New Changes to Intellectual Property System in 2020

New Changes to Intellectual Property System in 2020


The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced new changes to the intellectual property system in 2020, including enforcing protection for online software transmittal and introduction of mobile electronic filing for trademark applications.


The intellectual property system changes for the upcoming year are focused on supporting the earlier securing of rights for 4th industrial revolution technology, increasing national convenience for using intellectual property services and supporting growth of innovation in small and medium sized businesses and venture companies based on intellectual property.


Reviewing the newly changed intellectual property system,


Supporting earlier securing of rights for 4th industrial revolution technology


○(Enforcing protection of online software transmittal) Previously, only software patents distributed by being stored in a recording medium (CD, USB, etc.) were subjects to be protected, but now software patent protection is enforced regardless of distribution process (Enforcement on March 2020).


○(Enlargement of objects for preferential trial examination of material, component and equipment corporations) Invalidation trials and trials to confirm scope of right in which material, component and equipment corporations are involved parties can now be objects for preferential trial examination (Enforcement on January 2020).


○(Enlargement of objects for design preferential examination) Design applications using technologies related to the 4th industrial revolution such as artificial intelligence (AI) and internet of things (IoT), etc. are now included in objects for preferential examination (Enforcement on January 2020).


Increasing national convenience for using intellectual property services


○(Improvement of electronic filing system) This system is constructed such that trademark applications can be filed via various terminals such as smart phones, etc., and the 24h filing receipts that previously applied only to weekdays and Saturdays are enlarged to include Sunday (Scheduled on March 2020).


○(Real time process for ‘design partial examination’) Examination time frames are shortened to substantially real time (60 days in 2019 → 10 days in 2020) by widely shortening the entire examination period (Enforcement on January 2020).


○(Simplification of filing format for patent and utility model specifications) Specifications following a fixed format should be filed at the time of filing patent and utility model applications, but this is now simplified so as to allow submission of articles, research notes, etc. themselves without editing (Scheduled on February 2020).


○(Strengthening of patent classification capability) Supporting industrial patent classification capability by providing linking information between the ‘National Science and Technology Standard Classification-Patent Classification’ and the ‘Industrial Technology Classification-Patent Classification’ through KIPO’s website (Enforcement on January 2020).


Supporting growth of innovation in small and medium sized businesses and venture companies based on intellectual property


○(Reduction of request for preferential patent examination fees for startups) In the case of a start-up patent applicant requesting preferential examination, 70% is deducted from the fees for request for preferential examination, from KRW 200,000 to KRW 60,000 (Scheduled on January 2020).


○(Reduction of fees for patent registration for intellectual property-backed mortgage loans) In the case that a bank owns a patent right, etc. of a small or medium sized business carrying out IP-backed finance such as an intellectual property-backed mortgage loan, etc., 50% is deducted from registration fees (Scheduled on January 2020).


○(Strengthening of promotion of global IP star companies) Strengthening of promotion of global IP star companies through concentrated support for local specialized industry technology fields targeted by promising local exporters (Enforcement on January 2020).

* Scale of support: (2019) 15 billion won, 570 companies → (2020) 17 billion won, 700 companies

** Range of support: (2019) fees for foreign filing applications → (2020) fees for foreign filing applications + fees for coping with examinations and fees for registration


Besides the systems, etc. that have been enforced since the second half year of last such as enforcement of ‘contingent-type consultation examination’ for coping with patent applications in fusion and convergence fields’ (November 2019), enforcement of ‘request for renewal of terms of existence of sharing trademark rights’ so that renewal registration of terms of existence of trademark rights can be available despite being requested by one of co-registrants of the sharied trademark right (October 2019), etc. is also focused on supporting new 4th industrial revolution technology and increasing national convenience, etc.


A KIPO spokesperson announced, “By actively and anticipatively reacting to the quickly changing intellectual property environment, KIPO will endeavor to make our intellectual property system a catalyst for developing growth in innovation in the 4th industrial revolution era.”


[Source: KIPO]


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