While the liberal west has gotten more stringent with inventions in the ICT domain, the good news is that the east is embracing ICT inventions with open arms. The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) recently amended its Patent Examination Guidelines for Computer Software Inventions, thereby expanding the scope of protection for software inventions.

Accordingly, applications filed on or after 1st July 2014 would be examined based on the revised guidelines. Along with the previously allowed claims for software inventions directed to method, apparatus and computer readable medium, the new amendments to the patent examination guidelines now consider computer programs as statutory subject matter. Thus, KIPO may consider various types of software, such as applications  (mobile apps), platforms, operating systems (OSs) as patentable subject matter.

What does this amendment to KIPO’s Patent Examination Guidelines for Computer Software Inventions have in store for us? KIPO is one of the prescribed countries under the Malaysian Patents Act 1983 as well as an International Search Authority (ISA) which can be selected to examine a PCT application. Since KIPO has expanded its scope of protection for examining software inventions, inventors/applicants may select KIPO as the ISA for their PCT applications to obtain a favorable opinion for software inventions subject to novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability requirements.