1. KIPO held a ‘2018 intellectual property (IP) forum on next-generation semiconductors’
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the Korea Semiconductor Industry Association (KSIA) jointly held the 2018 IP forum on the next generation semiconductors on October 30, 2018.
This forum was prepared to seek a plan where the Korean semiconductor industry can realize innovation and growth through the creation of patents and to strengthen capability to cope with patent disputes in the semiconductor area in China by reviewing the Chinese industrial trends, patent dispute cases and features in the AI semiconductor area which is the brain of the 4th industrial revolution.
The IP forum on the next-generation semiconductors has been held every year since 2007, to promote communication among the staff in charge of patents of Korean semiconductor companies, researchers, professors and the staff of the patent attorney service industry and IP empowerment.
Since semiconductors are core devices which are essentially used to realize the super-connected network (IoT, 5G), AI, big data, etc. which are the core technologies of the 4th industrial revolution, developing the semiconductor technology and securing IP rights are more important than anything else to successively realize the innovation and growth through the 4th industrial revolution.
2. The number of US patent trials brought by Korean companies has increased
KIPO and Korea Intellectual Property Protection Agency published an ‘IP trend report during the second quarter of 2018’ and announced that the number of the cases where Korean companies brought patent trials in the USA increased.
The total number of the patent trials related to Korean companies in the USA during the first half of 2018 was 123, increasing by 33 compared with 90 for the same period of 2017.
The number of the cases where Korean companies were accused was 93, showing that an accrual rate was still high. However, the number of the cases where Korean companies brought trials against foreign companies was 30, showing an increase by more than two times compared with 12 for the same period of the previous year.
Specifically, the number of complaints filed by Korean small and medium companies significantly increased from 11 in the first half of 2017 to 25 in the first half of 2018.
Of the total of 123 patent trials of Korean companies, 88 are related to big companies and 35 are related to small and medium companies. By technical fields, the most cases (62%) were concentrated in the information and communication field and in the electric and electronic field. The number of trials in the chemical and bio fields, which had been about 2 every year, increased to 9 in the first half of 2018.
3. KIPO and WIPO jointly train international IP experts
KIPO and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) jointly held an ‘Advanced International Certificate Course (AICC)’ in the Korea Intellectual Property Service Center in Seoul on October 23 through 26, 2018.
KIPO and WIPO lead the way in spreading IP education throughout the world by jointly developing an ‘IP Panorama’, the online global IP education content, and supplying its twenty-four (24) language translations including Korean, English, French, Spanish, etc. Further, KIPO, WIPO, KAIST and Korea Invention Promotion Association operate a ‘Korea-WIPO joint AICC’ which is a global training course using the IP Panorama.
The AICC which has operated since 2010 has improved Korean and foreign companies’ abilities to use IP, through training IP experts. This year, 1,171 people from 111 countries took the online course. Profound offline training was arranged in Seoul for 46 people including 30 people with superior grades and 16 participants at their own expenses.
4. The number of patent applications related to AI converging medical technologies has rapidly increased
According to KIPO, a total of 585 patent applications related to artificial intelligence (AI) converging medical technologies (‘AI doctor’) were filed from 1994 to 2017, and the number of the relevant applications rapidly increased for the last five (5) years, from 48 in 2013, 73 in 2014, 58 in 2015, 127 in 2016 to 92 in 2017.
About 90% of the AI doctor-related applications were concentrated in disease diagnosis (474 applications) and health management (47), followed by treatment (22), surgery (13) and security (15), showing the trend that the AI using fields have been diversified.
By applicants (based on the accumulated applications), Samsung Electronics filed the most applications (91), followed by the Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) (20), the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) (16), showing that most of the relevant applications (439 applications, 75%) were filed by Korean applicants.
The foreign applicants included Siemens (12), Google (4), Microsoft (4) and HeartFlow (4).
The recent rapid increase of the AI doctor-related patent applications is considered as the result of the government’s positive investment in AI and precise medical fields which has been engaged with the development and supply of the AI-based platform.
In the Korean and foreign current situations of the AI converging medical technologies, “Watson”, which is an AI doctor by US IBM, is introduced in not only foreign cancer centers but also Korean cancer centers, to support the treatment of cancers, such as lung cancer, prostate cancer, etc. “Xiaoyi”, which is an AI doctor of China, provides a comprehensive health examination service after passing the doctor qualification exam last year.