1. An opening of the ‘IP cooperation for the 4th industrial revolution era’ was declared
- A joint declaration was adopted in a meeting of the commissioners of the IP5 largest intellectual property offices (“IP5”) in the world was held in Incheon, the Republic of Korea.
□ Adoption of Joint declaration related to the improvement of global IP systems
The IP5 intellectual property offices adopted the joint declaration to improve the global IP systems in response to changes which will be brought by the new technologies of the 4th industrial revolution, such as artificial intelligence (AI), etc.
□ Positive action in the AI era
The commissioners of the IP5 intellectual property offices agreed to start a task force (TF) to deal with the innovative technologies including AI, etc., together with the joint declaration.
□ Major achievements of this meeting
-Relief of burden in filing a patent application in USA-
Specifically, since a solution plan of the task of ‘simplification in submitting prior art’, which had been demanded to be improved in the industrial circles for a long time, has been approved in this meeting, an applicant’s burden in securing a US patent is expected to be greatly reduced.
-Reflection of international standards of patent classification for 4th industrial revolution technologies-
Further, this meeting confirmed the results that the revised bill of classification in the 4th industrial revolution-related technological fields, which IP5 had prepared by reflecting the technical innovation trends, was for the first time reflected in the international patent classification (IPC) system. The reflection of the IPC in the new classification system regarding the innovative patents, such as AI, etc., is expected to enhance the efficiency of examination and to improve a user’s accessibility to patent information.
2. Expansion of a preferential examination in the 4th industrial revolution-related technology field has been operated
Since the government has recently selected the three (3) fields of system semiconductors, future automobiles and bio health as priority businesses, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) has expanded the objects for a preferential examination in the 4th industrial revolution-related technology fields from June 10, 2019.
The objects for a preferential examination have steadily been expanded since 1981 when the preferential examination system was first operated. Since the period taken to obtain a patent registration through a preferential examination is about average 5.5 months, this makes it possible to secure a patent right faster, by ten (10) months in comparison with regular examination.
From April 2018, KIPO has prepared the new patent classification system regarding the seven (7) fields drawing attention as the 4th industrial revolution-related fields including AI, internet of things (IoT), etc. When the relevant class is given, KIPO has allowed for preferential examination thereof.
Through this reform, the new patent classification system related to the 4th industrial revolution, which was previously limited to the seven (7) technical fields, has been expanded to sixteen (16) technical fields. The added nine (9) fields have been expanded as the objects to be requested for preferential examination.
The sixteen (16) technical fields related to the 4th industrial revolution include: the previous fields (① artificial intelligence, ② Internet of Things, ③ 3D printing, ④ self-driving cars, ⑤ big data, ⑥ cloud computing and ⑦ intelligent robots) and the newly added fields (⑧ smart city, ⑨ virtual reality and augmented reality, ⑩ first in class drugs, ⑪ new renewable energy, ⑫ tailored health care, ⑬ drones, ⑭ next-generation communications, ⑮ intelligent semiconductors and advanced materials).
3. KIPO carries forward a startup IP outreach program
An actual IP education course based on real cases is open for the startups that move into a business incubation center.
KIPO announced to carry forward an IP outreach program on a trial basis for the startups moving into the business incubation center, so that the startups have the IP capability to survive in global competition and to continue to grow.
The startup IP outreach program is to educate the startups, focused on the examples of companies which experienced the IP-based overseas expansion and the actual cases of patent technology and dispute trends by industrial fields (IT, bio, 3D printing, etc.), to improve the startups’ awareness about the importance of IP.
Although IP is the core element for the startups’ survival and growth, it is regarded as a lower priority since the reality of Korean startups is pushed by financing, investment, marketing and licensing, etc. Therefore, the actual education is carried forward to raise the awareness of the importance of IP and to expedite the use of IP.
4. Filing patent applications related to the wireless charging technology for electric cars is active
According to KIPO, the total number of the patent applications related to the wireless charging technology for electric cars was 1,036 for ten (10) years since 2009. That number increased from about 20 to about 100 before 2009.
By the applicants, Korean applicants filed 85.9% of the total number of the relevant applications. The big companies including Samsung Electronics and LG Innotek filed 58.4% of these applications, to lead the filing of the relevant applications. However, the percentage of the Korean small and medium companies including Green Power, AMOSENSE, OLEV, KOMATECH, etc. has gradually increased as 13.6%.
By detailed techniques, the number of applications related to a magnetic resonant type is 40%. Recently, the number of applications for wireless charging equipment an infrastructure has steadily increased to have 42% of the total of the relevant applications.
A Korean small/medium company filed a patent application for a system to supply electric power to an electric car running through wireless charging equipment installed on a road and to perform payment. Another patent application relates to a system to automatically select an optimal control mode to increase the charging efficiency based on the amount of power (energy) as needed.