1. KIPO enhances the ease of use by a consumer-oriented electronic application filing service.
-The formal service of a software (KIPO-Editor) has started from September 28, 2022.
According to KIPO, a new electronic application filing software (KIPO-Editor), which is used to make 77 kinds of documents including a patent application, etc. to be submitted to KIPO, has been provided from September 28 (Wednesday).
As to the previous electronic application filing software, since complaints had been constantly raised that it had a limitation in the number of characters to be input and its editing function was inconvenient, KIPO has developed new software by greatly improving the functions of the previous software program.
The electronic application filing software (KIPO-Editor) to be newly distributed has been improved to enable to enter all of 11,172 characters included in the standard character code system (Unicode), so that the technical content can be more precisely expressed in a patent application, etc.
In addition, when a document made by a user does not meet the requirements, the new software provides the location and defect content so as to be easily corrected and its additional document tracking function easily checks the change in the document.
The new electronic application filing software is available for free downloading in www.patent.go.kr.
To more stably provide the electronic application filing service, KIPO has also built a service to file an application by email when an error occurs in the electronic application filing system.
Previously, when a system error occurs, an application must be filed by visiting KIPO. However, now as a part of a proactive public administration, the electronic application filing service by email has been prepared to solve an applicant’s inconvenience.
2. The second leap is supported with intellectual properties (IP), such as semiconductors, batteries, etc.
-KIPO and SK held a field communication meeting in the IP area.
According to KIPO, a field communication meeting with the SK Group’s executives in charge of IP was held in SK Hynix on September 27, 2022.
The Korean Government designated the technology, which needs to secure an international initiative, as the national essential strategic technology (December 2021), and as for the national essential strategic technology, KIPO supports technology selection through the patent bigdata analysis work by technical field.
The national essential strategic technology includes AI, 5G-6G communications, high-tech bioengineering (bio), semiconductors and displays, secondary batteries, hydrogen, high-tech robots and manufacturing, quantum, aerospace and aviation, cyber security.
To raise the results of a R&D project and to support the securing of original and core patents to preoccupy the national strategic technology, KIPO checked the IP-related difficulties of SK company and listened to various opinions on-site.
SK introduced the IP management strategies in the main industries of semiconductors, batteries, bioengineering (bio), internet of things (IoT), etc. and emphasized the necessity of the governmental support on the rapid examinations of patent and trademark applications and the prevention of technology leakage abroad, etc.
In this regard, to prevent a core technology from being leaked abroad and to rapidly proceed with a patent examination, KIPO introduced a plan to hire retired personnel in the semiconductor area as examiners for a term system.
KIPO also explained the roles and operation current status of the technical special judicial police which was introduced to protect the technology, such as a company’s industrial technology, trade secret, etc.
According to KIPO, it has a plan to expand a tax benefit which will be given when a company transacts or commercializes an IP right and it also reviews the introduction of a patent box regime.
3. KIPO has published an easy guidebook for design protection.
-The guidebook includes IP rights need-to-know, such as essential points that a designer needs to know, etc.
On September 25, 2022, KIPO announced to publish a ‘2022 design protection guidebook’ by weaving the key points through IPs that a practical design needs to know during the processes of creating a design and commercializing it.
The design protection guidebook includes all of the key matters, such as ▲10 key points a designer needs to know, ▲ response plans when a dispute occurs, ▲ diverse strategies for filing a design application, ▲ online-filing of a design application yourself, etc.
This guidebook which is a 5th edition after its first publication (2015) has been supplemented by reflecting the changes in internal and external systems, such as a reinformed protection relating to computer generated graphic designs, icon and etc., an improvement of the secrete design system, and a China’s accession to the Hague Agreement, etc.
The perfection of this guidebook was improved by the participation of not only the examiners having the design-related work experience but the internal and external experts with high understanding in all of design development environments and IP areas, such as patent attorneys and lawyers who specialize in design.
KIPO will distribute these guidebooks to 5 nationwide Korea Institute of Design Promotion, design-related organizations for their wide use. The guidebook is also available for downloading in the electronic document (PDF) format at www.patent.go.kr and www.designmap.or.kr.
