Leveraging Intellectual Property (IP) to Ensure Business Growth and People’s Happiness 

KIPO Releases Its Operational Agenda for 2015 

In 2014, KIPO underwent an organizational reshuffling of its examination and trial bodies, and it outlined its “Strategy for an IP-based Creative Economy.” These actions were part of an effort to create a national IP ecosystem in which people’s creative ideas lead to innovative IPRs, startups, and jobs. 

This year, KIPO will push ahead with 19 core tasks in five different areas (a reliable examination and trial service, a thriving IP ecosystem, support for IP-based firms, training for IP professionals, and regulatory and management reform) so as to ensure business growth through the leveraging of IP. 

1. Making patent registration easier thanks to patent examiner consultations for applicants 

In order to make patent registration easier, KIPO’s patent examiners will provide consultations for applicants. Also, to assure people that registered IPRs will remain stable and not be easily invalidated, in January 2015 we implemented a customized examination service called “Patent Examination 3.0.” Furthermore, KIPO will strive to keep its pledge to reduce its examination and trial pendency. Our goal is to reduce our average patent pendency to 10 months; trademark and design pendency to 5 months; and inter partes pendency to 6 months. 

2. Strengthening patents by leveraging patent information throughout the entire R&D process 

KIPO will support the creation of strong patents by leveraging patent information throughout the entire R&D process, both within the public and private sectors. By year’s end, we plan to have completed a patent strategy that takes into account the results of big data analyses of the latest patent trends in industry. KIPO plans to frequently provide the public with in-depth analyses of recent technological issues, such as IoT and FinTech, on an ad-hoc basis. KIPO will also work to ensure that top-ranking scientists devoted to basic research possess an advanced understanding of IP and can use their research to generate strong patents. KIPO will assist these scientists in implementing various IP strategies, such as studying the patent strategies of rival researchers, writing R&D-based claims, and creating patent application portfolios. 

During the first half of 2015, KIPO will provide Korean firms with strategy consultations and analyses of soon-to-expire patents that have proved incredibly useful and have hugely impacted certain industries, particularly the 3D-printing and pharmaceutical industries. This is to ensure that Korean enterprises will take full advantage of this opportunity to enter new markets and develop new technologies. 

To guarantee that people are swiftly granted patents for protecting their creative ideas, KIPO will reinforce collaborations between Korea’s Creative Economy Innovation Centers and Regional IP Centers. This includes establishing additional IP Creative Zones in the Incheon and North Jeolla provinces sometime during the first half of this year. 

3. Assisting Korean exporters plagued by patent disputes 

As part of its effort to assist Korean exporters in resolving overseas patent disputes now that Korean culture is experiencing a global popularity surge, KIPO has established a protective measure called “K-Brand Protection” that will shield Korean products from counterfeiting whenever Korean firms do business in non-English speaking countries like China and other places throughout Southeast Asia. 

4. Fostering IP financing and IP-based firms 

To help firms that possess high quality IP expand through IP financing, KIPO is extending the current IP financing system to include private banks. This year, an estimated KRW 200 billion will be dedicated to IP financing, including investments and loans. To ease the risk borne by these private banks, KIPO also plans to create a special fund of KRW 20 billion sometime in the second half of 2015. 

To better foster creative, IP-based businesses, KIPO will provide Korean firms with customized IP management consultations after assessing their IP capacities. In 2015, KIPO plans to nurture 220 additional IP-Star companies, all of which hold valuable IP assets. 

5. Supporting ubiquitous IP learning 

KIPO is working to ensure that people can gain IP knowledge anywhere and anytime. 

To achieve this goal, KIPO will focus on each individual stage of human growth in order to expand the spectrum of its curricula and target a wider demographic. Invention Education Centers will be responsible for providing customized IP training to various groups, including primary school students, secondary school students, undergraduates, graduates, corporate employees, and so on. 

KIPO will develop introductory IP courses for public schools and also implement the IP Academic Credit Bank. 

Lastly, KIPO plans to propose the Invention Education Support Act in order to promote pan-governmental IP education and present new models for IP education.