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An AI+IP symposium was held(News Letter No. 478)



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1. An AI+IP symposium was held

- KIPO, IBS and KAIST jointly held the symposium.
- A topic was presented regarding diverse complicated issues on artificial intelligence (AI) in the intellectual property (IP) field.

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), Institute for Basic Science (IBS) and Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) jointly held the AI+IP symposium in a contactless video conference.

Since the number of worldwide patent applications has rapidly increased according to the domestic and overseas AI technology development, this symposium was a first cooperative event prepared to be concerned about the future in view of IP on the influences that the AI technology has on various areas including politics, policies, law and art, etc.

The number of the AI-related patent applications globally increased by 28% on annual average (WIPO Technology Trends: AI, 2019).

In the first session on the subject of “AI and System – Who and how makes rules”, Kwangyun WOHN, Profession of KAIST, gave a subject lecture titled ‘questions in the rising AI era’ and Jisoo KIM, Director of the Convergence Technology Examination Bureau, presented ‘global IP issues on AI’.

Through the presentation, Director KIM looked back on the AI technology and the importance of IP in the era of US-China competition for technology supremacy and tried to stress that securing an IP on the AI technology is a way to secure the core asset of the Korean digital new deal.

Besides, Seunghye SUN, Director of Daejeon Museum of Art, was invited to discuss an ‘AI copyright case’ in view of an artist. Sungphil PARK, Professor of KAIST, introduced the trends of applications and trials in relation to the protection of AI technology patents and copyrights.

This symposium was available to anyone, in real time, through a contactless video conference (http://bit.ly/aix-ip) and the presentation video and data are available in the homepage (http://aix.kaist.ac.kr)) of “AI+X forum”.

2. It is easy to check a substance patent having an imminent expiration of patent term

- 296 cases to be expired in 2021 are open with detailed information on substance patents.

According to KIPO’s announcement on December 13, 2020, a ‘collection book of information on substance patents having patent terms set to expire in 2021’ has been published. The collection book includes detailed information of the patents which are not expired as of the analysis day (October 10, 2020) among the substance patents, the patents terms of which are set to expire in 2021.

This book supports the creation of a spontaneous value in a private sector, and KIPO regularly provides people with information of substance patents having imminent expiration of patent terms from 2017 when the expiration of the patent term of a substance patent started in earnest.

A substance patent as the core/original technology having a tremendous economic impact enables a new value creation by developing an improvement material or a new use. Considering that patent fees increase in proportion to the period of maintaining registration, the value of using a substance patent having an imminent expiration of a patent term, without abandoning the right, is very high.

According to this collection book of information on substance patents, the number of the substance patents having their patent terms set to expire in 2021 is a total of 296. By technical fields, the most substance patents, 42.0% (124 patents) are for medicines, followed by 27.0% (80) for bio, 21.6% for chemical materials, 6.4% for agricultural chemicals, and 3.0% for cosmetics.

Among these substance patents, well-known medicinal substances are included, like ‘sunitinib malate’ which is a main ingredient of ‘Sutene capsule’ as an antimalignant tumor drug, ‘ticagrelor’ which is a main ingredient of ‘Brilinta tablet’ as an antiplatelet agent, and ‘dexlansoprazole’ which is a main ingredient of ‘Dexilant DR capsule’ as antipeptic ulcer drug.

This collection book includes basic information, such as an abstract, a representative claim, whether a patent term is extended, the expiry date of a patent term, any changes in a patent right. Specifically, an inserted QR code enables a user to easily check not only the detailed information on a particular patent but also any current accurate change in a right and a registered patent publication.

3. The amendment to the Korean Patent Law relating to the realization of damage compensation is enforced

- The effect of treble damages is expected to be maximized by improving the calculation method of damages.
- A small or medium venture’s or a startup’s innovative idea protection is expected to be strengthened.
- Among IP-5 countries, KIPO built the only damage compensation system by a patent infringement according to the Patent Law.

◈ Calculation method of damages by patent infringement

-(previously) compensation is for only damages within the limit of production capacity of a patentee. Small compensation (infringer profit > actual damage compensation amount)

⇒ (revised) compensation of damages within the limit of production capacity of a patentee + additional compensation of sales quantity exceeding production capacity as reasonable license fees. (infringer profit < actual damage compensation amount)

According to KIPO, the partial revision of the Patent Law went into effect on December 10, 2020 to compensate damages as to an patent infringer’s product sale exceeding production capacity of a patentee.

Previously, when a patentee’s production capacity is 100, even though an infringer sells 10,000 infringed products in the market, the patentee could not receive a proper compensation with respect to 9,900 products exceeding the patentee’s production capacity (100). That is, since an amount of damage was calculated within the limit of production capacity of a right holder, an unreasonable situation continued so that infringing a right is more profitable than concluding a normal license agreement.

