The Korea Herald


Korea, EU see surge in intellectual property rights exchange

By Park Ga-young

Published : Oct. 20, 2016 - 16:35

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Experts of intellectual property rights gathered for the fourth annual Korea-EU Intellectual Property Rights Conference on Thursday, highlighting the rising exchange of intellectual property rights and sharing recent legal developments in the field.

The conference, organized by the European Chamber of Commerce in Korea, drew 200 participants and 25 speakers from both public and private sectors to share information on the current status and recent developments in Korea and Europe as well as technological tools such as patent mapping, which enables patent visualization using big data. 

Heli Pihlajamaa, director of patent law at the European Patent Office, emphasized the economic significance of intellectual property rights in Europe and Korea. Half of all EU industries are highly dependent on intellectual property rights, with 1 in 3 jobs in the EU directly and indirectly relying on such rights, she said.

In 2015, the EPO proceeded 6,400 applications from Korea, making the country the fifth-largest source of European patent applications, according to Pihlajamaa.

In EPO’s company rankings, Samsung and LG have been among the four largest company applicants for six years.

At the conference, officials from the European Union and the Korean Intellectual Property Office introduced the latest legislative changes in the two regions, including the new EU trade mark system and South Korea’s revised patent act which went into effect in June 2016.

The Korea-EU IPR Conference is part of bilateral efforts to enhance protection of intellectual property rights, Sven-Erik Batenburg, head of Legal and International Affairs and also the organizer of the conference, said.

“South Korea has seen improvements in IPR in recent years, but there is still more room to grow,” Batenburg said, adding that lack of awareness and enforcement is the biggest challenge faced in the protection of intellectual property rights here.

During the afternoon session, three sessions -- on an introduction to intellectual property rights, patents and respect for intellectual property rights -- were discussed.

The annual conference was co-hosted by the ECCK, the EPO, the European Union Intellectual Property Office, the French Patent & Trademark Office and the KIPO.

By Park Ga-young (