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The annual number of IP applications has passed 500,000 for the first time in history(News Letter No. 423)



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1.The annual number of IP applications has passed 500,000 for the first time in history

-This annual number is a performance measure over 73 years and is the 4th place following Japan, US and China, and is lead by small and medium companies

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced that the annual number of applications for IP (including patent, utility model, trademark, design) which were filed this year passed 500,000 on December 26, 2019 for the first time in history.

The annual number of the applications to be counted as of the end of this year (December 31, 2019) is expected to be about 510,000, with an increase of 6.3% compared with 480,245 last year.

By the type of IP rights, the number of trademark applications is expected to increase by 10.4% compared with the number in 2018, the number of patent applications to increase by 4.2%, and the number of design application to increase by 2.6%.

The fact that the number of patent applications, which slightly decreased from 2016, began to increase from 2018 and further increased this year is hopeful that the technological competitiveness of companies has increased in the 4th industrial revolution era.

By the type of applicants, the number of the IP applications filed by small and medium companies increased by 10.4% compared to the last year, showing that small and medium companies lead this breakthrough of 500,000, and individuals and big companies are expected to increase by 7.9% and 6.7%, respectively.

In the case of patent applications, the number of the patent applications filed by small and medium companies is expected to be 23.3% of the total number (51,000), followed by foreign applicants (21.6%), individuals (19.9%) and big companies (17.5%).

2.Filing a Japanese design application becomes easier!

-The certificate of a priority document for a Japanese design application is available as an online exchange from January 2020.

From the new year, when an applicant files a design application in Japan, the applicant does not need to directly submit a certificate of a priority document to the Japanese Patent Office (JPO).

According to KIPO, the digital access service (DAS) to online exchange a certificate of a priority document for a design application, which has been previously available in the USPTO and China National Intellectual Property Administration (CNIPA), is expanded to JPO from January 1, 2020.

Upon reviewing the status that DAS has been used for design applications, the use by Korean applicants is very active compared to Chinese and US applicants.

Comparing the status of the use of DAS with CNIPA, started from August 2018, the use by the Korean applicants is more than eight times Chinese applicants. Comparing the status of the use of DAS with USPTO, started from December 2018, the use by the Korean applicants is more than two times US applicants.

3.A promising field of the medical device industry is found by analyzing patent big data

-KIPO and Korea Medical Devices Industry Association (KMDIA) share innovation strategies.

In a meeting of IP-based innovation strategies with KMDIA, KIPO announced that as a result of analyzing patent big data, the most promising investment would be for the fields of AI-based medical devices and 3D printing using medical devices.

This analysis based on the patent big data relating the medical device industry over the last fourteen years (2005~2018) was carried forward to set the R&D direction and to support the high-quality patent creation of the relevant companies.

In the meeting of IP-based innovation strategies, KIPO and KMDIA agreed to further strengthen IP cooperation and to jointly publish a ‘report on patent strategies’ based on patent big data, to lead innovation growth of the medical device industry. The two also agreed to newly establish a subject of ‘patent-based research and development (IP-R&D)’ in the curriculum of KMDIA, to prepare a patent consultation booth when KMDIA performs an event and to carry forward a government prize, etc. in the patent-related medical device field, to activate the patent creation and utilization of the medical device companies.

4.ID5 started a discussion for future development direction

-ID5 also agreed to cooperate to establish global design standards

ID5 (Industrial Design 5) forum consisting of the five (5) advanced intellectual property offices in the design field adopts a new cooperation vision to set the cooperation direction for harmonizing the global design system.

ID5 forum started in 2015 as a consultative group of KIPO, USPTO, CNIPA, JPO and EPO which occupy more than 70% of the world design applications.

In the ID5 annual meeting held in Japan, ID5 published a joint declaration to agree to cooperate to prepare an efficient and user-friendly global design system to cope with a changing environment.

To realize the newly-prepared vision, ID5 will further strengthen the cooperation for the currently promoted projects which includes: the preparation of a design practical recommendation for the convenience in filing a foreign application by unifying each country’s design application filing procedures, the research of examination practice and procedures relating to internet reference citation, the sharing of quality service of each IP office, the protection of 3D printing and design, etc.

KIPO has played a key role in communicating with users through the construction and operation of the ID5 website (id-five.org). ID5 website as a place to share information in the design field of the five nations has provided the explanation of the seventeen common cooperation projects including the major statistics of each country’s designs, the comparison of a partial design system and a priority system, etc., and introduced the progress of promoting the projects.  


The Commissioners’ meeting of KIPO, CNIPA and JPO is held in Kobe, Japan(News Letter No. 424)


KIPO performs a consensus consultation examination in convergence technology(News Letter No. 422)