Annual Technical Report 2009 on Patent Information Activities submitted by Republic of Korea (CWS/ATR/PI/2009/KR)
Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.
The term "patent" covers utility models and Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs). Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in their Annual Technical Reports on Industrial Design Information Activities.
I. Evolution of patent activities
Changes experienced in terms of application filings and grants with respect to the previous year
In 2009, the number of patent applications was 163,523 representing a 4.2% decrease compared with the number for 2008; while the number of patent grants was 56,732, representing a 32.1% decrease compared with the figure for 2008.
Similarly, there was a decline in the number of utility model applications and utility model grants. The number of utility model applications was 17,144, representing a 1.5% decrease while the number of utility model grants was 3,949, representing a 20.6% decrease.
URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide statistics related to patents
II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, distribution and use of primary and secondary sources of patent information
Publishing, printing, copying (main types of publications of the Office in the field of patent information, etc.)
PDF gazettes of Korean patents and utility models have been made available through KIPO’s website since July 2001 for quick and easy access by the public. Additionally, the gazettes are offered by email to people who are subscribed to the email service. Further, XML-formatted versions of the gazettes are produced on DVD-ROMs for distribution to 10 domestic and 11 foreign offices twice a month. In February 2005, the format of the DVD-ROM version was changed to XML from SGML format. The gazettes on patents and utility models published in 2009 contained the following:
• 130,876 patent applications and 55,830 patent grants
• 12,997 utility model applications and 3,906 utility model grants
Digitization Center (Data Conversion Center)
Since January 2001, the Digitization Center has been in operation for digitizing paper-based gazettes, patent applications, utility model applications, and intermediate documents such as amendments, written opinions, and trials. The Center automatically receives applications and performs formality checks and data conversions on them. Delays and/or errors during the conversion process are avoided through the use of state-of-the-art technologies, such as Multi OCR, dual key-inputs, automated verification of electronic data, and color-scanning technology for documents attached to applications.
In 2009, the Center digitized a total of 83,652 documents. In all, about 777 different kinds of paper-based documents, including 4,586 patent applications and 2,266 utility model applications were digitized.
Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of patent information
KIPO’s Website (http://www.kipo.go.kr)
On KIPO’s website, applicants can find the following:
• Announcements about notifications that couldn’t be delivered due, for example, to an applicant changing his or her postal address without informing KIPO
• Advance notice on patents expiring due to the non-payment of fees
• Other notices, such as changes in laws or fees
Internet gazette search service
Since July 2001, an Internet gazette search service has been made available through KIPO’s website . At the website, customers can refer to publications from the year 2006 to date in PDF format. In addition, they can register to receive notifications about their topics of interests through a push-mail service.
Word processing and office automation
With the launch of the KIPOnet system in 1999, almost all Industrial Property Right (IPR) administrative processes were computerized including the receiving, examining, granting and publication of applications. In 2001, we began sending examination results to applicants via email and SMS, publishing official gazettes on the Internet, and handling most registration and opposition procedures online. And in 2002, we started handling all trial-related procedures online. From 2003 to 2004, the KIPOnet system was improved through the integration and re-design of its legacy subsystems, architectures, databases as well as the adoption of middleware and workflows. As a result of these, 24-7 nonstop services, a work-at-home examination system, an online PCT e-filing system, and a real-time notification service were realized in 2005.
In 2006, we set up an infrastructure for sharing patent information and examination results with other Industrial Property Offices (IPOs) and began a public service for informing applicants of when their applications would be examined. In addition, we continued to improve on the quality of the KIPOnet system.
In November 2007, we started receiving patent and utility model applications filed through the WEB-PASS, which is a web-based e-filing system.
And starting 2008, through the WEB-PASS, applicants can submit documents related to registration, trial or other intermediate processes online. In addition, we started having automatic notifications mailed to applicants and handling semiconductor integrated circuit layout registration procedures online.
In 2009, we improved our e-filing portal to make it a patent management portal that allows individual users to more efficiently manage their patent affairs. In addition, we developed a commercial MS-WORD-based editor to replace existing filing editors, and enhanced the fee payment system.
URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide access to online publication of patent documents and gazettes, and to other primary and secondary sources of patent information, including patent publication servers and download of bulk patent data
III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents
Abstracting, reviewing, translating
Data Management Center
Since May 2002, the Data Management Center has been operating to provide high-quality data through the systematic analysis of patent and utility model data stored in the KIPOnet system by digitizing those data and fixing any errors found in them.
In 2009, approximately 761,000 data was added to the KIPOnet system and the analysis of this database was conducted for the following:
i) Data verification: 50,149 Korean gazette data of patents and utility models; path verification of 1.2 million data of patent and utility model applications; 1.1 million data of Japanese representative drawings.
ii) Data quality management: Guidelines for data management were updated and approximately 1.7 million data in the KIPOnet system were modified appropriately.
iii) Data transfer: For online public services, in 2009, approximately 2.8 million raw patent data and 894,000 raw utility model data were provided to the Korea Institute of Patent Information (KIPI). The KIPI serves the public by properly packaging these raw data and making them available on the Internet through a free patent information search service – the Korea Industrial Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS).
iv) Media management system: In 2009, newly collected 59,036 media were registered in the Media Management Center and assigned individual ID numbers which were used to store them in the system.
Korean Patent Abstracts
For international information sharing and overseas protection of Korean industrial property rights, the Korean Patent Abstract (KPA), which is a publication of the abstracts of domestic patent applications and grants in English, has been issued on CD-ROMs since 1997. These CD-ROMs are distributed to 40 IPOs including the IPO of the US, Japan, and the UK, and seven organizations including WIPO and the EPO. By the end of 2009, approximately 1.44 million patent applications had been published and built into a database.
Classification1, preclassification2 (if applicable), and reclassification3 activities; Classification system used, e.g., International Patent Classification (IPC), other classification (please indicate whether or not patent documents are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification is used)
International Patent Classification
KIPO’s official classification system for patents and utility models is the International Patent Classification (IPC). Pre-classification is outsourced to a professional agency and each examiner checks which subgroup an application should be classified under.
In 2009 about 194,097 data were classified according to the 2009 IPC version. Additionally, 77,602 data related to the classes “B09B, B62M, C12N, F16H, F24F, G01N, G01S, G08G, G12B, H01M, H04B, H04W” were reclassified in accordance with the 2009 IPC version.
Hybrid system indexing
For classifying patents and utility models according to the IPC, a hybrid system, which consists of classification codes and complementary indexing codes, is used.
Bibliographic data and full-text processing
KIPO uses the searchable SGML and XML formats for its search system. Currently, KIPO’s examiners are able to search the full text of Korean patent and utility model applications published as far back as 1983 and examine Korean patents and utility models granted since 1947. They can also search bibliographic and image data from the EPO, JPO, and USPTO, as well as Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Taiwan, and the UK.
IV. Search file establishment and upkeep
Along with domestic official gazettes, foreign patent data is continuously being collected from the following sources: the EPO’s FPD and IFD, the JPO’s Patent Gazettes, Search Master and PAJ, and the USPTO’s Patent Specifications, and from the countries listed in the preceding sub-section.
For continued improvement of the quality of such data, in 2008, a portal was developed for accessing the Meta Management System, Data Quality Management System, and the Application Impact Management System. In addition, reverse engineering was introduced to refine the data architecture and a working group for discussing and coordinating data quality issues was established. Additionally, the working group is expected to induce validation queries for patent data and prepare guidelines for data quality management.
As at the end of 2009, the amount of patent technology data in the KIPOnet search system had reached almost 140 million, comprising of about 6 million domestic patent data and 134 million foreign patent data.
Storage, including mass storage media
Depending on the importance and use of data, KIPOnet’s storage configuration is divided into two sections: an IP administration section and a search section. The IP administration system uses RAID 1 for its integrated database, imaging system and XML data, using 50% of the disk (the rest of the disk is used for mirroring), while forming a business continuous volume that will facilitate quick daily backups and recovery. On the other hand, the search system applies RAID 5 using 75% of the disk (the rest of the disk is used for parity) for large-sized images, search database, indexes, and representative drawings.
Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file
Foreign data available through KIPO’s search system includes the following:
• Bibliographies: Search Master (JP/1975~), DocDB (EP/1974~), UK(1991~), Canada (1999~), Australia (1998~), Germany (1991~), France (1992~)
• Abstracts: Japanese Patents (JP/1975~1996), Taiwanese Patent Applications (TW/2003~), Chinese Patent Applications and Granted Patents (CN/1985~)
• Full Texts (or full images): Japanese Patents and Utility Models (JP/1975~), USAPat (US/1975~), Espace A (EP/1978~), Espace-B (EP/1990~), Espace-world (EP/1978~Nov. 2002), Impact Rule87 (Dec. 2002~), etc.
V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems
In-house systems (online/offline)
Patent Search System
The Patent Search System supports simple and convenient searches of full text data collected from the patent gazettes of foreign offices such as the EPO, JPO, and the USPTO, including our domestic gazette data. Due to the intelligent automated search functions, our examiners only need to input keywords in Korean to search prior art documents. More detailed functions are as follows:
• An integrated viewer for patents and utility models enables our examiners to confirm a great number of search results that have been collectively stored on their own computers by a personal database client.
• Meta-search function allows searching of non-patent literature categorized by technology such as theses, reports, and periodicals. It can also search multiple Internet sites and show the results on the same screen including electronic journals such as IEEE, ScienceDirect, and OSA.
• A matrix for IPC, F-term, USPC, E-CLA enables examiners to simultaneously view relevant applications for a prior art with a maximum of 30 representative drawings.
• When a user inputs a Korean keyword, he/she can get the corresponding English/Japanese results.
• The System enables KIPO examiners to conduct reserved search requests and delivers the results to them through an after-hours batch work system.
Towards a future-oriented search environment, an English to Korean translation system was incorporated into the search system and integrated search services on both patent and non-patent literature launched. For user convenience, search system's performance was improved with the upgrade of the search engine and the adoption of the latest Ria technology. In 2009, due to the optimization of IT resources, development and management environments for examiners were connected closely under a new security response scheme.
Online Work-at-Home System
Since March 2005, a remote online work-at-home examination system has been deployed and is being used by examiners who volunteer to work from home. They are enabled to securely access the KIPOnet system from the comfort of their homes through a VPN, fingerprint identification system, and a government public key infrastructure (GPKI). To prevent the leakage of undisclosed patent documents, Digital Rights Management (DRM) technology has been incorporated into the system. In 2008 and in an effort to make the work-at-home system more efficient and better managed, an additional system was developed and incorporated into the work-at-home system. The new system facilitates the online receipt of applications from prospective applicants by our work-at-home examiners, recording of their work hours, and the management of the list of undisclosed patent documents. As at the end of 2009, 89 examiners (approximately 12.5% of the total number of patent examiners at KIPO) were participating in this system.
Through an integrated interface, our examiners efficiently search non-patent literature such as the databases of STN, Chemical Abstracts and IEEE Abstracts. Every year, the scope of database is extended along with provisions for an integrated user-interface. In addition, access is provided to science literatures, such as Delphion, Westlaw, ScienceDirect, and KP-Journal, JJAP, BCSJ, ACS, OSA, CCD, Science, Nature, Wiley-Interscience, Springer, including domestic journals such as DBPIA and KISS, via the Internet.
Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics and administrative support)
As at the end of 2009, KIPOnet had about 43 subsystems, some of which are listed below. Each subsystem plays an important role in managing data produced during the various phases of the IPR administrative processes, such as, dealing with matters that originate in the transfer of data from one phase to another and streamlining search-related administration.
General Information Management Subsystem
The General Information Management Subsystem generates a variety of statistical and policy data on patents, utility models, industrial designs, and trademarks by using a variety of information retained in KIPO’s databases. The system efficiently manages large volumes of data and provides end-users with various functions and tools with which to access the data.
Electronic Approval and Routing Subsystem
The Electronic Approval and Routing Subsystem enables electronic approvals of IPR and general administration processes. The system comprises of two major parts: an approval system for IPR examinations that was introduced in 1999; and an approval system for general administration that was launched in June 2000. The approval system for general administration was upgraded in January 2004 and replaced with the Onnara System in January 2007. The Electronic Approval and Routing Subsystem is used for the following:
• Electronic approval: preparation, approval; dispatch and receipt of electronic documents; management of a document box; and circulation of documents
• Electronic mail: preparation, transmission, receipt, and management of emails
• Electronic bulletin board: for the submission of posts and reviews
• Management and preservation of records
The system has a pop-up window feature, which shows messages on the approval status of documents and could be used for managing individual schedules. The electronic approval system was used for 99.4% of all the documents approved in 2009.
