1. KIPO held an international conference on patent examination cooperation
According to the Korea Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), an international conference on patent examination cooperation was held at the Imperial Palace Seoul on November 12, 2018. Under the patent examination cooperation, when an application for the same invention is filed in a number of countries, the cooperative countries share patent examination information and collaboratively examine the invention.
This conference entitled ‘a new start of patent examination cooperation’ was jointly hosted by KIPO and USPTO and attended by the governmental patent office people in the USA, Japan, China, Europe, India, Brazil, etc. to introduce the patent examination cooperation program currently operating in each country and to discuss the expansion of a patent examination cooperation plan among the countries in the future.
Based on the 2016 statistics, 30% of the world patent applications were filed by foreign applicants.
Specifically, about 40% of the patent applications filed in IP5 (Korea, US, Japan, China, Europe) were filed in a plurality of countries and the relevant number has increased every year.
In the meeting of the commissioners of KIPO and China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) , held on October 30, 2018, KIPO agreed to operate the ‘patent collaborative search pilot’ on January 1, 2019.
As a way will be open for a patent application which is filed in both Korea and China to be rapidly examined, registered and protected under the patent collaborative search pilot system of KIPO and CNIPA, it is expected to be easy for a company advancing to China to secure a patent.
2. TM5 and ID5 adopted a joint statement in a 2018 TM5•ID5 annual meeting
KIPO published that the joint statement to propose new cooperation directions in the trademark and design areas facing the 4th industrial revolution era was adopted in the
2018 TM5*•ID5** annual meeting*** held at the Imperial Palace Seoul from November 1 to 6, 2018.
* TM5 (Trade Mark 5) includes the five (5) advanced intellectual property (IP) offices in the trademark field (the Republic of Korea, US, Europe, Japan and China).
** ID5 (Industrial Design 5) includes the five (5) advanced intellectual property offices in the design field (the Republic of Korea, US, Europe, Japan and China).
*** KIPO, USPTO, European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) and China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA).
Facing the 4th industrial revolution era representing with artificial intelligence (AI), big data and augmented reality (AR), the joint statement newly adopted includes the following matters of: ▲carrying forward the continuous cooperation among TM5•DM5 countries to protect the innovative products and designs which newly appear ▲ sharing the information and experience to improve administrative service, examination quality and classification ▲ diversifying the conversation window with the party interested ▲ holding a meeting to share an initiative among the membership countries preparing for the 4th industrial revolution.
TM5•DM5 countries decided to start a discussion on specific cooperative projects to lead the 4th industrial revolution era in the IP field, in addition to the adoption of the joint statement.
The discussion covered the progress and future plans of the fifteen (15) cooperative projects including the ‘plan to make a list of mutually acceptable identification of goods’ to solve the problem in that when a trademark application is filed in other countries, a trademark registration is rejected due to different identification of goods from the Korean identification, and the ‘manner of describing identification of goods’ to provide information related to the description of the identification of goods when a trademark application is filed in other countries. The ‘plan to improve awareness of trademark infringement’ was adopted as a new project to be newly carried forward from the next year.
3. A 2018 conference on IP using strategies was held
KIPO and Korea Invention Promotion Association (KIPA) held a 2018 conference on intellectual property (IP) using strategies to spread IP businesses on November 21, 2018 in the Seoul COEX.
This conference with the subject, ‘IP trade to change the future’, was attended by about 200 people related to the technology commercialization of small and medium companies, venture companies, IP trade companies, universities and public research institutes, etc., to share the innovation cases of the companies using IP and to discuss IP trade and commercialization strategies required for the 4th industrial revolution era.
In the conference, the presentation presented two subjects, ‘innovation and growth through IP trade’ and ‘excellent IP trade and commercialization cases’.
Further, venture capitalists and patent trade specialists supported consultations specializing in IP trade and national patent utilization, to support the solution of the participating companies’ difficulties. The technological innovative accomplishment exhibition of small and medium companies introduced innovative products converging patent technologies in the different fields and products using excellent national patents through the support of IP using strategies.
4. The number of patent applications relating to a smart factory rapidly increased
According to KIPO, since the concept of a smart factory was introduced in the country, the number of the relevant applications has rapidly increased since 2016.
Based on the present situation of the relevant applications since 2011, only less than 10 applications were filed per year during 2011~2014. However, the number of the relevant applications rapidly increased to 89 in 2016, followed by 57 in 2017 and 52 (as of September) in 2018. A growth trend somewhat stopped compared with 2016 but the relevant applications have been steadily filed.
Based on the relevant applications classified by applicants, 99 applications (45%) were filed by small and medium companies, 36 (16%) by universities and 33 (15%) by research institutes, showing that the percentage of the applications filed by small and medium companies was relatively high. Specially, start-up companies which were established within the last five (5) years, among the small and medium companies, vigorously filed the relevant applications (39). This is because a smart factory is considered an attractive item to a start-up company which tries to preoccupy an innovative technology by drawing the optimized process applied to the smart factory.
Classified by technical fields, 50 applications (23%, the highest percentage) were related to a control system, followed by 47 (21%) related to big data and 39 (18%) related to Internet of Things (IoT). This is regarded as a natural outcome since sensors are to be attached to a manufacturing apparatus to collect process data and a real-time high capacity data analysis is required, to realize a smart factory.