1. The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO; Commissioner: Jung-sik KOH) exports patent examination services to Australia
Since March 1, 2009 when KIPO was designated as an Australian international patent examination agency, it has provided patent examination services to applicants of Australian international patent applications.
According to a spokesman of KIPO, starting in 1999, KIPO has provided international patent examination services to Singapore and New Zealand, among others, and has provided international patent examination services to the US which has filed the most applications since 2006. Australia is the tenth country for which KIPO provides international patent examination services. The spokesman said, “This export of (the international patent examination services) is a proof that the quality of examination by KIPO is approved worldwide.”
The international patent examination services provided by KIPO are greatly welcomed d by foreign global companies. The number of cases where the KIPO’s international patent examination services are requested by foreign countries for the last year, 2008, is about 12,000, which is an increase of four times or more over the cases for 2007. The number of requests for the international patent examination by global companies including Microsoft, 3M and Hewlett-Packard among others has rapidly increased. “This is the circumstantial evidence showing that the foreign companies are sufficiently satisfied with the KIPO’s examination quality and process period,” the spokesman said.
2. The Korea Photonics Technology Institute (KPTI) has developed a process method to reduce the unit cost for a light emitting diode (LED) by 30%
A fabrication method has been developed, which significantly shortens the process of producing an LED chip.
KPTI announced that, for the first time in the world, it was developed a method for processing “wafer level packaging” to perform packaging on an LED chip without separating (the chip) from a substrate.
In the conventional art, after an LED chip is cut one by one from a substrate, it is connected by packaging, such as wire bonding (to conduct electricity through a material, such as gold, manufactured like a thin thread/wire). However, in the method developed by KPTI, packaging is completed by using photosensitive resin (a material reacting upon light) as a protection layer and then connecting a metal pile which is a core of this technology.
As metal piles are used, the property of emitting heat increases to produce a high-power LED chip.
Specifically, since wire bonding is not used, the thickness of the resulting LED chip is considerably reduced. The method developed by KPTI is expected to be widely used for camera flash and BLU (back light unit: light source to illuminate a liquid crystal display (LCD) from the back of a LCD panel), among others.
According to the method developed by KPTI, since a middle unit process for packaging is not used, the process unit cost is reduced up to 30%. Therefore, KPTI expects that the product competition will be stronger in the LED market. The time for producing an LED chip is shortened from 3-4 days to 2 or less days.
KPTI developed the present method after about four years, starting in December 2004. The Korean patent for this method has been registered and the international patent application for the same has been filed. KPTI plans to transfer the technology after selecting an appropriate company sooner or later. “Since our method enables a number of packaging without separating a LED chip from a substrate, it maximizes the productivity,” said Jong-hyub BAK, a leader of the LED device team under KPTI.
3. Korea, China and Japan have started ‘patent cooperation’
Korea, China and Japan which hold 46% of the patent applications in the world have started the patent cooperation, including joint-development of a patent document automatic translation system, among others.
KIPO held the 8th in a series of discussions among the Commissioners of KIPO, the Sate Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPOPRC) and the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) in the Korean Intellectual Property Center on March 12, 2009. Tian Lipu, the Commissioner of SIPOPRC, Takashi Suzuki, the Commissioner of JPO, and other executives attended the discussions. KIPO agreed to promote the three cooperative projects to refine the direction of intellectual property policies, to raise the efficiency of patent examination and to reduce costs on the side of an applicant.
Through this agreement, the three countries, Korea, China and Japan, decided to promote a project of jointly developing a patent document automatic translation system of the three countries, based on cultural and linguistic similarities, so-called the Chinese character cultural area. According to a spokesman of KIPO, when this system is developed, it makes it possible to real-time translate the languages of the three countries. Consequently, costs for filing patent applications will be considerably reduced and the speed of patent examination will be much faster.
Furthermore, the three countries will jointly promote a project of training experts specializing in intellectual property. They agreed to form a ‘patent expert meeting’ to discuss the patent systems, examination practices and the like among the three countries.
Detailed plans to operate the three cooperative projects will be prepared through working-level discussions in the future.
KIPO expects that, based on this agreement, the operation of the ‘patent cooperative roadmap of Korea, China and Japan’ will be further accelerated to mutually use the patent examination results among the three countries and ultimately to mutually accept the patent examination results.
4. The meeting of Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) international authorities was held in Seoul on March 16, 2009
Fifteen (15) major international patent examination authorities of the world gathered in Seoul, Korea, for the 16th meeting of PCT international authorities held in Seoul for three days starting March 16, 2009.
The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the 15 major international patent examination authorities, including Korea, the US, Europe, Japan, China, and Russia, among others, attended this meeting.
These international authorities perform international searches of international patent applications filed in the world.
The meeting of the PCT international authorities is usually held in the WIPO in Geneva, Switzerland. Korea is the first country to host the meeting, except for the US and European countries.
The issue to be discussed in the meeting relates to a plan to reform the PCT system by strengthening the quality of the PCT international search to meet the requests from the worldwide applicants and improving the procedures of the PCT international search to prevent the overlap of examination services between the countries, among others.
KIPO started the PCT international search service in 1999 and is 4th in ranking in the provision of the international search services, following Europe, the US and Japan. KIPO will have the 10th anniversary of operating the international search service in November of this year.