1. KIPO carries forward growth as a central agency for an ‘international patent search service’
- KIPO has prepared a ‘plan to strengthen the PCT international competitiveness’ for the expansion of the PCT international search request.
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) has published the ‘plan to strengthen the PCT international competitiveness’, which was prepared to expand the quantity of the PCT international searches, as one of plans to positively enter the international intellectual property (IP) market. This plan was prepared as the quantity of the PCT international searches, which were requested to the Republic of Korea from the other countries continuously, decreased since the competition among the international searching authorities was recently intensified.
As the number of the PCT international searching authorities (countries) increased from 9 in 1997 to 23 in 2017, the number of PCT international search requests filed with KIPO by foreign applicants including the US, etc. decreased from 17,718 in 2014, 12,888 in 2016 and 10,361 in 2017.
To improve the price competitiveness and to provide an incentive upon entering the national phase, the ‘plan to strengthen the PCT international competitiveness’ prepared by KIPO includes:
① when a case with an international search which is conducted by KIPO enters the Korean national phase, the fees of requesting examination are extensively reduced from 30% at present to 70%,
② a request for preferential examination is available to provide a rapid examination service, and
③ the international searching fees are greatly reduced for the PCT international search requests from the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) including Vietnam, Indonesia, etc.
2. Benchmarking of the Korean patent administration in Africa
KIPO and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) jointly performed a special research course for the major executives and staff members of the Organisation Africaine de la Propriété Intellectulle (OAPI) from May 1 to 4, 2018.
OAPI is the Francophone African Intellectual Property Organization consisting of seventeen (17) member states including Gabon, Mali, Cameroon, Côte d'lvoire (the Ivory Coast), etc.
Although OAPI is currently in charge of IP applications and registrations of the 17 member states, the filing of a patent application is possible by mail or in person since no electronic filing system is available.
To solve the aforementioned problem, OAPI built an online-based electronic filing system in 1999 for the first time in the world and recently requested the cooperation of KIPO which had earlier exported the patent administrative information system to United Arab Emirates (UAE), so that KIPO performed this research course.
3. The number of patent applications related to the V2X (vehicle to everything) communication has rapidly increased by 2.3 times for the last four (4) years
The V2X communication is a technology to enhance the safety of a self-driving vehicle by exchanging the information of the surrounding traffic conditions, vehicles and pedestrians as a driving vehicle communicates with the traffic infrastructures, such as roads, and other vehicles by a wireless network. Therefore, the number of the patent applications for the relevant technology has also increased.
According to KIPO, the number of the patent applications for the V2X communication increased from 35 in 2008, 68 in 2013 and to 154 in 2017, showing an increase of about 3.4 times for the last four years.
This trend is considered as the growth of the self-driving vehicle market, the development of the vehicle to vehicle communication technology and the research and development of various services combining the technology.
775 patent applications for the V2X communication which were filed over the last ten years (2008~2017) are classified by fields: ▲ 344 applications in the vehicle to infrastructure (V2I) communication (44%) ▲ 270 applications in the vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communication (35%) ▲ 101 applications in the V2I+V2V combined field (13%) ▲ 27 applications in the vehicle to pedestrian (V2P) communication field (4%).
4. The number of design applications for fine dust related products including air cleaners, etc. has increased
While yellow dust and high density fine dust cover the sky of the Korean Peninsula, regardless of the weather or season, the fine dust prevention-related design applications have been actively filed.
According to KIPO, the design competition in air cleaners, clothing dryers and clothing care systems, which are the popular ‘three home appliances’ related to fine dust, is keen.
The number of the air cleaner-related design applications as filed for the last five years (2013~2017) totaled 546, recording a 70% growth compared to 322 filed for the same period (2008~2012).
The major applicant is Coway filing a total of 141 applications for the last ten years, recording the most applications, followed by LG Electronics filing 77 applications and Samsung Electronics filing 60 applications.
The increase in the number of the design applications related to clothing dryers which are counted to be the new fine dust home appliances is the highest. The number of the clothing dryer-related applications as filed for the last five years (2013~2017) totaled 75, showing a more than 120% increase compared to 34 filed for the same period (2008~2012).
This increase is considered to reflect the reality that the demand of clothing dryers has increased since it is difficult to dry clothes outside due to the entrained fine dust in the air.