1. Examination on green technology will be performed faster
Since the revised Patent Law, effective from July 1, 2009, the number of inventions which are not patented due to procedural defects is expected to be greatly reduced.
In a briefing based on the ‘guidance to a wealthy country in intellectual property through an advanced patent system’, Mr. Jung-sik KOH, Commissioner of the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced that the revised Patent Law would support good inventions to be patented through many supplementary procedures.
In detail, the range of an amendment to an invention is broadly allowed to obtain a patent, and when an invention is decided as being unpatentable, there is an opportunity to obtain a patent through a newly introduced reexamination system, without going to the Korean Intellectual Property Tribunal (KIPT). Even if the patentability of the invention is finally rejected as the result of reexamination, only patentable subject matters of the invention can be separately claimed to be patented.
Beginning this October, a super high speed examination system and a prompt trial system to support a low carbon green growth policy will be operated for the first time in the world.
The green technology to minimize the emission of greenhouse gas and pollutant matters, which takes the R&D financial support from the nation is examined within one month from the date of filing a request for examination and receives the results of a trial within four months from the date of filing the trial. These time periods are much shorter than about three months usually required in a preferential examination and about six months or more in a general trial..
Since the super high speed examination system and the prompt trial system earlier grant a right of the R&D results of the green technology, these seem to be the basis to lead the international green markets where competition becomes keen.
2. A surcharge of 260 billion Korea Won, which is the biggest ever imposed, has been imposed on Qualcomm
The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) imposed a surcharge of 260 billion Korea Won, which is the biggest in the history of FTC, to Qualcomm, a company of the original technology for code division multiple access (CDMA).
FTC decided to impose the surcharge of 260 billion Korea Won on Qualcomm, together with the orders to remedy the acts of abusing its position to dominate the market, such as differential royalties, conditional rebates and the like.
According to the explanation from FTC, since April, 2004, Qualcomm has imposed a royalty of 5% to the Korean mobile manufacturing companies (such as Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, Pantech, among the others) when they use Qualcomm’s modem chips but a royalty of 5.75% when they use the other companies’ chips. The upper limit of the royalty was set as $20 when using Qualcomm’s products and $30 when using their competitors’ products together.
Furthermore, since July, 2000, Qualcomm offered a rebate to Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, among the others, on the condition that these Korean companies should purchase most of demand for the CDMA modem chip and RF chip.
Based on the investigation, the rebate scale is $4.2 million, on average, per quarter by 2004 and $8.2 million per quarter thereafter.
FTC is additionally examining the suspicion that Qualcomm also proposed the competitor’s business in the market of the mobile software for storing and replaying moving pictures.
“An act of applying an incentive to one that purchases a large amount of products is a general and typical marketing action and practice in any fields or any trades. Qualcomm cannot agree with this decision because the global competition of the Korean mobile phone companies may be obstructed in the future,” Mr. Young-gu CHA, President of Qualcomm Korea, said.
3. The prosecution employed an expert to stop patent crimes
The prosecution employed a patent expert to enhance the efficiency of investigating a patent-related crime. On July 17, 2009, the Criminal Division at the Prosecutor-General’s Office announced that a ‘patent expert contract system’ was introduced and thee experts who had been the secretaries of KIPO were selected to promptly proceed the patent-related cases and to strengthen the investigation power.
These experts who passed the national technical test have an experience of more than ten years in the electrical, mechanical and chemical fields. They will be assigned in the Seoul District Public Prosecutor’s Office to perform the basic examination, consultation and the like which are required for investigating the patent-related cases or judging whether to prosecute a suspect.
“The period of processing a patent-related case which would usually take about two years has been shorten to a few months, and [the employment of experts] will be further helpful in improving the industrial productivity and resolving any friction in intellectual property related trades,” a spokesman of the Prosecution said.
4. Search for Microsoft (MS) patent applications is active in the Republic of Korea
Microsoft’s advance in the internet search market is outstanding.
According to KIPO, the MS patent applications are active in the recent information search field. Naver is 1st in ranking in the Korean information search market and Google is 1st in ranking in the US and European information search market. In this situation, MS is following these.
In fact, the market share of MS was after Naver, Daum, Google and Yahoo, among the others in the Korea market. However, MS is 2nd in the number of filing patent applications (with 164) for the recent seven years, following Naver and showing a continuous increase.
Among the information search fields, in the field of applications according to the patent cooperation treat (PCT), the MS movement has something uncommon. MS filed a total of 381 cases for the last ten years, thereby being 1st over Google (192 cases) and Naver (48 cases). According to the analysis from KIPO, this is considered as the intention that MS will be the strongest one in the internet search market through securing the intellectual property rights.
MS which has actively filed the patent applications is introducing “Bing”, a new internet search engine, and aiming at a great reverse turn in the internet search market.