Korea’s top court will establish a patent dispute mediation center as part of efforts to promptly help settle cross-border legal battles involving intellectual property rights, officials said Tuesday.
The Supreme Court said it would launch a special “one-stop” center under the Patent Court where the international intellectual property conflicts can be negotiated and resolved.
“Mediation is crucial in patent cases, as they mostly deal with highly professional knowledge and sensitive issues involving confidential information of the concerned businesses,” the authorities said.
The court will contemplate expanding the center as an international organ that encompasses Asian countries upon mutual negotiation in the future, they added.
This is part of the top court’s efforts to improve the specialty of the Patent Court. In June, the top court launched a special task force called the “Intellectual Property Hub Court” committee to discuss plans to boost the Patent Court’s professionalism.
Public voices have raised concern over improving the Patent Court’s professionalism as it frequently covers sensitive interest issues of global industries, especially the information technology sector and pharmaceutical businesses.
Along with the mediation center, the top court vowed to lengthen the maximum work term of the patent court judges to six years to improve their expertise, up from the current two to four years.
To better support judges’ technical deliberation, more than a dozen doctorate-degree patent experts will be recruited, the authorities said.
Starting from January, the Patent Court will cover a wider range of intellectual property litigations, such as compensation suits and sales bans, as the patent lawsuit-related rule is modified. The court currently only deals with lawsuits over annulling the trial decision.
Starting as early as February next year, the patent court’s trials will also be available in English, including testimony and pleas. Currently, all legal processes are conducted only in Korean. Foreign-language documents must also be submitted in Korean after translation.
Earlier this year, the committee said it would establish an “international justice department” in order better support the legal accessibility of foreigners.
English trials will be held only upon the agreement of the plaintiffs and defendants.
Once introduced, Korea will be the first East Asian country to adopt an English-language patent lawsuit system.
By Lee Hyun-jeong (firstname.lastname@example.org)