IAM Patent 1000 2021

Patents are essential business commodities and knowing how to obtain, enforce and monetise them has become mission critical. The IAM Patent 1000 has firmly established itself as the definitive ‘go-to’ resource for those seeking to identify world-class, private practice patent expertise.

South Korea

While the rest of the world reeled from the covid-19 pandemic, IP applications in South Korea reached an all-time high. Over 231,000 applications for patents and utility models were filed in 2020, a 3.3% increase from the year before, marking three straight years of growth. E-commerce and healthcare were the...

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While the rest of the world reeled from the covid-19 pandemic, IP applications in South Korea reached an all-time high. Over 231,000 applications for patents and utility models were filed in 2020, a 3.3% increase from the year before, marking three straight years of growth. E-commerce and healthcare were the two fastest-growing tech domains, each posting growth of more than 8%. The country is going out of its way to show that it is a haven for advanced technologies – in early 2021, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) introduced new examination guidelines for AI-related, pharmaceutical and biotechnology inventions. It also signed a business agreement with local tech company Kakao Enterprise to apply AI methods to patent similarity searches. KIPO is also setting up a framework to ensure that AI-generated content is protected, while extending support to small and medium-sized venture companies in digital industries by offering technical assistance and advice on patent portfolio strategy. The Supreme Court may even relax the country’s unusually high inventiveness standards for many life sciences innovations. However, other reform efforts, such as the push for a new evidence gathering mechanism known as ‘K-Discovery’, have stalled amid industry opposition.

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