1.KIPO permits an additional extension of time for submitting any documents to retain IP applications
-Time for submitting IP application-related documents designated by the Commissioner of KIPO, etc. is further extended to May 31, 2020.
On April 28, 2020, KIPO announced that due to the impact of “CORBID-19”, all due dates for submitting IP application-related documents, which fall within May 2020, would be automatically extended to May 31, 2020 by authority.
According to KIPO, this is an extra measure to additionally extend for another one (1) month since the due dates for submitting the documents, which were due during the period of March 31~April 29, 2020, were extended to April 30, 2020 under the CORBID-19 pandemic.
Social distancing by CORBID-19 has been alleviated. However, considering that about one (1) month- time is usually required for preparing an amendment and/or an argument and that CORBID-19 is still active in the US and Europe, etc., KIPO has decided to extend the due dates for filing documents to retain IP applications since any setbacks are expected in preparing documents through the communications between Korean and foreign applicants and patent attorneys on behalf of them.
Under the measures, since an applicant does not need to separately request for a time extension and to pay any fees, an application is prevented from being invalid or becoming finally rejected by a failure to timely submitting required documents.
However, where a statutory period is regulated in the Korean Patent Law, etc. or there is concern of damaging the interests of an interested party or a third party, such a case is excluded from the extension by authority. Therefore, it needs to be confirmed as to the specific document items with extendable due dates by authority at KIPO webpage (www.kipo.go.kr).
2.KIPO shares ‘Korean diagnosis kits and walk-through test information’ to overcome the CORBID-19 crisis
KIPO provides, through the CORBID-19 patent information navigation, the Korean technology information, manufacturer information and video-use methods in relation to ‘diagnosis kits’ and ‘walk-through test booths’ which are used for the CORBID-19 test.
The CORBID-19 patent information navigation which opened on March 19, 2020 includes the information of technology* that anyone is able to easily and rapidly commercialize without burden, such as not only the right information of CORBID-19-related technology but also the patent applications published after failing to secure a patent right, the patents expired by abandonment or patent period expiration and the patent applications filed only in foreign countries.
For example, the technology* relates to the alternative medicines such as Avigan, Ciclesonide, etc., techniques of replacing a filter, preventing air leakage and improving performance in relation to a mask, sterilization devices of different viruses, medical protective clothing which is easily put on/taken off, etc.
In addition, when a medicine of CORBID-19 is developed in other countries or when an alternative medicine needs to be introduced, the patent information of a medicine is expected to be used as valuable information to invoke the force enforcement authority for the Korean production of the relevant medicine.
The information related to “K-walk-through test booths’, which is newly published at this time, includes video explanations and the information of the producing companies with respect to a negative pressure type booth for collecting a sample (manufactured by YangJi Hospital) and a negative and positive pressure mixed type booth for collecting a sample (manufactured by Korea KiYon).
The information related to ‘diagnosis kits’ provides not only the basic information on the names and contact regarding Korean CORBID-19 diagnosis kit manufacturing and exporting companies but also the detailed information on the business sizes, production capabilities, features by products, authentications thereof.
3.KIPO especially supports the trade secret protection for small and medium companies related to CORBID-19
-KIPO supports companies related to diagnosis, treatment and prevention with the examination and education, etc. of the trade secret management system
For the small and medium companies, i.e., the ‘CORBID-19’ diagnosis, medicine and preventive goods manufactures, KIPO announced to examine the current state of trade secret management and to support them with free education by visiting the relevant companies, reduction in service fees for the original certification of trade secret, etc.
Since the risk of leaking the trade secrets including the relevant small and medium companies’ research, experimental data and unit price contracts, etc. has increased by the sudden rise in overseas demands of Korean diagnosis kits and preventive goods which are technologically advanced, KIPO urgently decided to support these companies in preparing the trade secret management systems.
Accordingly, through a discussion with the relevant associations including the Korean Pharmaceutical and Bio-Pharm Manufactures Association (KPBMA) and the Korea Medical Devices Industry Association (KMDIA) which include small and medium companies which research and produce the diagnosis kits, medicines and preventive goods, etc., KIPO received a request for ‘a special support to protect a trade secret’ by April 29, 2020 for the membership companies of the associations. KIPO will support and give priority to small and medium companies among the companies filing the requests. However, when a small company does not reach the size eligible for the support, medium companies are selected by order of receipt of the request, to be supported from May 7, 2020.
Through this special support, the companies are provided with the company visiting education, the examination of the current state of trade secret management, the plans and standard documents for the trade secret management based on need, to improve the executives and staff members’ recognition of protection of trade secrets. Among the companies which are “insufficient” or “weak” as the results of examining the current state of the trade secret management, any company, if wanted, can take an in-depth consulting regarding a trade secret management system which is conducted by an expert attorney in the trade secret field who directly visit the company. Further, the small and medium companies supported at this time are supported with a part of the fees for the service to register an original certification, proving the fact that the company(s) owns the trade secret when a core technology leaks.
4. KIPO shares “K-prevent models” with major overseas Intellectual Property (IP) Offices
-KIPO participates in a 2nd teleconference between the Director General of WIPO and the major IP Offices
A teleconference was held with Mr. Francis Gurry as Director General of WIPO and the commissioners of the major sixteen (16) IP Offices in South Korea, US, China, Europe, Japan, India among the others.
In this conference, Mr. Won-Joo Park, Commissioner of KIPO, explained that South Korea has effectively coped with CORBID-19 by public-private close cooperation. He also said that the Korean government recently published the policy materials* on CORBID-19 called “Flattening the curve on COVID-19” introducing the experience, know-how and innovative technology such as K-walk through, etc. and that South Korea would fully share them with the nations interested in the Korean cases on how to deal with COVID-19.
The materials* include △ social distancing, △ innovative technology-based 3T measures: diagnosis (Testing), epidemiological survey (Tracing) and patient care (Treating), and △ the utilization of the date obtained.
In addition, in relation to a PCT application received by KIPO, when an applicant of the PCT application cannot pay any official fees within the prescribed due date(s) due to CORBID-19, Mr. Park took a stand to prepare a plan to actually exempt any additional charge to be additionally paid, to minimize the burden of the applicant due to the CORBID-19 and to positively support IP creation and utilization activities.