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Introduction of a technical adviser system for patent trials

Introduction of a technical adviser system for patent trials

The Korean Intellectual Property Tribunal announced that a technical adviser system, in which private technology experts with professional knowledge and experience participate in patent trials, has been implemented from October 21, 2021 (Thursday).

For this, since last August, eleven technical fields in which technological change is rapidly progressing or specialized knowledge of the field is required have been selected for having technical adviser candidates recruited, and about 130 candidates have been secured so far.

The corresponding technical fields involve 11 technologies in total, including artificial intelligence, autonomous driving, secondary batteries and fuel cells, wireless communication (5G/6G), video and audio compression, fintech, semiconductors (photolithography, etching, deposition technology), robot control, ground stabilization, automotive transmissions, and bio-health, and in the case of there being new fields or additional selection demands, the judgment division can request that new candidates be added at any time.

If it is judged necessary for a technical adviser to participate during a trial, the chief trial examiner may designate one or more of the candidates in the relevant technical field as a technical adviser and, the judgment division should listen to the opinions of both parties before the designation so as to not be one-sided.

If necessary, parties may propose to the chief trial examiner participation of a technical adviser through a written opinion during the trial, but the chief trial examiner will decide such participation.

In order to clarify issues related to technical problems of a trial case, a technical adviser will provide an explanation or opinion in response to a request from the chief trial examiner.

Once the system is implemented, opinions presented by private technical experts from a neutral position will be used for trial examinations, which is expected to greatly contribute to trial examiners making quick and accurate judgments.

<Procedures for Designation and Utilization of Technical Adviser>

① Recommendation of candidates from organizations, institutions, and research institutes in various fields

Recruitment of candidates through recommendations from external organizations such as public organizations, universities, and research institutes.

② Selection and registration of candidates for each technical field

Selection and registration of candidates focusing on external experts in fields such as the 4th industrial revolution, etc. that require high-tech and field knowledge by reflecting opinions collected from trial examiners.

③ Decisions on the designation of a technical adviser

The chief trial examiner designates a technical adviser ex officio* to guide both parties, listens to the opinions of the parties, and makes final decisions on designation of such advisers.

However, the parties to the trial may request cancellation of the designation if there is a reasonable reason even after such final designation of the chief trial examiner.

* It is planned to be operated only for some technologies that require supplementation of technical expertise, and in order not to form excessive candidate pools and to prevent work efficiency from deteriorating, it is not allowed for parties to request.

④ Technical adviser participation in a procedure

Technical advisers can submit their opinions in writing or attend oral hearings and explain or present their opinions verbally when an oral hearing is held. On the other hand, regarding an explanation or opinion of a technical adviser, the parties are to be given sufficient opportunities to state their opinions.

[Source: Korean Intellectual Property Office]


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