1. The opinions about opening the origins of genetic resources, etc. are collected
The Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy (MOTIE) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO, Commissioner: Yunmo SUNG) jointly held a meeting of intellectual property (IP) experts related to the opening of the origins of genetic resources, to share the international trends related to the “opening of the origins of genetic resources and the relevant traditional knowledge” with the interested persons/parties and to seek proper counterplans in future international negotiations.
When a patent application is filed for an invention using genetic resources (plant, animal, microorganism, etc.) and the relevant traditional knowledge, the origins (such as a country providing genetic resources and the relevant traditional knowledge or a country of origin of the same) are described.
Previously, everyone freely used genetic resources and the relevant traditional knowledge. However, since the Nagoya Protocol was adopted in 2010, the benefits which are generated by using genetic resources, etc. shall be in principle shared with those that provide the genetic resources and the relevant traditional knowledge.
The genetic resource providing countries (China and India which are rich countries in genetic resources) have already requested that the origins of genetic resources and the relevant traditional knowledge shall be opened in a patent application which is a basis of industrialization, for the effective fulfillment of Nagoya Protocol. Accordingly, Korean companies that file the genetic resource-related patent applications in these countries need to pay particular attention.
Additionally, as the move to internally standardize the opening of the origins of genetic resources, etc. has been specified in the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and various Free Trade Agreements (FTA), this meeting was held to seek plans to maximize the benefits of Korean companies in the future by collecting the opinions from the relevant Korean industries.
2. Patent maintenance fees for small, medium and venture companies are reduced by half.
A partly revised ordinance of ‘collection regulations of patent fees, etc.’ to support the innovative growth of small, medium and venture companies has been enforced since April 6, 2018.
This revision includes the content to further reduce the burden of patent fees, to expedite the innovative growth of the small, medium and venture companies, based on the ‘IP policy direction of the 4th industrial revolution era’ established in November 2017.
As a patent creation activity encouraging small, medium and venture companies to create better patents through a technological innovation, a patent growing reward system is operated to return 10%~50% of the total official fees paid to KIPO. But, since this system is to be introduced this year, any incentive will be given from the next year, 2019, according to the results of patent creation activities during this year.
Small, medium and venture companies may pay only a half of the annual registration fees for patents (including utility models and designs) owned by them, thereby greatly reducing the economic burden through the whole process from filing a patent application to maintaining a patent right and therefore supporting and strengthening the patent competitiveness of these companies.
3. KIPO held a briefing session of a project to support a foreign IP dispute consultation
KIPO held the briefing session of the project to support an international IP dispute consultation for export small/medium companies.
The international IP dispute consultation is to provide a company that wants dispute prevention with the relevant information, risk avoiding strategy, etc. by investigating the risk of a patent dispute with a foreign competitor company and to provide a company that wants a response to such a dispute with the necessary counterstrategy such as a warning notice, negotiation and suit, etc.
Through this project, companies can be supported up to the maximum of 70% (based on small/medium companies, 50% for companies of middle stranding) of the necessary expenses for consultation with domestic/abroad IP experts. Last year, 640 companies were supported.
This year, especially, a type of prevention support was reformed to support consultation to meet with export status of a company. The export consultation service tailored for an exporter is divided into a total of four (4) steps including the export preparation step, the export beginning step, etc.
To strengthen the support in the new growth industrial fields, such as information and communication technology (ICT) convergence, new materials, bio-health, etc. where a risk of dispute occurrences is high, the relevant company(ies) will get preferential treatment at a company selection step by a method of adding points.
4. KIPO-WIPO jointly operate an online IP education course
- The education covers from the IP basis to the actual battle, to be used at an actual business field.
KIPO and WIPO jointly operate an English IP education course using an IP panorama. Signing up for classes is possible at the IP learning site (http://www.ipdiscovery.net) by May 9, 2018. Immediately upon signing up, it is possible to participate in the online education course.
This course easily introduces the IP use stratagem from the view of a business, by a story telling method. Those with superior grades in the online education course will be invited to a location of lecture of the world’s greatest scholars in the IP field, which will be held in Seoul, October 2018.
The IP panorama is the online IP education content which was jointly developed by KIPO, WIPO and the Korea Invention Promotion Association from 2005. The IP panorama covers from the IP basic concepts to the in-depth subjects of the technology licensing, the IP value assessment and the IP usage strategy in international business environments. The IP panorama is translated into twenty-four (24) languages, including English, French, Spanish, etc.