1. A PCT international patent application is easily filed
- A PCT international patent application is directly filed in ePCT from January 2, 2019.
On December 27, 2018 the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced that KIPO and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) have succeeded in simplifying the PCT e-filing procedures.
In cooperation with WIPO, KIPO has completed the system development to connect an account of the KIPO’s e-filing site, “특허로” (www.patent.go.kr), and an account of the WIPO’s e-filing site, “ePCT” (pct.wipo.int). Accordingly, it is possible to write a PCT international application and file the same in “ePCT” at the same time from January 2, 2019.
An applicant may log in “특허로” and select “Connect to ePCT Account Information” in Menu to log in “ePCT”, to use the PCT international application filing service by a web-based method.
KIPO and WIPO plan to continuously expand the exchange to provide various PCT-related information services including the monitoring expansion of current status of PCT international applications.
2. KIPO operates a system to return by its authority the patent fees erroneously paid
- A bank account to receive the repayment is to be in advance registered from January 1, 2019.
According to KIPO, the system to return by its authority patent fees erroneously paid will operate from January 1, 2019.
Previously, where an applicant erroneously pays patent fees, KIPO shall notify the applicant with a reason for the return and the amount of money to be returned. However, after receiving such a notice, the applicant needed to additionally file a request for the return as the relevant procedures.
However, starting in 2019, where an applicant in advance registers with KIPO a bank account to receive repayment of patent fees erroneously paid, KIPO directly makes a deposit in the relevant account of the applicant the amount to be returned even if the applicant erroneously pays patent fees.
In this way, where patent fees erroneously paid, since the applicant receives the repayment in the applicant’s registered account without separately filing a request for such a return, the applicant’s inconvenience is reduced. Further, the number of cases where applicants do not receive the return of patent fees erroneously paid due to the expiration of a period for filing a request for return, will be eliminated.
3. KIPO carries forward the utilization of a private search technique in patent examination
KIPO brakes from the past twenty (20)-year customary examination depending on its own search system to determine whether a patent technique is patentable. KIPO plans to positively introduce and use also a private intellectual property (IP) search service from 2019.
Together with a private company, KIPO held in the Daejeon Government Complex a ‘private and public IP search system presentation’ to demonstrate specialized functions of their own IP search systems.
The presentation was attended by major domestic companies, MARKPRO, Wert Intelligence, WIPS and WISDOMAIN and a foreign global company, Clarivate.
The five (5) private companies introduced their excellent search service functions to the IP-related people including the trademark and patent examiners and proposed the cooperative plans with KIPO in providing services and exchanging techniques.
4. The Republic of Korea is 1st in world ranking the number of patent applications based on Korean applicants by GDP population and 4th in ranking the number of the patent applications
KIPO announced that, according to the ‘World Intellectual Property Indicators 2018’ recently published by WIPO, the Republic of Korea has had the highest number of patent applications filed by Korean applicants by GDP and population in 2017.
The ‘World Intellectual Property Indicators 2018’ is the statistical report to include the various application and registration indicators related to the IP rights including patents, trademarks, designs, etc. of the member countries of WIPO, based on 2017.
According to this report, the number of applications for IP (patent, utility model, design, trademark, etc.) filed in the world in 2017 is 18,560,000, increasing by 18.3% compared to 2016.
By countries, China is 1st with 9,440,000 applications, followed by US with 1,270,000, Japan with 920,000, Europe with 650,000 and the Republic of Korea is 5th with 510,000.
Specifically, since the number of patent applications filed by Korean applicants by GDP and population is the highest, which is greatly higher than the major IP offices in US, Japan and Europe, etc., it shows that the Republic of Korea is a strong country in filing patent applications.