4. An ‘artificial intelligence accelerator’ which is accelerating toward the era of hyper-intelligence.
-The number of patent applications relating to AI accelerators filed over the last 10 years increased by15%, annual average.
- The future of AI accelerators is bright by the domestic active R&D even in the US-China competition.
In 2020, Apple published M1 which is its own computer chip. In 2021, Tesla published D1, a chip for a super computer for self-driving learning and Google published a chip called
Tensor. Like these, the dedicated chips of the information technology big companies (big-tech) have been continuously published. The major reason for the dedicated chip development trend is to faster perform the AI functions of their own software. That is, an AI accelerator has become a core competitiveness of companies.
According to KIPO, the number of AI accelerator-related patent applications filed with IP5 (South Korea, US, Japan, China and Europe) over the last 10 years (2011~2020) increased by an annual average of 15%.
Notably, the craze for dedicated chip development began starting with AlphaGo versus Lee Sedol (Google Deepmind Challenge Match), and the technical development was accelerated with a rapid increase of 26.7%, an annual average, for the last 5 years (2016~2020).
An AI accelerator means a technology applied to specialized hardware to realize and perform artificial intelligence. In the beginning of 2010 when AI appeared in earnest, the general-purpose computer components, such as a central processing unit (CPU), a graphic processor unit (GPU), memory, etc., were used to implement it. However, since an AI accelerator, which is independent hardware for artificial intelligence only, has been developed one after another, it plays, at present, a pivotal role of the AI industry as hardware area, together with software area such as machine learning, deep learning, etc.
By the nationality of an applicant, US is highest with 45% (2,255 applications), followed by China with 23.1% (1,156), South Korea with 13.5% (677), Japan with 10.1% (504) and Europe with 5.3% (267).
The number of the relevant applications filed with the major countries over the last 5 years (2016~2020) increased by an average of 3.4 times (from 1,129 to 3,879), compared to the same period of the previous 5 years (2011~2015); whereas the number of the applications filed in South Korea increased by 7.5 times (from 80 to 597). The number of the applicants in the major countries increased by an average of 2.8 times (from 243 to 685); whereas the number thereof in South Korea increased by 3.8 times (from 23 to 88).
This shows that Korean research and development of an AI accelerator have been active, expecting the future share in the number of the relevant applications to be higher.
In terms of ranking in the number of the relevant applications, Intel took 1st place with 438 applications (8.7%), Samsung Electronics 2nd with 272 (5.4%), Cambricon 3rd with 262 (5.2%), IBM 4th with 158 (3.2%), and Google 5th with 151 (3.2%).
In the terms of ranking in the number of the relevant applications filed by Korean companies, 1. Samsung Electronics, 2. Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (58 applications), 3. SK (45), 4. StradVision (30) and 5. Seoul National University (27), followed by Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and POSTECH, etc., showing that the activities of the companies, universities and search institutes in the information technology area stood out.
5. KIPO supports to strengthen the high-tech IP, such as displays, batteries, etc.
-KIPO and the LG Patent Council held a meeting for acquisition and protection of IP.
On September 14, 2022 KIPO had a field communication meeting with the officers in charge of IP under the LG Patent Council.
Following the entry into a business agreement to strengthen the IP management with INNOBIZ Association (June 2022), this meeting was prepared to check the difficulties on site and listen to various opinions, to acquire and protect IPs which are core assets of the national strategic industry.
The LG Patent Council introduced patent management strategies, such as displays, batteries, household appliances, high-tech materials and components, etc., and requested for the governmental support to expand the range of preferential examination to early acquire an IP right and to respond to a global patent dispute.
In this regard, KIPO introduced a revision to the Enforcement Decrees of the Korean Patent Act, to designate the high-tech strategic technology, such as semiconductors, as the subject of a preferential examination. KIPO also guided a plan to expand the range of a preferential examination to the display or battery area by considering the opinions from the relevant industry, the transitions in patent applications, and recruitment of manpower, etc.
KIPO also explained about the efforts to provide the patent, trademark and design search systems using AI and the high-quality IP examination and trial services with internal and external experts.
Further, KIPO introduced a plan to protect a Korean company’s IP right against an infringement trial by an overseas non-practicing entity (NPE) and listened to the opinions from LG regarding an employee’s invention and IP registration maintenance cost.