1. A revision of the Enforcement Decrees of the Korean Patent Law has been enforced since April 24, 2018
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the revision of the Enforcement Decrees of the Korean Patent Law has been enforced since April 24, 2018. Under the revision, patent applications in the seven (7) technical fields relating to the 4th industrial revolution qualify for preferential examination.
The preferential examination is a system to rapidly examine an application which requires urgent processing for a policy of a national level or a benefit of an applicant in preference to a general application. The preferential examination applies to a total of eighteen (18) types of applications including an application of an invention which is carried out, an application filed by a venture company, an application which is agreed to be preferentially examined with a foreign government patent office, etc.
The seven (7) technical fields relating to the 4th industrial revolution, which qualify for preferential examination, are artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT), 3D printing, self-driving cars, big data, intelligent robots and cloud as the technologies included in the new patent classification system, which was for the first time in the world completed by KIPO last year.
When an application of an invention qualifies for preferential examination, the average period taken until the invention is registered as a patent is shorten to six (6) months which is just one third of the average time for a general examination. Accordingly, it is possible for companies, universities, institutes in the relevant technical fields to rapidly obtain patents of their inventions.
2. An IP international symposium was held to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Korean Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board (KIPTAB)
KIPO, KIPTAB, the Korea Institute of Intellectual Property and the Korea Invention Promotion Association jointly held the intellectual property (IP) international symposium.
Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the opening of KIPTAB, this symposium was prepared to discuss the future roles and policy direction of KIPTAB.
This was the first place attended by the chiefs of the trial agencies in the IP-advanced five (5) countries (IP5, the Republic of Korea, US, Japan, China and Europe) leading the world IP fields and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), to discuss the future policy direction to vitalize global cooperation in the trial field and to improve the trial quality, etc.
KIPTAB held a multi-point conference with the chiefs of the trial agencies in the IP-advanced five (5) countries. In this conference, KIPTAB proposed to establish a regular trial cooperation consultative group (tentative named “international IP tribunal chief meeting”) in which the trial agencies in the five (5) countries participate, drawing a cooperative intention from each country.
Taking this opportunity, KIPTAB will take the lead in carrying forward the global cooperation in the trial field by drawing detailed cooperative plans with the five (5) countries and concluding a trial cooperation MOU.
3. KIPO held a presentation of the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) system for Korean applicants
KIPO and WIPO jointly held the presentation of the PCT system, to support Korean export companies that want to expand all over the world by securing their foreign IP rights.
This PCT presentation included sessions regarding the current state of the recent PCT system, the PCT application filing method, the international search stage, and how an applicant is to respond to the international search reports.
The applicant who receives an international search report may amend the relevant application, request an additional search or enter the national stage where the invention is examined as to whether it is patentable or not in each country. These procedures were easily introduced in the presentation.
Further, ePCT, which was newly established in October 2017, was introduced to expand the convenience of Korean applicants. If anyone that accesses ePCT by Internet, (s)he can be supported in making an application, amending the application and searching the progress of the application.
4. Confrontation strategy of a dispute of a US IP right is directly heard from a local expert
A practical seminar to cope with an IP dispute was held with US patent attorneys.
According to a 2017 US patent dispute trend survey published by the Korea Intellectual Property Protection Agency, the number of disputes related to Korean companies totaled 182, including 41 related to small and medium companies (22%, complainant: 18, the accused: 23). Specially, small and medium companies have difficulties when IP disputes occur in foreign countries since these companies do not have sufficient organizations in charge of such disputes. Thus, these companies need preparation.
In this seminar, the members of the Korean-American Intellectual Property Bar Association, Inc. (KAIPBA, President: Mr. Justin KIM), who have wide experience for many years in the US IP industry, introduced the latest IP dispute cases in US and the effective confrontation strategy. Further, US patent attorneys directly listened to the small and medium companies about their difficulties on IP disputes and consulted with these companies.
The seminar progressed in morning and afternoon. The morning session introduced the dispute prevention and coping methodology, focused on the cases regarding the strategies to use a patent invalidation trial for an effective action to a dispute, major precedent trends and implications, the importance of filing trademark applications and the precautions when startup, small or medium companies advance into the US.
The afternoon session introduced the practice on making an IP-related contract, the risk patent analysis and confrontation strategy of the major NPEs, the KIPO’s support policy to protect the small and medium companies’ IP, etc.