In 2006, the Knowledge Management System that was launched in 2001, was renamed Knowledge Oasis (KOASIS). The KOASIS does not only represent a change in name, but also represents a significant upgrade to the previous version of the system. The system is dedicated to the efficient management of a variety of knowledge and information created by KIPO staff. It is for assisting them in their work, and enables them to discuss and share knowledge through the bulletin board of the KOASIS website. Furthermore, it offers a keyword search function for gleaning details of approved documents and allows them to utilize various management tools, such as knowledge maps, knowledge warehouses, personalized portals, and cyber knowledge communities.
In addition, the system enables KIPO to share ideas and knowledge with 18 external R&D institutes including the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute through an online Q&A communication corner. Some high quality information posted on the KOASIS is available to the public through KIPO’s homepage and private search portals like Naver. Since November 2007, it has been linked to the Government’s Knowledge Management System for more extended information sharing between government agencies.
Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), carriers used
As at the end of 2009, KIPOnet had 50 UNIX Enterprise servers, 66 NT servers, and 20 Linux servers. For higher availability, individual servers are clustered for the e-filing system, IP administration system, and search system and particularly between the Homepage Server and the Portal Server. In case of system failures, the cluster paired systems temporarily substitute for each other. The combined storage capacity of the 26 servers is 359 terabytes including 18 SANs. The peripherals consist of 7 backup devices, 5 jukeboxes and 349 sets of network equipment. The improvements made in terms of hardware performance in 2009 are as follows:
• Increased and enhanced the servers, storage equipment, and SAN switch
• Replaced old legacy equipment including backup equipment
• Performed a complete overhaul of the IT resources to prevent disaster including carrying out availability tests on the cluster paired servers
• Conducted disaster recovery tests on the e-filing system as well as on the search system
• Installed a security patch for server resources for the general administration system and the search system
• Set up a quality verification environment for the general administration system
In 2009, to enhance the KIPOnet system and related security, we separated the IP administration network from the government network and replaced old (outdated) network equipment. We also dualized communication lines and devices for the International Intellectual Property Training Institute (IIPTI) and increased the number of communication lines between KIPO and the Korea Post. For our fee payment service, we launched an exclusive communication line to our bank and installed intrusion detection systems to prevent computer hacking. Additional communication lines were introduced as follows:
• 2Mbps * 1 lines between KIPO Headquarters and the IIPTI
• 2Mbps * 1 line between KIPO Headquarters and the National Computing & Information Agency
• 10Mbps * 1 line between the Seoul Branch office and the Central Government Complex
For databases, performance tests are regularly conducted with support from Oracle. In addition, we continuously upgrade the backup tools, middleware, and web servers to improve the KIPOnet system’s performance and functionality.
As at the end of 2009, about 199 commercial software applications were in use. The software applications can be grouped into three major groups and are mostly related to database and middleware. The major groups are:
• 184 perpetual licensed software including DBMS and web servers
• 7 subscription licensed software including V3
• 8 packaged software for KOASIS, web mail, messenger, performance management, electronic approval, six sigma, and etc.
VI. Administration of the industrial property office library, and information products and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, for assisting clients on searching procedures, for obtaining official publications and registry extracts)
Planning, administration, automation, security, buildings
The Information Policy Bureau organizes comprehensive services for the public by managing the IP Digital Library and the e-Filing Portal System, while other departments support customers according to their specific duties and responsibilities.
e-Filing Portal System
The e-Filing Portal System was established to transform KIPO’s website into an online service portal for the cyber community. Owing to this service, applicants can file all the various kinds of industrial property applications online and pay the relevant fees by Internet banking. Furthermore, they are informed of the legal status of their applications by e-mail and/or SMS. They can request and receive certificates, download electronic dossiers, such as priority certificates via the Internet and check the progress of their request. In addition, a public service for informing applicants in advance, of when their applications would be examined, has been made available since October 2006. Moreover, individual applicants can check the status of their applications through an HTML-based service titled “How is my application going?” while enterprises, universities, institutes and IP law firms check through a SOAP-based web service. This e-Filing Portal System is linked to the WEB-PASS, which is a web-based e-filing system used for receiving all kinds of IPR applications. In 2009, we enhanced its functions as an individual patent management web portal by enabling users to have their own information boxes for the enterprise management of patent information and to participate in knowledge sharing through web blogs. The service contents were also increased to 181 types of information from 49 types in 2008.
