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The number of international applications has grown 1,300 times in 30 years after the Republic of Korea joined the Patent Cooperation Treat (PCT)(News Letter No. 307)



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1. The number of international applications has grown 1,300 times in 30 years after the Republic of Korea joined the Patent Cooperation Treat (PCT)

The number of the PCT international applications filed with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) in 2014 was 13,138, an increase of 5.6% compared to the previous year.

The Republic of Korea is considered to easily keep the place within the world top five (5) countries in the number of filing PCT applications. (In 2013, US held the 1st place, Japan 2nd, China 3rd, Germany 4th and the Republic of Korea 5th.)

Samsung Electronics filing the most PCT applications in 2014 held the 1st rank (with 1,639 applications), followed by LG Electronics (1,396) and LG Chem (826). While these three applicants filing the most applications held 29.4% of the total of the PCT international applications, DONGWOO FINE-CHEM, a medium company, held the 8th rank (82) beating the other leading big companies.

The Chief of the Information & Customer Service Bureau of KIPO emphasized that the number of the PCT international applications is an important indicator to estimate the Korean international technical competitiveness. The Chief also announced to improve the understanding of the international application system and to enhance the convenience in filing an international application, so that the number of the PCT international application continues to increase and excellent technologies are early protected as rights in foreign countries.

2. The reporting and informing to KIPO of counterfeit products has rapidly increased

- Most of the cases were online transactions of counterfeit products.

The number of counterfeit products informed and reported to a counterfeit product informing center (www.brandpolice.go.kr) operated by KIPO has rapidly increased.

According to the special police squad of trademarks (SPST) under KIPO, the number of the cases reported through the counterfeit product informing center in 2014 was 3,056, increasing by 21% compared with 2013 and increasing about 4 times compared with 2011 when KIPO fully operated the service of SPST. These reported cases were mostly counterfeit products transacted through online purchases.

According to KIPO, whereas the actions of manufacturing and distributing counterfeit products offline have decreased, such actions have gone online which is not easily controlled and counterfeit products have been secretly transacted through many different ways, such as SNS, etc.

Specifically, an appraisal process to determine whether a relevant product is counterfeit or not is accompanied to control the counterfeit products transacted through online. Since only an owner of a trademark right has a right to appraisal to determine whether the relevant product is original, the appraisal process is performed through procedures that KIPO requests the owner of a relevant trademark right.

3. Samsung Electronics has the most patents related to information security

Samsung is stated as a company having the most patents for knowledge and information security in the Republic of Korea.

According to a study report of patent trend investigation of global knowledge and information security industry, recently published by the Korea Internet & Security Agency, Samsung Electronics with 489 patents and 1135 patent applications in the knowledge and information security field held the 8th rank in the global companies. LG Electronics with 139 patents and 220 patent applications held the 2nd rank in Korean companies and the 41st rank in global companies. This report was a result published by overall analyzing about 60,000 patents owned by 2658 companies of the major countries.

Classified by countries, the Republic of Korea with a total of 810 cases was in 3rd place, following US with 17,840 and Japan with 4,502. However, Korean knowledge and information security-related patent registrations were low such that the difference in the number of the patents between the 1st place and the 3rd place reached about 22 times. Furthermore, since the most patents and patent applications were concentrated by Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, the patent registration rate of Korean security companies was very low.

The number of patents related to knowledge and information security in the world showed an annual average increase of 32%. In addition, the patents owned by companies specialized in managing intellectual property (non-practicing entity, NPE) increased by an annual average, 26%.

4. A robot takes a leading role in the convergence era of cutting-edge technology

- Patent strategies are needed to cope with the robot convergence era

In the global robot market, a paradigm of the robot industry has changed from a “robot for manufacturing” to a “robot for services” in social safety, medical care, home appliance and education through the expansion and convergence with the other industries according to trend changes, such as aging, safety, health, etc.

According to KIPO, the number of patent applications in the overall intelligent robot field rapidly increased after 2008 where it was 795 applications. However, the number of the patent applications in the overall intelligent robot field has stagnated or decreased since 2012, in line with the patent strategies regarding highly the technological growth and quality of robots for manufacturing at home.

The field of robots for services has been expected to be used in many different application fields in connection with the artificial intelligence technology enabling various environmental awareness, behavior decision, autonomous behavior, etc. and the development of human-machine mutual systems. The field of robots for services has also rapidly expanded in market size. Compared with this, the number of Korean patent applications in the field of robots for services and the importance in the intelligent robot field failed to stably grow.

This is because small and medium companies filing a large number of the patent applications related to the field of robots for services did not effectively cope with the change in the market representing the convergence of the robot technology and the other industries. Therefore, policy supports are required to expand the convergence between the robot technology and the other industry and to preoccupy the relevant technology.


KIPO selected 220 small and medium companies promising in intellectual property (IP) in 2015 (News Letter No. 308)


Companies’ intellectual property (IP) activities are reinforced more than 2014 (News Letter No.306)