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The medicine patent term extension work strengthens professionalism.(News Letter No. 504)



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1. The medicine patent term extension work strengthens professionalism.

- KIPO operates a dedicated team in charge of an application for extension of a medicine patent term.

To strengthen professionalism of a medicine patent term extension work, KIPO has operated the patent term extension team’ in the Chemistry & Biotechnology Examination Bureau from April 13, 2023.

The patent term extension system is the procedure to extend a certain term of a patent in the case that a patent cannot be used due to the product permission procedures, such as medicines and pesticides. In the case of a major medicine, whether the term of a patent is extended makes a big impact to both a new drug developer having a right and a generic drug manufacturing company to newly advance into the market.

Unlike a general patent application, an application for extending the term of a patent has needed a dedicated team to professionally examine it, due to a lot of complicated documents to be reviewed, such as pharmaceutical authorization-related materials, etc.

Especially, since there is a lot of policy demand, such as revisions and interpretation of the laws related to the extension of the patent term, discussions with the related ministries, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety, responses to complaints, etc., the point that these tasks need to be separated from a general examination is an important reason to operate the dedicated organization at this time.

2. The examination of a service mark of a small business is processed within one month by a prioritized service mark examination.

-After the prioritized service mark examination division was launched, intensive support is provided for a small business.

-KIPO and Sejong City held an ceremony to grant a certificate of registration of a service mark of a small business (April 11)

Since the prioritized service mark examination division of KIPO was newly established (January 2023) to rapidly secure a trademark of a small business, the prioritized service mark examination process period was shortened from two months to one month. The prioritized examination process period of a service mark under Class 43 (services for providing food and drink) was an average of 1.9 months in January ~ February of 2022 and an average of 0.99 month in January ~ February of 2023.

According to KIPO, the prioritized service mark examination division celebrating its 100th day has contributed to business stability with the support for a small business’ trademark (service mark) to be early secured as a right through rapid examination.

Since the examination process period has been delayed due to an increase in the number of trademark applications, the number of requests for prioritized examination filed by the applicants who want a rapid examination has gradually increased and the percentage of service business fields, among the total number of the requests for prioritized examination, has increased every year. The percentage of the number of requests for prioritized examination to the total number of trademark applications was 3.8% (2019) → 6.0% (2020) → 9.1% (2021) → 13.2% (2022) → 13.6% (February of 2023). The percentage of service businesses to the total number of requests for prioritized examination 41.8% (2019) → 44.3% (2020) → 46.0% (2021) → 48.6% (2022) → 50.1% (February of 2023).

Specifically, KIPO’s explanation is that, in the fields of wholesale and retail business and restaurant business, trademark disputes were frequent due to the use of trademarks without permission. This, KIPO need to provide a rapid examination result to an applicant through an active administration by sensitively responding to the economic situation.

After the prioritized service mark examination division has conducted prioritized examination of service marks in the fields of wholesale and retail business and restaurant business, the examination process period of a service mark in the restaurant business was shortened by half (50%), from about 2 months to 1 month or less.

3. Electric vehicle (EV) core technology is supported by a high-quality patent examination.

-KIPO held an on-site communication meeting to improve the quality of examination.

KIPO examiners visited Hyundai Mobis EV driving parts (module) manufacturing plant (located in Daegu) to observe the production facilities (production line) of an electric motor, etc. and to hold a meeting with researchers and developers.

As a part of ‘on-site communication with people and businesses’, this meeting was prepared for examiners to experience the EV core technology and to listen to the field’s problems on intellectual property, thereby providing a high-quality patent examination service.

In the meeting, KIPO introduced the patent statistic data and recent patent examination trends of the major countries having the mobility technology including driving parts (module). Hyundai Mobis delivered the IP-related difficulties in the field and introduced the trends of the EV technology development, etc.

In addition, both exchanged opinions on mutual interests, such as the strategies to secure a core patent of a global mobility company, the plan to provide an intelligent mobility solution (smart mobility solution), etc.

4. A standard patent is not difficult now.

-International Intellectual Property Training Institute (IIPTI) received an application for a standard patent specialized education (April 10~14).

IIPTI of KIPO received applications for a standard patent specialized education from the public, such as researchers of industry-academia-institutes, patent attorneys, etc. during the period of April 10 to 14.

A standard patent which includes a standard technology decided by the International Organization for Standardization is essential in producing the relevant product.

The applicants applied at the website of IIPTI (http://iipti.kipo.go.kr/). The target number of people was about 50. The education will be performed by face-to-face in in IIPTI (Daejeon) from May 16 through 18, 2023.

[Major content of the standard patent specialized education]

▲Basis of international standardization, such as a method for writing a contribution document of major standardization organizations

▲Strategies and cases of securing a standard patent by R&D and standardization step by step

▲Practice of analysis on whether standard patents in the major technical fields of mobile communication, image electronical signal converting technology (codec), etc. substantially match with the content of the international standards (analysis of the necessity of standard patents). If a standard patent does not match with the content of the international standards, it is difficult to consider the patent as a standard patent.

The relevant education course has been for the first time set in this year, to meet the government’s standardization policy to lead the electronic (digital) transformation era and the carbon neutral era. This education course is expected to contribute to the international standardization of Korean patent technology by strengthening the industry-academia-research’s capability in the standard patent practice.

After the education, KIIPO will actively collect the students’ opinions for improvement, to make a comprehensive education course.

5. KIPO’s ‘Semiconductor Examination Bureau’ took the first step in an on-site commutation.

- KIPO and 11 companies including Samsung Electronics, etc. held a meeting to operate a patent system.

- KIPO listens to the voice from the field, to strengthen the competitiveness in the semiconductor industry.

KIPO held a patent system operation meeting with major semiconductor companies, to listen to the vivid voice from the semiconductor industrial field. The participant companies include Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, OPTOLANE, Jusung Engineering, PSK, CRESSEM, LX Semicon, MECARO, Dongjin Semichem, S&S TECH, and Semiconductor Industry Association.

The Semiconductor Examination Bureau was launched on April 11, 2022 as a patent examination organization in charge of semiconductors which was for the first time made in major countries, by mobilizing KIPO’s examination capability, to enable a preemptive protection of a core semiconductor technology of a Korean company.

Representative companies by field, such as semiconductor design, fabrication, material, equipment, etc. attend this meeting, to deliver the realistic troubles and problems felt by IP staff.

In addition, KIPO’s major policy was introduced to support the semiconductor industry, such as the launching of the Semiconductor Examination Bureau, the prioritized semiconductor examination system, and the cooperation in examination with the countries playing an important role in developing the semiconductor technology.

Further, the meeting was arranged to share opinions on the improvement of the recent patent laws and systems, the secret patent system to prevent the core technology, such as semiconductors, etc. from leaking overseas, and the plan to improve a divisional application system to widen the chance and width of obtaining a right.

The collected opinions will be reflected in finding policies to be substantially helpful in avoiding a crisis and maintaining a global super-gap, by securing the IP competitiveness of semiconductor companies facing difficulties due to the slow-down in the recent semiconductor demand.



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