IP Digital Library
The IP Digital Library located at KIPO’s headquarters supports its customers by enabling them to search for patent information in a variety of formats including online, microfilm, and paper, as well as for non-patent literature the Library has. They could also order copies of published patent applications as filed.
Customer Service Center
To integrate scattered counseling resources and promptly provide technical advice, the Customer Service Center was established in March 2002. Its roles can be summarized as follows:
• Counseling: procedural and technical advice on (electronic) filing, examination, registration, trial, search and use of patent information, as well as on the evaluation of disputes, such as IPR infringement
• Customer relationship management: customized information based on the record of past phone requests and opinions collected through customer satisfaction surveys for better policies and promotional events
• Outreach service: informing applicants in advance that their applications would be extinguished and suggests reasonable solutions
• Others: managing a quick response system that is available on the Internet
In terms of security, the digital signature of electronic documents is used based on a public key infrastructure for encryption and decoding. To protect customers’ computers from external attack, a lot of security equipment such as IDS, firewall, and VPN have been deployed. Unauthorized access to the main database is prohibited via database security tools. 24-7 Enterprise Security Management has been introduced for security equipments and servers. Also, a key logger security and a hacking-diagnostic system are used for protecting PCs against other risks, such as spy wares; and a single sign-on system has been implemented for tighter security in accordance with the standardized Directory Access Protocol.
The KIPOnet system won the ISO 27001 certification in 2006 in recognition of its highly secure web services for applicants, SecureOS for servers, individual information protection marks, and secure site mark. Accordingly, among government departments, KIPO has consecutively won first prize in security assessment (from 2007 to 2009) and in private information protection (from 2008 to 2009).
Collection management, preservation
IP Digital Library
The IP Digital Library archives patent documents, such as bibliographic data, abstracts and full texts, in a variety of media such as paper, microform, and CD-ROM. The documents are obtained through exchange agreements with 18 countries and 4 international organizations, including the USPTO, WIPO, and EPO.
The library has non-patent literatures (some of which were donated while others were purchased), which comprises of over 32,179 volumes and 536 kinds of periodicals related to science and technology, CD-ROMs of annual reports, and statistics. The collections are arranged according to their category and volume number. KIPO examiners and the public are allowed access to this collection. The electronic database is provided at the Internet corner of the IP Digital Library. The library also offers original copies of electronic materials, such as electronic journals and e-books.
Interlibrary lending, resource sharing, networks of patent libraries in the country
Cooperation between Libraries
In 1978, KIPO became a member of the Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information (KISTI), which is an institute that provides interlibrary loan and document delivery services on a variety of IP-related publications.
Since 2002, KIPO examiners have conducted online searches on over 3.45million volumes of thesis, government publications, seminar materials, and books. This is based on an agreement with the National Assembly Library to exchange such information.
National Digital Science Library
KIPO is also a member of the National Digital Science Library, managed by KISTI. This library provides access to the academic theses and scientific journals of 454 domestic libraries and information centers.
Information services available to the public (including computerized services and search files contained in libraries remote from your Office and patent information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web)
KIPO’s website is an information portal for its customers. General information on IP and some individual announcements, such as undelivered notifications due to applicants changing their addresses, notice on patents expiring due to the non-payment of fees, etc., are available at the website. Also available on the website are the Internet gazette search service and notifications on customers’ areas of interests through a push-mail and/or an SMS service.
To facilitate access to IP information available on the website by the sick, aged and/or disabled, the web technologies defined by W3C and a voice service have been implemented. The voice service reads texts on the website out loud for the benefit of people who can either not see or read. Specifically, underprivileged users now have an easier and more comfortable access since they can scale the screen up and down; and the video files are subtitled for the benefit of those who cannot hear but can read. Additional activities to improve public services were carried out as below:
• Service contents: supplemented based on feedbacks collected from users through live polls and consultations
• Accessibility of services: implemented web standards to enable access under diverse web browsing environments; introduced I-PIN for privacy protection; modified the homepage and simplified the menus; as well as refined domain and portal sites similar to KIPO. Above all, the domain for online filing services was completely separated from KIPO’s homepage. The domain for online filing services is now http://www.patent.go.kr.
