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The trial·lawsuit system for patent invalidation needs to be improved in the direction of reducing a company’s burden (News Letter No. 337)



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1. The trial·lawsuit system for patent invalidation needs to be improved in the direction of reducing a company’s burden

- An international conference was held with high ranking officials of South Korea, USA and Japan attending.

On May 25, 2016, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) CHOI held a 2016 IP international conference in the Ritz-Carlton, Seoul, where about 300 important people related to South Korea, US and Japanese Intellectual Properties (IP) including WON Hyeyoung (Chairman of Korea Joint Board of Global IP Huv in Countries), LEE Daekyoung (Chief Judge of Patent Court of Korea), CHOI Donggyou (Commissioner of KIPO), SHITARA Ryuichi (Chief Judge of Japanese IP High Court), Michael KIM (Administrative Patent Judge at USPTO).

On the subject of ‘harmonization and cooperation of the patent trial·lawsuit’, this conference was prepared to seek a plan of a reasonable system improvement, by sharing Korean, US and Japanese trends and operation cases related to the patent invalidation trial·lawsuit which has been regarded as a procedure problem in Korea.

The point that even new invalidation evidence which is not submitted in a trial stage can be freely submitted in a court stage is indicated as an issue in South Korea unlike the USA and Japan. According to the indication from RYU Donghyun, Chief of Trial Policy Division of KIPO and a speaker in Session 1 of this conference, due to this structural feature, a dispute of ‘patent invalidation’ is not settled at a trial but continues to a lawsuit, prolonging the dispute. Also, since predictability on a dispute settlement is low, the rate of bringing an appeal suit is high.

2. ‘Automobile industrial IP council’ has started for the improvement of future automobile IP competition

Now, the Korean automobile industry acutely needs to strengthen IP competition by securing the cutting-edge technologies and patents and establishing anticipative counterstrategies of patent disputes in the future automobile field.

Under this realization, KIPO had a meeting on May 27, 2016 in the convention room of the KIPO Seoul Office, to strengthen the patent competition in the Korean automobile industry. In the meeting, about 50 experts in complete automobiles and major components companies, academic and research companies and relevant companies attended to start an ‘automobile industrial IP council’ to prepare a place for communication for private-public IP cooperation.

This meeting consisted of private experts of Hyundai Motor Co., Ltd, major component companies, academic and research areas, related organizations and patent attorneys and the KIPO examiners specializing in automobiles. The subject of this meeting will be gradually expanded to other complement automobile companies and small and medium component companies.

With the start of the council, a seminar was held on ▲ future automobile safety standards and the related standardization strategies and ▲ recent Chinese automobile related lawsuits and IP trends. Further, a direction toward public examination was discussed by using the knowledge of the experts attending the council during the examination process of the relevant patent applications.

3. KIPO expands the flexible workplace to improve the examination productivity

- Work days·working hours are self-directly adjustable like 3.5 work days per week.

KIPO has operated a new flexible work system from May, under which an individual autonomously plans and use a work day(s) and work time out of the traditional working type of an 8 hour work day.

In 2005, as the first central office group, KIPO operated home working (118 people as of the end of April, 2016). Since that, a time commuting system (425 people as of the end of April, 2016) autonomously using commuting time has been positively introduced. KIPO is evaluated as an exemplary organization leading the change of the working system according to the working features.

Through the employee demand survey, an individual-customized working system will be positively operated to all the employees (138) wanting flexible work. This system includes ‘time selectively conversion working’ (the working time is shortened from the full time work for the reasons of childcare, study, care for the sick, etc.) and ‘intensive working and time selective working’ (from 40 hours per week to 4~12 hours per day for 3.5 days or more or for 5 days).

4. The number of Korean patent applications related to the next generation TV(HDR) has steadily increased

The High Dynamic Range (HDR) TV which has recently been released is a next-generation TV which is brighter by 10 times or more and expresses many colors by 50% or more in comparison with the conventional TV, thereby displaying an image to be closer to the world as seen by human’ eyes.

Based on Korean patent application trends analyzed by KIPO, an increase rate of the HDR-related patent applications for the last 16 years (2000~2015) was 18.4% per year.

The percentages of the relevant patent applications by applicant main agents are 47% by foreign companies, 33% by Korean big companies, 9%, 8% and 2% by Korean small and medium companies, universities and public research institutes, respectively. By applicants, 73 applications were filed by Samsung Electronics, 65 by Dolby, 22 by LG Electronics, 21 by Thomson, 18 by Sony. So, Korean big companies and foreign companies are considered as leading the Korean patent applications related to HDR.

To watch the HDR image of high-definition on TV, it requires ▲HDR image generating technology of obtaining a HDR image by taking a picture of an image close to nature with a camera, ▲HDR image storing and transmitting technology by storing the obtained HDR image and then efficiently transmitting mass HDR content, and ▲HDR image regenerating technology by processing the image to be expressed in brighter and more natural colors and displaying the image.  


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