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KIPO has published and distributed ‘guide 2.0 for standard patents’.(News Letter No. 469)



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1.KIPO has published and distributed ‘guide 2.0 for standard patents’.

-The guide explains standard patent strategies as actual cases to be easily understood and newly provides the information of de facto standardization organization trends.

KIPO has published and distributed ‘guide 2.0 for standard patents’ by revising the ‘guide for standard patents’ which has been published for the last 16 years.

The ‘guide for standard patents’ was prepared to be of help for the researchers of companies, universities and public research institutes so as to easily understand the concept of a standard patent and use strategies to secure a standard patent.

5 years after the first ‘guide for standard patents’ was published, a request for an update to the latest information and a request for an explanation using actual cases to enhance a researcher’s understanding was raised.

This revision version provides, as examples, standardization cases of the communication technology regarding step-by-step 12 standard patent strategies for R&D standardization, to complement the previous conceptual explanation. It also explains the precautions for use of a standard patent through actual trial cases between companies, focusing on helping a field researcher in understanding.

Since standard patents, which are the patents acquired as for standardized technology, such as 5G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, etc., are required to be used to produce and sell the products using the standard technology, securing a standard patent is directly connected to a company competitiveness.

Specifically, as the technological convergence has accelerated in line with the development of the 4th industrial revolution technology, the area of the industry using the standard technology, such as smart phones, IoT, self-driving cars, etc., has expanded and therefore the importance of a standard patent has greatly increased.

The ‘guide 2.0 for standard patents’ is available for download at the KIPO homepage (https://kipo.go.kr/) or the standard patent portal (http://biz.kista.re.kr/epcenter/).

2.KIPO held a forum on autonomous driving IP strategies.

-This forum prepared a place for communication to improve patent competitiveness in the autonomous driving industry.

The KIPO’s autonomous driving patent research group and the Korea Automated Driving Industry Association jointly held a forum of autonomous driving IP strategies in the Korea Intellectual Property Service Center in Seoul.

The forum was arranged to share the latest patent and policy trends of autonomous driving which has been stood out as the key of the future automotive industry and to review the future technological development directions.

About 200 experts in the autonomous driving-related industry, academia and research online or offline attended the forum, to diagnose the patent and industrial competitiveness in the autonomous driving area and to review the future research and technological development directions.

The forum progressed along a total of 2 sessions with subjects on ‘autonomous driving patent trends’ and ‘autonomous driving policy and technological development trends.’

In the first session, the KIPO’s autonomous driving patent research group presented the latest patent trends and the future technological development directions regarding ❶ an ‘autonomous driving car’ which is the key of the autonomous driving industry, ❷ an ‘intelligent transportation system (ITS)’ for the autonomous driving infrastructure construction, and ❸ ‘mobility as a service (MaaS)’ using an autonomous driving car.

In the second session, the Korea Automated Driving Development Innovation Foundation (KADIF) introduced the autonomous driving policy trends and the innovation business performance. Hyundai Mobis and the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards presented the latest autonomous driving technology development and standardization trends, respectively.

In addition, a booth for counseling with an examiner was operated in this forum event, to provide a 1:1 customized IP counseling. Further, a presentation was to be provided, visiting a company at the company’s request.

3.KIPO listens to the industry, to support a strong patent creation in rapidly growing biopharmaceuticals.

KIPO held a meeting of ‘an intellectual property (IP) council in the biopharmaceutical area’ , with the biopharmaceutical companies.

As the technology of biopharmaceuticals, such as vaccines and antibody treatments, has rapidly developed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the relevant market size has increased, a necessity to reflect the rapidly changing industrial reality in patent examination has also increased.

Stepping into this situation, through this meeting KIPO tried to support the biopharmaceutical industry revitalization, by sharing the IP current status of the major countries including US and Europe, etc., and reflecting the opinions from the relevant industry in patent examination.

Especially, since biopharmaceuticals, among medicines, require significant costs and technology for development, damage is great when a patent dispute occurs. Therefore, major Korea biopharmaceutical manufacturing companies have requested a plan to prevent a patent dispute, by improving predictability of a result of a patent dispute.

Meeting with this request, KIPO shared, in this meeting, the examination cases of IP5 and the results of analyzing trial decisions of IP5 and provided a revision to the guide for examination practice in the biopharmaceutical area, as a reference material to predict the possibility of patent registration.

KIPO was also provided, from the relevant industry, with the current status of biopharmaceutical industry and the IP-related problems in securing a patent right and in responding to a patent dispute, which will be reflected in improving the examination process.

4.An increase in the number of trademark applications is fluttering! It is expected to increase by two or more times over 10 years.

-The increase is considered as resulting from the improvement in understanding the trademark system and the increase in the number of the trademark applications filed by individuals and new applicants.

According to KIPO, since the number of trademark applications continued to increase, it is expected to increase by more than 2 times compared to 10 years ago.

The number of trademark applications filed in US, China and Europe has also increased. The number of trademark applications filed with USPTO for the first half of this year increased by 56.5% compared to the same period of the previous year. USPTO published that a main cause of this increase trend was due to the increase of the trademark applications filed by Chinese companies (29% of the total of the US trademark applications as of the first half of 2021). However, unlike US, the increase in the number of Korean trademark application was led by Korean individuals.

An increase in the number of Korean trademark applications filed by individuals and new applicants has resulted in an increase in the total number of Korean trademark applications.

The increase rate of trademark applications filed by individuals in 2020 reaches 21%, which is more than 110,000 trademark applications. The number of the trademark applications filed by individuals was 86,000 in 2018, 97,000 in 2019 (+12.7%) and 117,000 in 2020 (+21%).

In addition, the number of new applicants has continued to increase. The number of new Korean applicants (including individuals and corporations) increased by 16.6% in 2020, compared to the previous year. Among them, new individual applicants increased by 31.8% compared to the previous year. The number of the new Korean applicants increased from 34,399 in 2019 to 40,126 in 2020 and the number of the new individual applicants increased from 22,987 in 2019 to 30,315 in 2020.

The increase in the number of trademark applications and the increase in the number of the new applicants are considered due to a raise in the awareness of the trademark system.

5.Examination fees for a patent application needs to be paid as far as being examined and the rest is to be refunded.

-A portion of the fees for requesting an examination of a patent application has been refunded, based on the time point of withdrawing or abandoning the application.

According to KIPO, under the revision to the Korean Patent Act effective on November 18, 2021, a portion of the fees for requesting examination, except for the examination service actually provided to a patent application which was withdrawn or abandoned by an applicant, is refunded.

This revision is operated to provide a positive administration service to an applicant and to reduce the expense of an applicant regarding a patent application which is not used in the field or which is difficult to be granted as a patent.

Before an examiner notifies an applicant of a reason for rejection, the applicant can get a full refund of the fees for requesting examination since the examination service has not been provided, regardless whether a prior art search was conducted in KIPO.

Even though an examiner has notified an applicant of a reason for rejection, the applicant can get a 1/3 of the fees for requesting examination within the due date of submitting a response to the first office action.

According to the revised law, an applicant, who receives an examiner’s reason for rejection, can get a portion of the fees for requesting examination by early withdrawing or abandoning the application which is expected to be rejected and is considered to file a new patent application by improving the application having the reason for rejection.

Further, KIPO politically induces an applicant to withdraw or abandon an unnecessary application, so that examination capacity can focus on a new application.

This revision also includes the regulation stating that when an examiner’s ex officio correction is wrong, the ex officio correction is regarded as invalid.  


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