Korea Industrial Property Rights Information Service
Since January 2001, domestic IPR information (including the KPA) has been offered free-of-charge through the Korea Industrial Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS), which is available at http://www.kipris.or.kr/kor/main/main.jsp. The service also covers business method patents, up-to-date information on the legal status of applications, the full text of Korean applications and granted patents in PDF, as well as full texts of foreign patents from the US, JP, Europe, and WIPO. For foreign users, KIPRIS offers ‘K2E-PAT’ service that is a real-time machine translation service of the full texts of Korean patents and utility models into English language. It also offers legal status information on applications in English, and citation information on prior arts in the search retrieval menu. In 2009, the number of search hits by visitors was over 23.7 million while the number of visits was 13.8 million. Additional achievements are as follows:
• Database of 33.6 million domestic data and 144.1 million foreign data
• Search services on UK, DE, and FR patents
• Online terminology dictionary available at KIPRIS
• Service improvement of international applications which have been entered into the national phase
• Extension of the scope for administrative information on foreign patents
In April 2000, the Internet Patent Mart , so-called IP-Mart, was launched to create opportunities for transferring patented technologies online and to overcome the limitation of short-lived traditional technology fairs. The mart provides a variety of IP information to individual inventors and SMEs on promoting innovation.
In 2009, the IP-Mart database grew to 46,380 technologies with 104,710 users, while 100 technology transfers were made.
URLs of web pages of the Office's website for electronic filing of patent applications
URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide information on business procedures such as: filing, publication, examination and grant procedures related to patents; opposition and appeal procedures related to patents; etc.
URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide a description of information products and services offered by the Office (e.g., patent search service(s) and patent databases), as well as information on how to access and utilize them
VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information
International or regional cooperation in the exchange of machine-readable information, e.g., bibliographic data, abstract and/or full text information
As at the end of 2009, patent documents were being collected from 25 offices, including the EPO and WIPO. In particular, bibliographic, image, and full text data are regularly obtained from Australia, Canada, China, the United Kingdom, and Taiwan as well as from the Trilateral Offices (i.e., EPO, JPO, and USPTO). These data are loaded into our search system for our examiners’ reference.
IT experts meetings with the other patent offices on the use and dissemination of patent information as well as on the electronic exchange of search databases including priority documents are ongoing.
Dissemination of Korean patent information by K-PION
Since Korean patent documents were incorporated into the PCT minimum documentation, the importance of referring to Korean patent documents when other IPOs perform examinations has increased. Therefore, to help examiners of foreign IPOs with their examination, KIPO launched a Korean to English translation service for publications on patent/utility model applications, the so-called “the Korean Patent Information Online Network (K-PION)” in November 2005, which is now available at http://www.k-pion.kipo.go.kr.
The K-PION service is operated through a Korean-English translation engine customized for patent documents. It has approximately three million technical terms and sentence patterns. It enables IPO examiners who are not familiar with the Korean language to easily understand Korean patent documents. It is available to them for free, 24/7 via the Internet through the translation of file wrapper information and a keyword search service on the KPA in English. Further, the service has been linked to the in-house system of the EPO. Since December 8, 2008, Korean gazettes on patents and utility models have been available for English keyword searches. In 2009, K-PION also started to offer search services of Korean trademarks and designs.
Trilateral Document Access Services
In collaboration with the JPO, the TDA-FWA (File Wrapper Access) system was launched for sharing examination results online with the JPO. This was done in April 2007 under a project called the Korea-Japan Patent Prosecution Highway. It was linked to our internal system in July of the same year. And in November 2008, it was extended to the USPTO in order to reduce examination pendency period and to increase the quality of examinations conducted at the IPOs; ultimately strengthening the international protection of the industries and technologies of each country. In 2009, the USPTO and KIPO undertook a pilot project for the Strategic Handling of Application for Rapid Examination, through which the office of second filing awaits the search and examination results of the office of first filing to reduce the workload.
