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A meeting of IP experts with academia, legal and industrial fields was held to improve IP systems.(News Letter No. 531)



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1. A meeting of IP experts with academia, legal and industrial fields was held to improve IP systems.

- The meeting was held to share recent system changes and to discuss directions to improve IP laws and systems.

According to KIPO, a meeting of IP experts from all walks of life was held to improve IP systems to discuss the IP system improvements keeping pace with technological innovation.
This meeting was held with experts from the academia and legal circles, such as IP right-related professors, judges, lawyers, patent attorneys, among others. in the morning and with companies filing lots of applications, such as Samsung Electronics, LG Energy Solution, etc. and the leading companies in major technological fields in the afternoon.
KIPO introduced recent changes of the preferential examination system to provide rapid examination of the cutting-edge technologies, such as semiconductors, secondary batteries, etc. and examination-related major policies, such as an interview system to communicate with an examiner, among others.
In this meeting, opinions were exchanged on the recent directions of the IP laws and systems, such as ▲ relaxation of requirements for reinstatement of a lapsed patent by mistake, to promote the right and interests of a patent holder, ▲ improvement of correction of inventorship to make sure a true inventor is indicated, and ▲ measures to invalidate a patent obtained intentionally by deception, for fair use of the patent system, etc.
The attendees vividly conveyed to KIPO the realistic concerns and problems experienced in the field and solutions from an expert perspective. The collected opinions will be used to improve the systems and discover support policies, so that companies exposed to unlimited competition are able to survive and grow by securing IP competitiveness.

2. South Korea has led the Artificial Intelligence of Things (AIoT) technology for Intelligent natural disaster prevention.

- The number of the patent applications related to the natural disaster prevention based on AIoT increased by an annual average of 19.5% for 10 years.
- About a half of the number of the worldwide related applications were filed by Korean applicants and Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics were 1st and 2nd in the ranking of the number of the relevant applications.

As natural disasters have been rapidly increasing due to climate change, the technology to prevent disasters based on the recent technological convergence of the IoT (Internet of Things) and the AI (Artificial Intelligence) has been attracting attention.

KIPO analyzed the patent applications relating to the natural disaster prevention based on AIoT, which were filed with IP5 (KIPO, USPTO, CNIPA, EU and JPO). As a result, the number of patent applications relating to the technology to prevent disasters, such as flood, etc., by using AIoT combining IoT and AI technologies, increased by an annual average of 19.5% over the last 10 years (2012~2021).
The technology to prevent natural disasters based on AIoT is to provide evacuation routes based on location information, by collecting big extensive data, such as satellite data, weather data, sensor data, IoT sensor data, etc. and by predicting damages through AI learning,

Of the total of the related applications (1,598 applications), Korean applicants filed 775 applications (48.5%), taking a 1st place, followed by US (290, 18.1%), Japan (230, 14.4%) and China (164, 10.3%). Notably, South Korea filed 2.7 times more applications than US which ranked second in the number of the relevant applications. In this regard, South Korea’s dominance in the technology to prevent natural disasters based on AIoT is expected to continue for the time being.

By type of disaster, the most applications were filed in the geological disaster field with 51.4%, followed by the storm and flood disaster field (23.9%), the meteorological disaster field (17.0%), and the marine disaster field (7.7%). The highest increase rate in the number of the relevant applications was in the storm and flood disaster field (annual average of 28.9%. This is considered as resulting from an increased demand for the relevant prevention technology since recently storm and flood damages, such as floods, have increased rapidly around the world.

Upon reviewing the applicant filing most applications, Samsung Electronics (36 applications) and LG Electronics (35) ranked 1st and 2nd side by side, followed by 3rd, Sky Motion (32), 4th, Qualcomm (29) and 5th, InterDigital (26). Since South Korea for the first time provided in the world a disaster text message service through mobile telecommunication network, telecommunications companies from around the world are considered as having actively filed the applications for the disaster alert technology.

3. KIPO hosted a meeting of the commissioners of IP5.

- The meeting was held in Seoul, a world-class innovation city, for the first time in 5 years after it was held in Songdo, Incheon in 2019.
- Through the adoption of a joint declaration, they agreed to prepare a guideline to realize sustainable development goals.
- KIPO led discussions on the construction of a user-friendly system and the new technologies, such as AI.

According to KIPO, IP5 (KIPO, EPO, JPO, CNIPA and USPTO) held a joint meeting with industry representatives and a meeting of the commissioners of IP5 on June 19 and 20, 2024 in Seoul, a world-class innovation city.
This meeting was hosted by South Korea for the first time in 5 years after it was held in Songdo, Incheon in 2019. About 100 people including the commissioners of IP5 and industry representatives participated in this meeting. In the meeting, the commissioners of IP5 conducted in-depth discussions on how to realize sustainable development goals (SDGs) in the IP field, how to build a user-friendly global IP system, such as an international patent transfer, etc., and how to respond to the development of new technologies, such as AI., etc.
IP5 is the G5 in the IP field, which occupies about 85% of the worldwide patent applications. KIPO as a 4th advanced IP organization in the world patent applications established IP5 with EPO, JPO, CNIPA and USPTO in 2007 and has taken the lead in creating an user-friendly global IP ecosystem.

