1. A ‘1ST inaugural meeting of the heads of patent trial and appeal boards of Korea-China-Japan-Europe’ was held
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) held the ‘1st inaugural meeting of the heads of patent trial and appeal boards of Korea-China-Japan-Europe’.
This meeting will be an opportunity to sharing the trial and appeal policy of the trial and appeal boards of the four (4) advanced nations for ‘patent reliability enhancement’ and to shed light on innovation tasks and a future look of the Korea Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board.
The major nations participating this meeting have made efforts to enhance patent reliability, such as the strengthening of trial hearing fidelity and the shortening of the trial process period (increase of trial manpower), etc.
Japan has made efforts to strengthen the trial hearing fidelity by the expansion of an opportunity for the parties directly concerned to state their opinion in the hearing and the faithfulness in deciding a trial for invalidation, etc. China has made efforts to improve the trial quality by reinforcing the monitoring and management in each of the procedures for a patent re-examination and a trial for invalidation and by giving attention to the feedback of external clients.
Europe established a five-year plan to reduce the quantity of waiting trial cases with a goal to reduce the number of waiting trial cases to 7000 or lower by 2023 and has been carrying forward an increase by twenty-three (23) technical trial manpower by 2019 and by sixteen (16) by 2020. Europe also has made efforts to raise the efficiency by improving the trial hearing procedures and strengthening the case management.
2. A ‘next generation semiconductor intellectual property forum in 2019’ was held
KIPO and Korea Semiconductor Industry Association (KSIA) jointly held the ‘next generation semiconductor intellectual property (IP) forum in 2019’ in Sungnam, Gyungki-do where KSIA is located.
In this event, KIPO published the survey results of patent trends in the fields of artificial intelligence (AI), cars, bio-health, internet of things (IoT), advanced robot machines and energy, which are considered promising fields among the system semiconductors.
The person of KIPO, who was in charge of this event, said that the strategies for high quality patent creation should be performed together with the development of core technologies, to grow as the powerful nation in integrated semiconductors by promoting system semiconductors.
3. KIPO and CNIPA together provide the IP education tailored for companies to advance in China
According to KIPO, an education course specialized in Chinese IP is operated for Korean companies which have advanced in China in the Shanghai Innovation Evaluating and Consulting Center for science and technology of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Among foreign countries where Korean companies filed trademark and patent applications, the highest number of trade mark applications and the second highest number of patent applications were filed in China, which is the very important market in the IP field. The number of Chinese trademark and patent applications filed by Korean companies, etc increased from about 18,900 in 2013 to about 29,300 in 2017, showing an increase of about 55%.
This education course was prepared by the International Intellectual Property Training Institute, a sub-organization of KIPO, and the China Intellectual Property Training Center, which is a training institute belonging to the China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), in order for Korean companies to effectively protect IPs in China and to positively deal with the IP-related disputes if these occur.
In this education course, the current government workers who are directly in charge of practical affairs, such as a Chinese judge, judiciary, a market supervisory manger, gave lectures regarding the seven (7) subjects: ▲ patent trial and invalidation decision ▲ introduction of revised matters in the act against unfair competition ▲ explanation on IP-related litigation cases ▲ trademark trial services and examination standard regulations ▲ Chinese patent search and valuation ▲ administrative execution to patent infringement and ▲ evidence proving rules for IP-related litigation.
4. Trends of patent applications related to 3D memory semiconductor technology
According to KIPO, the number of the 3D memory-related applications was only under about 150 per year by 2013 but rapidly increased in 2014 continuing to about 300 applications per year.
The 3D memory technology is a semiconductor technology to maximize the storage capacity per unit area by stacking semiconductor devices in multiple layers. Representative products using the 3D memory technology are 3D NAND flash in the non-volatile memory field and broad bandwidth memory in the volatile memory field.
3D NAND flash is a memory semiconductor which stacks vertically two-dimensionally arranged semiconductor devices, to overcome the limit of the fine processing technology, which was in the limelight in the previous 2D semiconductor fabrication. At present, the 96-layer 3D NAND flash is produced.
Classified by applicants, 78.6% of the relevant applications filed over the last five (5) years were filed by Korean applicants and 21.4% by foreign applicants. This is considered as the result of Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix continuing the relevant technology developments to maintain the impregnable/unsurpassed technological differential from later starters in the memory semiconductor field.