Medium used for exchange of priority documents
The electronic exchange of priority documents with the JPO started via CD-ROMs in July 2001. In August 2002, the exchange channel was changed to the TriNet and in April 2008, it was changed to the Trilateral Document Access (TDA) method. The TDA method fully automates the priority document exchange process and has been extended to both the USPTO (in October 2008) and the EPO (in December 2008). In 2009, 10,773 priority documents were exchanged with the JPO, 17,152 with the USPTO and 2,322 with the EPO.
KIPO has also been electronically exchanging priority documents with WIPO since September 2004 and extended the electronic exchange of documents to translations and applications under the PCT.
Medium allowed for filing applications
KIPO allows applicants to file applications either online, on paper, or on floppy disks. All paper-based applications are converted into electronic format. Specifications, drawings, and bibliographic data submitted to KIPO on floppy disks are uploaded to the KIPOnet system. After implementing the online filing system in January 1999, KIPO was able to cut its operating expenses and began providing various online services, including information referral and requests for certificates. In 2009, the e-filing rate for patent applications rose to an average of 97.3% amounting to 159,156 applications, while for utility model applications, it got up to 87.2% amounting to 14,918 applications.
VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries (please indicate URLs of web pages of the Office’s website wherever appropriate)
Training courses for national and foreign participants, use of audiovisual means
National IP Education Portal
The National IP Education Portal was opened in May 2002. It is managed by the International Intellectual Property Training Institute (IIPTI) and offers general training programs to a diverse group of people interested in IPRs and inventions. Trainees range from elementary school students to senior citizens. During the courses, experts from the industry, law, administration, and educational sectors give presentations on relevant IP information, including basic knowledge of IPRs. As at 2009, it had managed 137 contents and hosted approximately 242,530 users. Specifically, through the Portal, the IIPTI has supported 77 universities in providing online education on IP and professional tutoring programs to students.
International Intellectual Property Training Institute
In 1987, the International Intellectual Property Training Institute (IIPTI) was established in Seoul as an affiliate of KIPO. It initially offered 11 IPR training courses and then moved in February 1991, to the Daedeok Science Valley in Daejeon with the support of WIPO and the United Nations Development Programme. The IIPTI offers training programs depending on the target trainees as follows:
• Courses for government officials: given in English based on their level/grade, including the WWA DL-101 Course, courses on controversial issues in IP as well as other relevant courses
• Courses for the private sector: focused on both expanding the nation’s IP base and for raising awareness of IP. Courses mostly target patent attorneys, R&D personnel and IP staff of enterprises, towards cultivating IP experts and helping to secure more customized programs and practical exercises.
• International courses: offers about nine courses for foreign trainees including the WIPO ASIA-PACIFIC Regional Seminar, courses on Korean IP legal systems and the KIPOnet system, etc.
• Invention education: to cultivate invention and train invention coaches. In 2009, a new team was entrusted with strengthening the invention education process for gifted students.
• Courses for enterprisers: to train business persons on future-oriented new growth industries, particularly by offering special courses to gifted students at special centers in KAIST and POSTECH
KIPO-WIPO Joint IPR Education Projects
In conjunction with WIPO, KIPO has managed e-learning IPR courses for its domestic companies and universities in order to help them to create their own IP. Particularly, in collaboration with the WIPO Worldwide Academy (WWA), KIPO has offered the DL-101 course that covers the main areas of IPR in English to students of domestic universities that are affiliated with KIPO. Students, who take these courses, are issued with WIPO WWA and KIPO joint certificates. In 2009, six modules of the DL-101 course were developed and 2,550 students completed the course in 42 sessions. Further, 841 trainees from industries, R&D institutes, and patent attorney offices took the specialized course for industry in ten sessions.
Assistance to developing countries (sending consultants and experts, receiving trainees from developing countries, etc.)
The PCT Receiving Office ADministration (PCT-ROAD), which was developed in conjunction with WIPO using the Korea Funds-in-Trust at WIPO in May 2005, supplemented the function of the PCT-EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) to enable the online exchange of PCT-related documents in 2007. As at 2009, it has been distributed to 28 countries, including Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa, and Mexico. Particularly, from February 2 to 6, 2009, KIPO and WIPO jointly held a PCT-ROAD user training program titled ‘In-depth Training Program on the PCT E-Processing System,’ targeting patent examiners from five IPOs including the Philippines and Malaysia, to give them a better understanding of the PCT-ROAD system and thus facilitate their efficient use of the PCT-ROAD.
