1. Korean intellectual property (IP) system to newly change in 2017
- The period of a request for examination of a patent application will be shortened from 5 months to 3 months.
- Anyone can request the cancellation of a poor quality patent from March.
The Korea Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) published the supporting policy of the IP system to newly change in 2017 with the main points of the IP system improvement and the applicant’s convenience enhancement, etc.
The period of a request for examination of a patent application will be shortened from five (5) years from the date of filing the application to three (3) years, determining a right of a patent invention as soon as possible. (Enforcement date: March 2017)
To prevent a poor patent, it will be possible for anyone to request the cancellation of a poor quality patent within six (6) months from the publication date of registration of a patent. (Enforcement date: March 2017)
2. IP-NAVI functions as a guide of patent disputes
According to KIPO, the use of an information portal of international IP disputes (IP-NAVI. www.ip-navi.or.kr) greatly increased last year. The number of visitors to the homepage of this portal increased from 172,642 in 2015 to 254,241 in 2016, an increase of 47%, and the number of page views reached about 1,800,000 cases.
IP-NAVI integrally guides the information of IP disputes. IP-NAVI provides specialized information regarding IP disputes in a diversity of ways including IP-Daily, IP-Insight, IP Guidebook, etc. In IP-Daily (breaking news on disputes), it is possible to check, in real time, on the breaking news on IP disputes occurring in foreign countries. IP-Insight (In-depth reports on precedents) analyzes IP cases, such as Samsung-Apple case, etc., which are important to Korean companies. IP Guidebook is to protect IP rights in foreign countries by putting together the IP systems by countries and the dispute coping methods.
The increase in the number of the visitors to this portal is considered as resulting from the improvement of user accessibility and convenience, such as the introduction of mobile services, SNS public relations, etc. KIPO newly built the IP-NAVI mobile site in August, 2016 and established a Kakao Talk Puls Friend to support the users to easily receive the latest IP issues.
3. KIPO expands support for securing a standard patent which is a key of the fourth industrial revolution
KIPO announced the operation of a promotion plan for a 2017 project to support the creation of standard patents, to support small and middle companies, universities and public institutes, which have excellent technology in the core fields rising in line with the fourth industrial revolution, to take a strong leap in global markets by securing standard patents.
The project to support the creation of standard patents which has been carried forward since 2010 is to support the establishment of strategies to secure standard patents by analyzing international standards and patents related to the Korean companies’ and agencies’ technologies by a support specialist team consisting of standard patent experts, patent attorneys, standard experts, etc.
The number of Korean standard patents approved by the three world standardization organizations was only 300 at the end of 2011 but increased to 824 as of the end of June, 2016, an increase of 2.7 times due to the KIPO support. The number of Korean companies and agencies owning the standard patents increased from 14 to 24.
4. Trends of bridge earthquake-proof-related patent applications
According to KIPO, the number of patent applications related to the earthquake-proof technology of a bridge structure increased from 335 in 2006 through 2010 to 448 during the last five (5) years from 2011 through 2015, an increase of 34%. The technology to reinforce the earthquake-proof performance of an old bridge structure was 81% of the total number of the relevant patent applications.
The technology to reinforce the earthquake-proof performance of a bridge is classified into a bridge collapse prevention system, an earthquake isolation system and a strength enhancement system. The bridge collapse prevention system is to prevent the collapse of a bridge top plate by the destruction of a bridge support or expansion joint. The earthquake isolation system is to disperse, decrease and isolate the horizontal inertia earthquake force of the bridge top plate caused by the earthquake, by separating the top and bottom of the bridge when the earthquake occurs. The strength enhancement system is to expand the section, reinforce the fiber wrapping or reinforce the steel sheet, to increase the strength of the bridge post and foundation.
In the aspect of the technology to reinforce the earthquake-proof performance, the earthquake isolation system is 60% of the relevant patent applications. The number of the patent applications related to the earthquake isolation system is considered to have continued to increase since 2015 by the influence of changes of the earthquake resistant design codes.