1. KIPO leads a second venture boom
- KIPO input 17.9 billion Korea Won, to take the lead in innovation and growth by activating the IP-based business startup.
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced that it would fully carry forward a startup facilitation project specialized in intellectual property (IP), to activate the innovative startup based on technology and to support the growth of a startup company with a powerful patent right.
The IP-based startup facilitation project is to support startups by deriving IP-based startup items from the ideas of preliminary startup people and to provide startup companies with the IP-based technology and business strategy consulting and therefore to help them in succeeding and growing as small but strong companies using powerful IP.
Starting as a new program in 2017, this project trained 1,503 preliminary startup people in the last year and supported the growth of 425 startup companies, thereby contributing the creation of 992 new jobs.
935 IP-based excellent startup items were found and supported through the ‘IP startup zone’ and the ‘IP steppingstone program’ in sixteen (16) areas.
2.KIPO carries out a ‘2019 overseas IP protection project’
- KIPO supports the overseas expansion of Korean small and medium companies by expanding the operation of an IP-DESK and building an IP protection net for export companies.
To closely support the global innovation and growth of small and medium companies and middle standing companies for overseas expansion, KIPO carries forward the ‘2019 overseas IP protection project’ by additionally establishing an overseas IP-DESK in Hong Kong and building an IP protection net considering the aspects of overseas IP disputes.
The six (6) detailed projects to be carried forward by inputting a budget with a total of 19.1 billion Korea Won this year are the ‘IP-DESK operation and early response support’, ‘international IP dispute prevention consulting support’, ‘offer of overseas IP protection voucher’, ‘Korea wave content IP protection’, ‘IP dispute joint response support’ and ‘K-brand protection’.
The ‘IP-DESK operation’ project is to closely support Korean companies in securing IP rights and responding to disputes in the foreign countries where the overseas expansion of the Korean companies is active. KIPO plans to operate the IP-DESK in a total of fifteen (15) areas in eight (8) countries including China, US, Vietnam, Thailand, Germany, Japan, Indonesia and India.
Through the ‘international IP dispute prevention consulting support’ project, KIPO will analyze foreign competition companies’ risk patents and provide small and medium companies and middle standing companies, which have been exporting or are to export, with dispute prevention strategies or response strategies (warning letters, trials, etc.) required upon existence of disputes.
3. KIPO deleted 21,854 counterfeit product posts distributed through Chinese online
KIPO announced that last year Korea Intellectual Property Protection Agency deleted 21,854 counterfeit product sales posts of Korean companies’ products, which were sold in a Chinese Alibaba online shopping mall.
This number shows an increase of 1,552 cases (about 8%) in comparison with 20,302 in the previous year. The scale is about 15.7 billion Korea Won based on a genuine unit price and is estimated as about 131.8 billion Korea Won considering an average sale unit price and an average number of sales per sale post.
K-brand counterfeit products which have been distributed in the Chinese online shopping malls have changed in various aspects by imitating product appearances or using homepage images without permission in addition to a typical way of using brand names illegally.
This year KIPO introduced a company support system to respond to the changing aspects of counterfeit products. To support Korean companies having their products which are confirmed as being counterfeited and distributed at the Alibaba shopping mall, KIPO provides the company support-dedicated staff to block the distribution of those counterfeit products. KIPO also provides those Korean companies with detailed information (such as an analysis of the current situation of counterfeit product distribution and a plan to how to react to the counterfeit product distribution by damaged companies), to support them to strengthen their capabilities responsive to the counterfeit products.
Not only China but also ASEAN are the regions that Korean companies should be concerned. This year KIPO plans to specify a support system for Korean companies in preventing damages caused by counterfeit products and responding to counterfeit products in Lazada which is the biggest E-commerce company in the ASEAN region, based on the IP protection MOU between the Korea Intellectual Property Protection Agency and Lazada.
4. Universities and public research institutes’ unused patents are easily maintained
KIPO announced to carry forward a ‘2019 support project to make a diagnosis of patents owned by public institutes’, which evaluates the patents owned by universities and public research institutes, to reduce the number of unused patents owned by public institutes and to lower their patent maintenance burdens.
Since universities and public research institutes tend to keep registered patents for a long time to evaluate the research performance and results, the utilization of patents is just 34.9% and the burden to maintain patents increases.
Therefore, KIPO operates the ‘support project to make a diagnosis of patents owned by public institutes’ to lead the strategic patent management of a public institute, by forming a task team consisting of a patent expert(s) of the Korea Intellectual Property Strategy Agency and a patent analysis agency.
Starting as a test project in 2016, this support project had supported a total of forty (40) institutes by 2018, thereby preparing an inherent patent classification system to generally survey the patents owned by the participating institutes and showing good results in reducing the annual fees of an unused patent, finding a promising patent and commercializing a technique.
During the period of 2016 and 2017, specifically, 452 patent technologies were transferred due to the promising patent utilization strategies suggested to a total of twenty-five (25) institutes, the right retainments of 774 patents were renounced by carrying out the patent disposition strategy, reducing patent maintenance fees by about 3.2 billion Korea Won.