Key discussions and achievements are as follows:

Through the IP5 commissioners’ meeting, IP5 adopted an IP joint declaration including mid- to long-term implementation directions to realize the UN’s SDGs. IP5 have intensively discussed ways to cooperate in the IP field for the realization of the UN’s SDGs. In the meeting of the commissioners of IP5 held in Hawaii, US in 2023, the realization of SDGs was specified in the IP5 cooperation vision and was established as one of the important cooperation goals of IP5. In this year meeting, they agreed with a plan that KIPO and JPO jointly take the lead in preparing IP5’s ‘guideline for building a sustainable future’ to realize SDGs, and therefore, in future KIPO is able to lead IP5’s cooperation to implement SDGs.

The IP5 commissioners shared opinions on how to build a user-friendly system. KIPO leading the task presented progresses of a ‘global patent transfer’ in which, if a request for transfer of a patent right is filed only once, the effect of the transfer of patent rights be recognized in full in the IP5 countries. In this regard, IP5 commissioners decided to quickly complete reviews of systems necessary for implementation thereof. In addition, CNIPA decided to participate in the joint project of KIPO, USPTO and JPO, in which results of examination a patent application are provided to an applicant within 3 months according to the patent preferential examination cooperation (that is, “Patent Prosecution Highway”). Therefore, it is expected to enable a more rapid examination of a Chinese application and to increase an applicant’s predictability on when examination results are to be provided.

IP5 also discussed how to respond to the new technology development, such as AI, in the IP field. IP5 commissioners shared a progress status of the ‘new technology/artificial intelligence (NET/AI) roadmap’ which was led by KIPO and approved in the 14th meeting of the IP5 commissioners and they discussed future plans thereof. Notably, in this meeting, they approved the research results of ‘IP5’s legislation and precedent trends on whether to recognize AI as an inventor (Inventorship of AI generated inventions)’, which was a task led by KIPO. The research results reflect the IP5’s relevant policy trends, such as the ‘inventorship guidance for AI-associated inventions’ recently published by USPTO according to United Statets White House executive order (October 2023).

4. KIPO published information of k72 public service marks which the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) newly requests to protect.

- Since a trademark which is identical with or similar to a public service mark will be rejected or invalidated, an applicant needs to be careful.

KIPO received a new request from WIPO to protect 72 public service marks according to Article 6.3 of the Paris Convention and published the relevant information in its website (www.kipo.go.kr).
Public service marks include ▲ a national flag of a country party to the Paris Convention, ▲an official sign/seal, ▲an intergovernmental organization badge, etc. Since any trademarks which are identical with or similar to public service marks are to be rejected in registration or invalidated and unauthorized use thereof is restricted, applicants must be cautious.
Among an accumulated number of currently published public service marks, 4,384, the number of cases which have been newly requested to be protected in the first half of 2024 is a total of 72 cases, and one case was requested to change content.
The head of Trademark Examination Policy Division of KIPO said, “the protection of public service marks is important in maintaining the credibility and status of a nation and an international organization and in protecting the public interest” and “KIPO will maintain a cooperation system by rapidly publish the information according to the request for protection.”

5. Professional manpower related to secondary batteries make a fresh start as a patent examiner.

- KIPO announced 24 final successful candidates as professional fixed-term patent examiners in the secondary battery field.
- A highly experienced workforce with field experience in the secondary battery field has been recruited, and a 64-year-old researcher and this year’s Inventor King was also accepted.

KIPO announced 24 final successful candidates for the ‘professional fixed-term patent examiners in the secondary battery field’ to secure a super gap in the cutting-edge technology.
This recruitment has been conducted as part of active administration to prevent the outflow of excellent Korean human resources overseas in the secondary battery field where the competition is severe to secure future superior technology and simultaneously to rapidly protect the cutting-edge technology as a patent right.
Initially, KIPO planned to hire 38 people, however, it finally selected 24 people which were less compared to the initial plan, by strictly checking a high level of technical expertise and career experience in the relevant field, which are suitable for a patent examiner who deals with cutting-edge technology of a Korean company which is the world’s highest level.
From the current situation of successful candidates, the oldest is 64 years old (born in 1959) and the youngest is 31 years old (born in 1992), and an average age is 50.5. Specifically, a large number of highly skilled secondary battery professionals which are familiar with the latest technology trends were accepted with ▲ average work experience in the secondary battery field: 21 years and 4 months, ▲ master’s and doctorate degree holding rate: 79%, and ▲ incumbent ratio: 75%, etc.

Notably, the oldest (born in 1959) among the successful candidates is a technical professional who is a skilled worker (veteran) with about 40 years of experience in the secondary battery separator technology field, from research labs at leading domestic universities and public institutions to domestic and overseas leading companies. He is expected to practice a patent examiner based on rich field experience and knowledge and to contribute to Korean secondary battery industrial development.
Regarding the number of people who could not be recruited this time, KIPO planned to conduct additional recruitment procedures in June. According to KIPO, since a patent examiner to be additionally hired is a national civil servant which corresponds to level 5 (level B of the professional fixed-term system), the examiner has no retirement age unlike a general public official and is recognized for a private carrier. In this regard, KIPO noted a lot of interest and support from excellent private sector personnel.


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