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KIPO vows to take lead in setting international rules on AI inventions

KIPO Commissioner Kim Yong-rae (KIPO)
KIPO Commissioner Kim Yong-rae (KIPO)
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) said it will play a leading role in setting up international rules on creations and inventions by artificial intelligence next year.

The KIPO, a member of the Intellectual Property Five (IP5), or a forum of the five largest intellectual property offices including those of the US, Europe, China and Japan, said it will also discuss among the IP5 ways to improve protection of trademarks and designs in the virtual world.

“As the digital transformation accelerates, the value of intellectual property data is growing,” KIPO Commissioner Kim Yong-rae said as the patent office outlined plans for next year.

“We will make good use of excellent IP data; protect and foster new types of digital IP to promote economic growth through IP in the digital era.”

The KIPO plans to tackle the changing IP trade environment by analyzing how IP-related articles in major trade agreements such as the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership can affect South Korea’s trade.

The patent office said it will support regional industries by providing them with patent analysis, regional brand and design development strategies, IP consulting service and IP expenses.

To foster IP experts specializing in regional industries, Chungnam National University will be added next year to the list of universities that receive state support for relevant degree programs, which currently comprises Gyeongsang National University, Chonnam National University and Chungbuk National University.

The KIPO also said it will analyze patent big data on emerging industries such as augmented reality to dig up technologies with good prospects to help the government set up research and development plans.

It plans to increase financial support for IP-based research and development in nonmemory semiconductors, future cars and bio-health to 40 billion won ($33.7 million) next year, up from 38.5 billion won this year.

State funds that invest in outstanding IP will also be expanded, and financial support for IP value assessment, which is required when small- and medium-sized companies seek investment or loans from financial institutions, will be increased in 2022.

To help SMEs tackle IP disputes, the KIPO said it will analyze dispute information and provide SMEs with patent information on technologies with a high risk of disputes.

For better protection of IP, the scope of investigation by KIPO’s “tech police,” which is currently limited to trade secrets, patents and designs, will be expanded to include all crimes related to technological leaks.

The KIPO said it will also bolster crackdowns on counterfeits sold via social media, and take steps to slap fines and issue correction orders against unfair competition, in addition to making recommendations.

By Lee Kwon-hyung (kwonhl@heraldcorp.com)

By Kim So-hyun (sophie@heraldcorp.com)
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