1. Private participation expands in a patent examination support program
- A rolling registration system of a prior art search business is introduced to be converted into a perfect competition system.
According to the Korea Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the ‘plan to carry forward a patent examination support program for 2018’ to provide high quality patent examination services has been settled to come into effect.
The plan includes the following major contents:
▲ the introduction of a rolling registration system of an agency specialized in the prior art search and the conversion into a perfect competition evaluation system of search quality,
▲ the overall reorganization of a business management system including the establishment of a management agency specialized in a third business to secure objectivity, fairness, etc., and
▲ the provision of a search result of the prior art to an applicant before examination, to support confrontation strategies for the filing of an application and the examination of the application.
KIPO supplements the lack of the patent examination manpower and carries forward the improvement of the patent examination quality by expanding the patent examination support program (33.5 billion Korea Won for 2018).
This year, a procedure is prepared for any business, which want to participate as a specialized agency of the prior art search in the patent examination support program, to register at any time if the business has the certain requirements such as manpower, equipment, security system, etc., to further expand the opportunity of private participation in the business.
2. Acquiring a patent in Vietnam is faster and protection of the K-brand is strengthened
- KIPO and the Vietnam Patent Office agreed to strengthen the cooperation in the intellectual property (IP) area.
The local IP protection environments in Vietnam are expected to be improved such that the procedures for a Korean company to acquire a patent in Vietnam become easier and the protection of K-brands are strengthened.
On January 16, 2018 Mr. Yunmo SUNG, Commissioner of KIPO, had series of talks with Mr. Dinh Huu Phi, Director General of the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) of Vietnam, Mr. Pham Cong Tac, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr. Do Thang Hai, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Mr. Tinh Van Ngoc, Head of Department of Market Management in Hanoi, Vietnam, agreeing to further enhance the IP cooperation between Korea and Vietnam.
The patent prosecution highway (PPH) between Korea and Vietnam is agreed to be performed in the patent area. Once PPH is performed, NOIP will rapidly process an application, which is evaluated as ‘being patentable’ by KIPO, by using the examination results of KIPO. A Korean company’s patent can be rapidly registered in Vietnam. A base to more strongly protect a acquired property right will be formed.
3. A guidebook on how to make an IP right contract is published
- Ten (10) kinds of contracts including confidentiality, joint development, technology transfer, etc. are explained in detail by types.
KIPO published an ‘IP business contract guidebook’ containing the IP contract contents that should be considered in a technology negotiation between a Korean company and a foreign partner.
The IP business contract guidebook provides English standard contracts with respect to ten (10) types of contracts which are frequently used by companies, such as confidential agreements related to joint development, technology transfer and introduction, joint R&D contracts, license contracts, etc. This guidebook also includes the meaning of a term used in a contract and the comment of the contents of a contact clause and presents a check list of the matters to be considered when making a contract.
A contract form includes an optional clause that a person in charge of a contract may selectively use according to situations, making it possible to prepare for various cases. Further, a contract form is made to be used as a practice guideline of a negotiation and a contract for a company, by introducing the US precedent(s) related to the clause(s) that may cause a dispute.
4. Creation of a standard patent is supported to secure the initiative in the intelligence information society
- KIPO implements a ‘support project for standard patent creation in 2018’.
According to KIPO, the plan to carry forward the support project for standard patent creation in 2018 was decided to be conducted, to support Korean small and medium companies, universities and public institutes to secure standard patents and therefore to preoccupy core technologies in the major areas to prepare for the intelligence information society.
The support project for standard patent creation, 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 1,218 as of the end of June, 2017, an increase of nearly 4 times due to the support of KIPO. The number of Korean companies and agencies owning the standard patents increased from 14 to 27.
Recently, as the intelligence information society has arrived, where things•people, products•services, etc. are grafted with the core element technologies, such as IoT, big data, AI, etc., to be interconnected, the roles of standard patents are emphasized to preoccupy the international standards that secure the compatibility of interconnection.