A digital IPR educational program called IP Panorama was developed in collaboration with the Korea Invention Promotion Association and WIPO using animations to facilitate the learning of IPR concepts in ten fields; including patent information, technology trade, M&As, e-commerce, and patent disputes. The program is useful for IP education and training, as well as for the development of human resources. It is also available in English, Hungarian, Thai, and Arabic and is scheduled to be developed in UN official languages.
KIPO-APEC Training Program for IPR Information Facilitators
From August 24 to 28, 2009, KIPO in collaboration with APEC held a training program on how to search for and use patent information. The training program was attended by 30 IP-related officials from 15 APEC member economies. This course, as the second phase of the APEC Project for Training Intellectual Property Right Information Facilitators using e-learning contents, IP Xpedite, was aimed at offering expert IP lectures and practical exercises to trainees who successfully completed the online course (first phase) of the project.
Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)
To exchange information and explore more efficient strategies and tools in the utilization of IP information, an annual IP conference titled PATINEX (PATent INformation EXpo) has been held by KIPO since 2005. The conference provides participants with up-to-date information on the patent strategies of advanced enterprises, solutions and tools for using and analyzing patent information. In addition, it brings together IP professionals and businesses from IPOs around the world, and creates an opportunity for a diverse set of IP service providers to exhibit relevant software and services that they have developed.
The fifth PATINEX, which was held in November 2009, was aimed at helping enterprises and R&D institutes maximize their capacity to use patent information and secure their competitiveness. In addition, it provided participants with a comprehensive look at the status of patent information service industries as well as the technologies involved. At the 5th PATINEX, there were lectures by intellectual property experts on methodologies for the use of patent information and next generation search tools. Further, unlike in the previous PATINEX, there was a panel discussion session on state-of-the-art technology areas. Participants had an opportunity to grasp patent technology trends and exemplary strategic patent portfolios.
In the exhibition venue, about 25 patent information service providers, including LexisNexis, Em-frontier, and Anyfive, participated and were all well received by visitors.
Infrastructure Expansion for sharing IPR Information nationwide
To consult on matters and difficulties that researchers face in conducting R&D projects, an IPR help-desk online has been made available at http//:www.ipr-guide.org since September 2005. And the use of an R&D note by researchers (which we started promoting in 2006) is being continually encouraged to improve the capacity of researchers to develop successful patent strategies and yield good R&D results.
In 2009, twelve courses were offered online. In addition, customized consulting services were provided to 50 R&D institutions to raise their capability of using IPR information. Those consulting services were focused on how they can improve by strategically using patent information. Simultaneously, National R&D IP forums were held three times and a survey was conducted to investigate the use and management of IP by researchers involved in government funded R&D projects.
Studies to identify trends in new technology, e.g., by the use of patent statistics and preparation of monographs
Survey and Analysis of Patent Statistics
To encourage the greater use of valuable patent information for R&D, an analytical report titled the Patent Trends of Korea is being periodically published. In 2009, it reported the results of analyzing the trend of approximately 1.24 million patent applications filed from 2000 to 2009.
The data was analyzed in terms of type of applicants (domestic or foreign), technology, academic field, region and company. Particularly, patent applications requested for trial were also analyzed by research entity and patent right dispute in major countries.
IX. Other general information related to the Office that is available on the Internet -- URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that:
provide information on legislation related to patents
contain the Annual Report of the Office
contain patent-related news regarding the Office
X. Other relevant matters
|1.||Classification is allotting one or more classification symbols (e.g., IPC symbols) to a patent application, either before or during search and examination, which symbols are then published with the patent application.|
|2.||Preclassification is allotting an initial broad classification symbol (e.g., IPC class or subclass, or administrative unit) to a patent application, using human or automated means for internal administrative purposes (e.g., routing an application to the appropriate examiner). Usually preclassification is applied by the administration of an office.|
|3.||Reclassification is the reconsideration and usually the replacement of one or more previously allotted classification symbols to a patent document, following a revision and the entry into force of a new version of the Classification system (e.g., the IPC). The new symbols are available on patent databases.|