1. Dynamic economic growth is driven with a jump to the world top 3 in the number of patent applications.
-New government’s intellectual property (IP) policy direction
On August 18, 2022, KIPO published an ‘IP policy direction for dynamic economic realization’ which is the Korean government’s new comprehensive plan in the IP area.
To recover the Korean economic growth potential and dynamism and to support the government’s new industrial and economic policies, KIPO derived 3 strategies and 8 core tasks under the policy goal to realize a dynamic economic growth with IP.
Strategy 1. Well-established examination and trial
First, a solid foundation to focus on examination and trial which are KIPO’s duty is to create strong intellectual properties which are not invalidated.
Retired research manpower in the semiconductor area (2023) is input for a patent examination and this is expanded to the high-tech strategy area (2024~), such as battery, 5th generation communication (5G) and 6th generation communication (6G), hydrogen, high-tech robot, bio, space and aviation technologies, to improve the examination expertise and speed and to prevent the relevant technology from being leaked abroad.
Preferential examination is expanded to high technology including semiconductors, etc., thereby remarkably shortening an examination period to support a Korean company in preoccupying a patent in the high technology area. A semiconductor examination processing period is shortened by 10.2 months, from previously 12.7 months to 2.5 months if preferential examination is conducted for semiconductors.
An intelligent examination system combined with a high performance giant AI is to be built by 2027, to greatly improve the accuracy of similar patent and trademark searches compared to the previous AI and to automate a formality examination to support the examination work. The formality examination is to examine whether an applicant is proper or whether a document description method and an attached document meet the formality requirements prescribed by the relevant laws.
Strategy 2. IP service innovation that the industrial community and the scientific community feel
Second, an environment is created such that a Korean company is able to stably grow based on IP throughout IP creation, use and protection.
(Creation) IP bigdata are analyzed to discover a promising technology, support is expanded to establish a national R&D direction, and standard patent strategy support is expanded for industry, university and research institute to develop a core technology.
A consulting support program of an employee invention system is expanded to a small/medium company, and introducing a patent box system is carried forward to support a Korean company to grow a worldwide small giant company by commercializing IP. The patent box system is to reduce tax as to income generated when a company commercializes an IP right.
(Use) Credibility of IP valuation is improved to activate IP finance and transaction, to support growth of a small/medium company or venture company owning an excellent IP.
An IP evaluation management center is established and operated in 2023, and an evaluation agency grading system is applied to strengthen an IP valuation competency of an evaluation agency of an invention.
An AI-based IP valuation system is built until 2025 by collecting transaction, valuation, financial information from an invention’s transaction and valuation agency and financial institution and using the information.
A cost support project of the IP financial scale and IP valuation is expanded for small and medium companies and venture companies.
(Protection) The IP protection system is improved so that the IP is able to do its part as a growth safety plate of a company.
A joint litigation representation system is introduced so that a patent attorney and a lawyer are appointed as co-agents to effectively respond to a patent infringement trial. An IP protection system is built to meet the digital transformation era, by revising the system so as to protect designs and trademarks in metaverse.
Punishment to a trade secret overseas leak is strengthened to prevent a national core technology from being leaked abroad. Introducing a secret patent system is carried forward to prevent a national core technology from being leaked abroad after the patent application thereof has been filed. The secret patent system is to restrict the filing of a particular patent application in a foreign country by not publishing an invention of a patent application as a secret for the reason of a national security, etc.
Strategy 3. Strengthening support for IP-based overseas expansion of a Korean company
Third, positive support is provided for a Korean company’s successful overseas expansion based on intellectual property.
The dispatch of an IP expert officer to an embassy abroad is expanded based on areas of great IP importance, and an IP-DESK is operated and reorganized by area, to systematically support a Korean company having its IP being infringed locally.
Monitoring an overseas counterfeit of a K-brand product is greatly strengthened . In addition, a dispute risk by technical sector by a foreign company is in advance provided to a Korean company and a data search to invalidate a patent of a non-practicing entity (NPE) is supported.
Further, export of a Korean IP system is expanded to Gulf Cooperation Council and South America, etc. (from UAE and Saudi Arabi in 2022 to GCC and South America, etc. in 2027), so that a Korean company’s IP be protected with a similar system to the Korean IP system.
The entry of a Korean expert to WIPO is expanded to form IP international norms favorable to a Korean company, and global cooperation with a developing country is strengthened.
2. KIPO spreads IP development know-how to ASEAN countries.
- KIPO and KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) promote education to strengthen an IP ability of ASEAN countries (August 29~September 8).
According to KIPO, an education course has been conducted from August 29 to September 8, to strengthen the IP ability for ASEAN countries with high trade volume with the Republic of Korea. The association of southeast Asian nations (ASEAN) was established in 1967 and include 10 countries, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
As one of the ‘KOICA global training program’ which was performed for 3 years from 2020, this course is the last 3rd.
The education course has been online and available to 20 IP officers in charge of the IP of 7 countries (Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Laos), among ASEAN countries. The education course consists of subjects helpful in strengthening the IP ability of the ASEAN countries, ▲ IP valuation, ▲ comparative study of Korea-ASEAN IP-based (infrastructure) current status, and ▲ plan for ASEAN IP harmonization, etc.
Especially, in addition to the IP creation, use and protection area, the course has been organized with the subjects on 1) sharing IP development experience, 2) controlling counterfeit products, and 3) IP finance and valuations, to be able to learn know-know in the IP area accumulated by the Republic of Korea.
KIPO expects that this education course will be positively applied to the field work of the participants so that the K-brand protection basis will be strengthened in the ASEAN member countries. KIPO also expects that this course will be helpful in expanding the entry of a Korean expert to ASEAN countries and better activating the trade and exchange promotion between the Republic of Korea and each of the ASEAN countries.
Further, KIPO plans to make efforts to build an education connection network such that this education’s effects will be continuous and maintained long term by jointly and cooperatively developing an IP education textbook by country.
3. Looking for an excellent Korean trademark!
-A 7th contest to select an excellent Korean trademark was held.
According to KIPO, the 7th contest to select an excellent Korean trademark was held. This event has continued since 2016 to encourage the filing of an application for a trademark in Korean and the use of such a trademark. This event was to be hosted by KIPO and sponsored by the Korean Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism and the National Institute of the Korean Language.
Applications were received through the KIPO homepage (www.kipo.go.kr) from August 11 (Thursday) to 30 (Tuesday). Anyone might apply his/her own registered trademark or recommend another’s registered trademark.
The trademarks to be applied or recommended must be composed in the Korean language and be validly registered as of August 2022. Those to be excepted from the award subject will be a trademark imitating the other’s trademark, a trademark owned by one that is suspected of an act of maliciously pre-occupying a trademark, a trademark pending in a dispute such as a trial or litigation, etc., a trademark which is not used at present, and a trademark which has been already awarded in a similar contest.
The Korean language expert(s) recommended by the National Institute of the Korean Language will decide the rank(s) of the applied trademarks passed through an examination of a reason for disqualification, based on the evaluation standards, such as the rules and the regularity, uniqueness, etc. of the Korean language. Among these trademarks, a beautiful trademark (award by the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism: 1 case), a pretty trademark (award by the Commissioner of KIPO: 1 case), a friendly trademark (award by the Director General of the National Institute of the Korean Language: 5 cases) were given to the trademarks selected by totaling the online vote ranks of IP clients and examiners.
The director of Trademark and Design Examination Bureau of KIPO said, “a trademark in the Korean language which it is easy to name and remember and which well reflects the features of a product has a high possibility to be a good trademark”. He also said he expected the people’s interest in a trademark in the Korean language to be increased through this contest.