The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] S. Korea's top IP official vows to create user-friendly patent system

By Yeo Jun-suk

Published : June 13, 2019 - 17:51

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 South Korean companies will experience faster, more predictable and applicant-friendly patent system in the future both here and overseas as efforts are underway to create an efficient and transparent ecosystem, the country’s top intellectual property official said on Thursday.

During his interview with The Korea Herald, Intellectual Property Office Commissioner Park Won-joo said top IP officials from five major countries agreed to streamline patent registration processes for applicants around the world.

IP chiefs from Korea, US, China, Japan and the European Union adopted a joint declaration to pursue the initiative during their annual meeting held here. KIPO held the chairmanship of the 2019 meeting of the five countries, which cover some 85 percent of patent applications worldwide.

“Looking ahead, global cooperation for high quality screening process of patent applications will be strengthened and also user convenience will be improved,” said Park, who was hosting the annual roundtable of the world’s five major IP offices, namely IP5.

“Accordingly, Korean companies doing business here and in IP5 member countries are expected to acquire patents in a more predictable environment through a faster process with lesser costs.”

KIPO Commissioner Park Won-joo chairs a meeting of IP5 heads Thursday. KIPO Commissioner Park Won-joo chairs a meeting of IP5 heads Thursday.

Wrapping up the three-day meeting held in the western port city of Incheon, the five countries’ IP office chiefs pledged to use artificial intelligence and other future technologies to improve the global patent registration system.

To achieve the goal, they agreed to launch a special research institute comprising patent and IT experts from the five countries. The joint group will study how to improve the administrative system using artificial intelligence and other future technologies.

Expressing confidence about Korea’s improved status in the IP area, Park said KIPO will play a leading role to improve patent systems around the world. Regarding the amount of patent applications, Korea is the world’s fourth-largest country.

“IP is the only area in which Korea is organizing a consultation body with the world’s four biggest superpowers,” he said. “I’m hoping that Korea can exercise more leadership by hosting this year’s conference.”

The five IP offices also agreed to provide easier access for those seeking patent registrations in the US. Instead of requiring applicants to provide technology information themselves, the participants agreed to allow patent authorities to exchange relevant information with each other.

“When it comes to submission of (applications related to) information and communications technology, we have agreed to replace it with a model that allows for electronic transfer between different patent authorities. We are hoping it can boost user convenience.”

Over the past decades, IP5 has been seeking to provide applicants an easier process for patent registration across the countries. For this purpose, they have been trying to align the different systems of member states.