-Extended eligibility for preferential examination of technologies related to the 4th industrial revolution-
■ Since the Korean government recently selected 3 fields (semiconductor systems, future automobiles and bio health) as incubation priority industries, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced extending the objects of preferential examination for technologies related to the 4th industrial revolution from June 10, 2019 as a part of the re-inventing government initiative.
Preferential examination is for the examination of applications preferentially to other applications in the case that they belong to fields in which there is a need to rapidly acquire rights due to changes in industrial structure and technology development
The range of objects eligible for preferential examination has been consistently extended since the program began in 1981. The average time consumed by filing a preferential examination, from filing to registering, is 5.5 months. This is 10 months faster than for a general application filing to acquire a patent right.
■ By creating a new patent classification system, KIPO has allowed since April of last year 7 fields regarded as 4th industrial revolution technology fields (Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, etc.) to obtain preferential examination when they come under the following classification.
■ Further, the new patent classification system for the 4th industrial revolution which was previously limited to 7 technical fields has been reformed by extending the fields to 16 technical fields , and the technologies belonging to the 9 newly added fields can now also request for preferential examination.
The extended technical fields were chosen to include 13 innovative growth engine fields which were selected as highly effective fields by the government since these fields create new job opportunities and lead its response to the 4th industrial revolution, and in addition, 3 incubation priority industries which the government is focused on as key next generation industries were chosen
While the 7 prior-existing preferential examination target technical fields were mainly fields in information and communications technologies (ICT) such as Artificial Intelligence, Big Data and Internet of Things, etc., the 9 newly added technical fields include various industrial fields such as first-in-class drugs, new renewable energy and advanced materials, so as a result, various other advanced industrial fields can now also have the benefit of requesting preferential examination.
 16 technical fields of the 4th industrial revolution: former existing fields (① Artificial Intelligence, ② Internet of Things, ③ 3 Dimensional printing, ④ autonomous vehicles, ⑤ Big Data, ⑥ cloud computing, ⑦ Ubiquitous Robotic companions + the additional fields of (⑧ Smart City, ⑨ Virtual and Augmented Reality, ⑩ first-in-class drugs, ⑪ new renewable energy, ⑫ customized health care, ⑬ drones, ⑭ next generation communications, ⑮ intelligent semiconductors and ⑯ advanced materials
 13 fields selected by Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT): Big Data, next generation communications, Artificial Intelligence, autonomous vehicles, drones (unmanned vehicles), customized health care, Smart City, Virtual and Augmented Reality, Ubiquitous Robotic Companions, intelligent semiconductors, advanced materials, first-in-class drugs and new renewable energy