designers, etc. being weak in creating designs and avoiding disputes. Designmap’s information providing method was reorganized last year. The information providing method simply focused on the ‘delivery of information’ was reorganized to focus on the ‘use of information’ providing a user customized service.
Specifically, in designmap, the original data is provided as an open standard type and API is provided to be freely used among ordinary people. After the public data law is enforced, the information is positively open to be shared through a public data portal (www.data.go.kr) operated by the Ministry of Security and Public Administration.
3. Marine shipbuilding-related patents play by quality before quantity
- Korean big three (3) shipbuilding companies need to strengthen qualitative development and to focus on core patents
As a slump in the marine shipbuilding industry has continued, the number of patent applications in the marine shipbuilding field sharply deceased last year, for the first time reversing the up trend since 2008.
According to KIPO, the number of the patent applications in the shipbuilding field (B63) was 2,661 in 2013, showing an 18% decrease (580) compared with the previous year.
Classed by technical fields, the number of the applications in the hull structure and hull fitting field (B63B) has the biggest decrease with 385 in comparison with the previous year, followed by the number of the applications in the ship propulsion device field (B63H) with a decrease of 109.
However, in spite of the decrease in these patent applications, the number of patent registrations in the shipbuilding field (B63) increased by 63% (552) in comparison with the previous year.
In this regard, patent department staff of the Korean big three (3) shipbuilding companies emphasized that, “Now we have taken more care of the quality of patents by increasing the patent registration rate and securing core patents, rather than increasing the quantity of patent applications in the marine shipbuilding field as we have carried forward.”
The number of the patent registrations by the Korean big three (3) companies increased by 67% (831) compared with the previous year. Specially, Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co., Ltd. had the high rates of increase in patent registrations last year, respectively, 90.7% and 87.1%.