Enforcement of patent system for supporting regulatory sandbox
-Fulfilling rapid patent examinations and trials, and actively supporting mediation of patent disputes involving regulatory exemption technologies-
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced that support for the patent system, mainly be targeting preferential examinations, expansion of accelerated trial targets, etc., will be implemented in order to actively support the government’s regulatory sandbox initiative.
The regulatory sandbox policy is a system exempting and postponing regulations under fixed conditions so that attempting new technologies and industries can be possible despite existing regulations which are directed by the Office for Government Policy Coordination and managed by the Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT), Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS) and Financial Services Commission (FSC), etc.
Corporations and individuals, etc. who request a regulatory exemption can obtain a rapid examination or trial by being recognized as a target of preferential examination or an accelerated trial if they get issuance of a ‘Request confirmation for regulation exception’ from the corresponding institution and submit it to KIPO.
If one requests a preferential examination with a technology elegible for regulatory exemption, one’s application for patent allowance can be decided within 2 months, so it is possible to get a right faster than through a regular patent examination (regular examinations took an average of 10.8 months in 2018).
Also, in the case that a third party argues patent infringement during an exempted business process, the exemption licensee’s corresponding case can be rapidly decided (within 3 months) as to whether it infringes the right or not through a request for accelerated trial. Accordingly, a conflict solution can be promoted less expensively and also more rapidly with an agreement by the interested parties through a request for industrial property right dispute mediation.
The Patent Examination Policy Bureau of KIPO mentioned, “We expect that the regulatory sandbox system will be helpful for establishing innovative enterprises and successful enterprise settlements since regulation-exempted technologies can be rapidly allowed through a supporting regulatory sandbox system and occurrence of related conflicts concerning a right can also be resolved rapidly.
[Reference 1] Regulatory sandbox business outline
Purpose - Regardless of existing regulations, under fixed conditions, regulation is to be exempted or postponed in order for new technologies/new industries to be tried.
Carry forward - System Managing Department and Regulatory Ministry and Office Concerned share their roles under control from the Office for Government Policy Coordination and the Framework Act on Administrative Regulations (related statute) as a fundamental law.
The Office for Government Policy Coordination - Information and Communication Convergence Act (MSIT)/ Industrial Convergence Promotion Act (Ministry of Industry)/ Financial Innovation Act (Financial Services Commission)/ Regional Special Zones Act (MSS)
Regulatory exemptions - three sets for promoting new technologies/new industries
< Relations among the three sets of regulatory innovations>
[Reference 2] KIPO’s supporting system outline for supporting businesses related to the regulatory sandbox
Supporting preferential examination - Early solutions for conflicts through early rightization by promptly examining patent applications related to the regulatory sandbox (⇒ examination begins within 2 months*). * Regular examinations take approximately 13 months (in comparison, preferential examinations shorten the time involved by about 1 year).
- If one requests a preferential examination after getting issuance of a ‘Request confirmation of regulatory sandbox’ from a related institution, such patent application to which the regulatory exemption applies will be recognized as an application preparing self implementation and receive preferential examination.
Supporting accelerated trial - Aiming for an accelerated process for patent trials in relation to the regulatory sandbox (⇒handling such cases in an average of within 100 days from the date of authorizing an accelerated trial*) * Regular trial (inter parties case) takes approximately 7.2 months (currently)
- If a request for trial is made with an issuance of a ‘Request confirmation of regulatory sandbox’ from a related institution, such will be recognized as an object of accelerated trial and the trial will be proceeded.
Promoting solutions to conflicts through Industrial Property Rights Dispute Mediation Committee - Promoting early resolution of conflicts by supporting the Dispute Mediation Committee in relation to the regulatory sandbox
- Since a chairperson can form an investigation party, he/she can form the investigation party with the Head of the Patent Examination Division or a patent team leader so that cases can be organized promptly and provided to the members of a mediation committee.