As the revised Patent Law takes effect, a patentee can receive an amount of damage compensation by calculating the reasonable license fees of a patent invention as to the other 9,900 which was not the object of the previous compensation.

* (current) limit of production capacity of a patentee x profit per unit
**(revised) (limit of production capacity of a patentee x profit per unit) + (excess quantity x reasonable license fees)

The calculation method according to the revised Patent Law is recognized in major advanced countries including US, UK, France and Japan. But, the country to stipulate both of the revised damage calculation method and the treble damages according to the Patent Law is only South Korea among the IP-5 (Korea, US, Europe, China and Japan) leading the worldwide intellectual property.

Noteworthy, it is now possible to calculate the amount of damage as to all infringed products that an infringer sells, and in an intentional infringement case, an infringer is liable for damages up to 3 times. Accordingly, a patent right is expected to be robustly protected from a large-scale infringement act which is maliciously and intentionally conducted. For reference, the partial revised bill having the same content to the Trademark Law, Design Protection Law and Unfair Competition Prevention Law passed a plenary session of the National Assembly on December 1, 2020.

4. KIPO held a 2020 conference on IP strategies for overseas expansion

- Major IP dispute issues were discussed, such as distribution of counterfeit products in overseas online market

KIPO and Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA) held an online ‘2020 conference on IP strategies for overseas expansion’ on December 10, 2020.

This event on the subject of ‘In the contactless era, major overseas e-commerce platforms’ IP policy and utilization plan’ was planned to deliver the IP information that a company to enter an overseas online market must know.

As all lectures were aired through YouTube in real time, a participant could watch by in advance checking a time schedule to select an interested lecture. Since some lectures were open on the event day only in real time, anyone should access on the day if some information is needed.

This event went on by dividing into three zones, North America, China and new southern countries as the major markets which many Korean companies move into. Specifically, if an export company considers entering Amazon, Alibaba and Shopee for overseas market entry, such company was worth noticing this event since Amazon Global Selling Korea (manager: Dongmin Han), Alibaba Group (director: Mick Ryan) and Shopee Korea (branch manager: Yunah Kwan) directly introduced the IP protection tips on their particular platforms.

It was possible to confirm the IP information of the other e-commerce platforms, such as eBay, JingDong (JD.com) and Lazada, through a local lawyer’s lecture. In addition, a company’s IP expert helped the participants’ understanding by sharing the dispute experience in the actual online market. The participants of this conference could ask any questions during a lecture through comments and get answers from a lecturer after the lecture finished.

5. The patent technology for a realistic video moves up a contactless society

- The number of patent applications related to the core technologies to implement a realistic video, which were filed by Korean companies, is 2nd place in ranking.
- Samsung is 2nd in a global rank, ETRI is 5th and LG is 6th.

As social distancing is done due to COVID-19, a teleconference and an online class has become routine and the contactless services like home training and contactless concerts, etc. have spread. To make a contactless service feel real, the technology to implement a realistic video is essential. The core technologies to implement a realistic video include an ultra-high-definition TV (UHDTV) providing an image of high resolution more than 4K in a large screen, the broadcasting technology, the virtual reality (VR) technology providing the sense of realism and the sensation of immersion, the augmented reality (AR) technology, and the realistic video compression technology, among others.

According to the results of the IP5’s patent application trends surveyed by KIPO (over 2017~June 2020), the number of the patent applications relating to the core technologies [such as ultra-high-definition TV (UHDTV), VR and AR] to implement a realistic video, which were filed by Korean companies’ (including institutes and individuals), was 2nd in the world.

Regarding the relevant applications filed with each of IP5, as a result of surveying the applicants by nationality, US applicants were the most (1,897, 34.0%), Korean applicants (1,178, 21.3%) as a 2nd place, Japanese applicants (1,107, 18.4%), and Chinese applicants (701, 12.7%).

By major companies filing many applications, Samsung was 2nd in global ranking, ETRI was 5th and LG was 6th, showing that Korean companies and research institutes have stood out by recording in a high rank in the world.

Qualcomm recorded 1st by filing the most patent applications, the companies including Tencent, Meditec, and Panasonic, etc. have ranked in the rank of companies filing many applications.

Based on nationality registered with each of IP5 countries, Americans were the most (538, 39.9%), Japanese (341, 23.3%), Korean (280, 19.2%) as a 3rd place, and Chinese (124, 8.5%).

The core technologies to implement a realistic video can be applied to the whole on and offline industry (including contactless education, contactless customer counselling, contactless watching of performance and sports, etc.) and enables the evolution to various services which people experience and communicate like reality by overcoming the limitation of time and space.  


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