1. KIPO’s success rate in IP dispute conciliation has approached 50%
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the Intellectual Property Rights Dispute Committee (IPRDC) to settle complicated intellectual property (IP) disputes through a party-to-party conversation has been spotlighted.
Based on the IP dispute-related factual survey, the average litigation cost of a company which has experienced an infringement dispute is about 58,000,000 Korea Won and the period for a patent infringement trial up to the third trial is 40.2 months, on average. The survey was made for a 2015 Korean IP dispute factual survey by KIPO and a study to improve a patent trial jurisdiction and to enhance the litigation service professionalism.
However, in the case that a dispute is settled through IPRDC of KIPO, since the most reasonable settlement plan results from the communication between both parties and the relevant experts within 3 months, it is possible to lead the dispute settlement that both parties are satisfied, without incurring any special filing costs.
IPRDC received and processed a total of 208 IP disputes as of June 2017 since 1995 when it was established. The average conciliation rate is 27%. The conciliation rage in 2017 is 47.6% as of June (10 cases with conciliation success of 21 cases, except for 5 cases being cancelled or pending).
2. KIPO awards the excellent proponents of a patent administration monitoring group
KIPO awards eight excellent proponents (1 with the grand prize, 3 with honor prize and 4 with participation prize) selected from the patent administration monitoring group in the first half of 2017.
Every year KIPO decides a monitoring field, such as the filing of an application for an IP right, the registration procedures thereof, etc., such that members of the monitoring group directly experience in the position of civil applicants/petitioners and propose any matters to be improved. Then KIPO reflects the matters to be improved in the relevant systems for improvement and awards the members of the monitoring group who made excellent proposals.
The patent administration monitoring group is formed of 30 including staff in charge of patents in a company, staff in charge of IP in a industry-university cooperation group, university (graduate) students who express their desire to participate.
KIPO decided to supplement the function of the formatting program by accepting the proposal from the members of the monitoring group to add (i) a function of automatically checking the number of words which are described in the section, ‘design description’, in the application formatting program to file an international design application, and (ii) a function of automatically generating a Power of Attorney in English.
3. KIPO opened a 2017 youth invention festival
KIPO and the Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA) held the ‘2017 Youth Invention Festival’ in COEX , Seoul from July 21 through 23, to popularize an invention education and to form an invention-friendly social atmosphere.
In the 30th ‘Korean Student Invention Exhibition’, a total of 9,445 entries with a total of 977 schools were entered.
A final selection of the ‘17th Korean Student Creativity Champion Competition’ was also held from July 21 through 23. In this competition where 100 teams, which were selected, through the preliminaries, from the elementary, middle and high school students in the whole nation, competed for creativity, the teams got excellent results were awarded with the prizes and additional prizes, such as a prize by the chairman of the Presidential Council on Intellectual Property, a prize by the commissioner of KIPO, among others.
In addition, a program to experience the new technologies, such as virtual realty (VR), drones, etc., and a program to experience the enhancement of creativity were operated to offer a special opportunity for spectators to participate together and enjoy.
4. The number of plasma-related patent applications has increased
According to KIPO, the number of plasma-related patent applications which was only 15 in 2012 increased to 165 in 2016, showing a rapid increase for the last 5 years (2012~2016).
No plasma-related patent applications were filed by Korean applicants by 2013, then, the number of the applications filed by Korean applicants increased from 3 in 2014 to 108 in 2016, with an increase of more than 60% every year. 78% of these Korean applicants were industries.
Based on specific technical fields, the number of the applications in a plasma processing device for surface treatment, such as a semiconductor surface process for semiconductor production, rapidly increased from 4 in 2012, 28 in 2014 and to 136 in 2016, holding 72% which was the most in the technical fields of the plasma-related applications.
The surface treatment technology using plasma is to form a thin film, such as an insulation film or conductive film, by applying gaseous particles to a substrate or a surface of an object. Compared to the conventional deposition method, the surface treatment technology enables: to work at a low temperature, control the regular thickness of a film and make a more minute form to be made as desired. Thus, when the plasma technology is applied to the surface treatment, there are merits in that it enables a massive process and it is an environment-friendly technology to replace a process causing pollution or a difficult process since it does not use highly toxic liquid chemicals.