World Intellectual Property Organization

KIPO Activities Targeted at the SMEs Sector (Republic of Korea)

Free Patent Management Services for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
Fee Reductions for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

Free Education on Patent Information Systems to Patent Applicants

Ongoing Programs of Assistance for Facilitating Technology Transfer
Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises' IPR Acquisition Campaign
Other IP Services Provided by KIPO to SMEs
Yearly Statistics on IPR Applications and Grants/Registrations by/to SMEs
Including Micro Enterprises.


Free Patent Management Services for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises

On December 28, 2000, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the Korea Patent Attorneys Association (KPAA) signed a business cooperation agreement to initiate a partnership that provides small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with free patent management services from pre-filing to registration. The purpose of the agreement was to pave the way for small and medium-sized enterprises' first procurement of patent rights in a convenient and economical manner.

Currently, more than 700 patent agents throughout Korea provide free consultation services to SMEs which satisfy the necessary conditions as a "SME" stipulated in Article 2 of the Framework Act on Small & Medium-sized Enterprises.

During the year 2000, about 600 requests from SMEs were received by KPAA and 230 SMEs finalized the filing or were in the process of filing an application with the help of a KPAA designated agent's free services.

SMEs in need of free consultation are required to be confirmed by KIPO as to their legal standing as an SME and the inventions they seek to protect must be the first one that they aim to register. After receiving approval for participation in the program, they must contact the KPAA (http://www.kpaa.or.kr) to obtain the contact information of a member agent.

Fee Reductions for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

According to the Fee Regulation approved on December 23, 2000, effective January 1, 2001, KIPO continues to provide additional fee reductions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) until 2005 to encourage IP creation & acquisition activities.

Any SME, excluding "micro enterprises," which meets the requirements as "SME" prescribed by the "Framework Act on Small and Medium-sized Enterprises" can obtain a 50% reduction in the application fee, with request for examination and first registration fee included, related to patents, utility models and industrial designs.

For micro enterprises, defined under "the Special Act for Supporting Individual or Micro Enterprise", a 70% reduction of the above fees is provided under the Fee Regulation.

The "micro enterprises" who are involved in an IPR-related dispute, are also eligible for a 70% fee reduction when filing their trial request for identifying the scope of their right of patent, utility model and industrial design.

Applicants interested in obtaining a patent fee reduction are required to, at the time of filing their application, examination request, trial request or registration, provide rationale and proof of eligibility for the fee reduction. The following documents should be attached as part of the application, request or statement:

  • A copy of document(s) substantiating the eligibility of the applicant as a micro enterprise under the Special Act for Supporting Individual or Micro Enterprise (Article 2)
  • A copy of document(s) substantiating the eligibility of the applicant as a small & medium enterprise under the Framework Act on Small & Medium-sized Enterprise (Article 2)

Free Education on Patent Information Systems to Patent Applicants

To promote further utilization of patent information and to enhance its services for the general public including SMEs, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) is providing applicants with free education on the patent information search systems: The New Patent/Utility Model Search System and the Korea Industrial Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS) System.

The New Patent/Utility Model Search System was designed, at the first stage, for KIPO examiners to perform their patent and utility model examinations, and is now also available to the general public free of charge both at KIPO in Daejeon and the Seoul Branch Office.

The KIPRIS offers a patent information service through the Internet, allowing remote searches of all IP related systems, such as patent, utility model, design, and trademark. This service is being provided both through the Internet homepages of KIPO (http://www.kipo.go.kr) and the Korea Industrial Property Rights Information Center (KIPRIC) (http://www.kipris.or.kr), an affiliate of KIPO.

With the help of the KIPO Multimedia Center, that is equipped with a video conference system, real-time remote education on patent information systems is taking place every Wednesday, in the Seoul Branch of KIPO and Daejeon simultaneously, from 10:00 AM to noon, January 31, through April 25, 2001. Applicants can apply for this program at the KIPO homepage (http://www.kipo.go.kr), whenever they want to participate in the program.

The practice-oriented education program aims at helping applicants acquire expertise in conducting the patent information search. The lecturers are KIPO patent examiners and KIPRIC experts.

More than 400 interested applicants and patent agents have participated in the program since January 31. KIPO plans to provide this free education on "how to use the electronic filing system (KIPOnet)" from May 2, 2001.

Ongoing Programs of Assistance for Facilitating Technology Transfer

KIPO holds several technology markets in cooperation with the Korean Invention Promotion Association (an affiliate of KIPO) to facilitate technology transfer and especially to commercialize the dormant patents owned by enterprises.

  • The Circulating Patent Technology Market generally provides consultation facilities at which technology suppliers and buyers meet and negotiate possible transactions such as assignment and licensing. It is open 1-2 times a year for 7-10 days.
  • The Internet Patent Technology Market (http://www.patentmart.or.kr) provides an information database on 35,000 domestic patents, in order to facilitate on-line patented technology transaction between technology suppliers and buyers in the Internet industry.
  • The Standing Patent Technology Market regularly provides technology investment promotional events year-round, operates as technology transaction consultants, and maintains a technology network, which links together domestic and overseas organizations specializing in technological transfer. Also, the information on available technologies and patented technology commercialization is disclosed in the Patent Mart Journal, which is published bimonthly.

Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises' IPR Acquisition Campaign

Since September 1999, KIPO has carried out the Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises' IPR Acquisition Campaign in cooperation with 14 related organizations, including the Korean Chamber of Commerce. The purpose of this public campaign is to raise IPR awareness and encourage IPR acquisition among small and medium-sized enterprises. As part of this campaign, KIPO held circulating information workshops on IPR in 38 cities throughout Korea and also set up sister relationships between KIPO examiners and 390 SMEs to provide practical information on IP acquisition and management in 2000.

Other IP Services Provided by KIPO to SMEs

1. Publication and distribution of guidebooks containing the procedures for industrial property applications (2 types 5000 copies were distributed in 2000)

2. IP information through the KIPO home page, including:

  • Introduction to the IP system
  • How to acquire and manage IP rights
  • Application forms

3. IP information at the KIPO Digital Library

  • Patent literature collection of major countries
  • Publication (CD-ROM)
  • Korean Patent Abstract (KPA) and other IP information in electronic format

4. IP information through the 17 Regional Patent Information Centers

  • General Information on IPR
  • Application forms
  • Publications
  • Internet Search Service

5. Software (PIAS: Patent Information Analysis System) to generate a patent map/technology map

6. Production and distribution of the patent map

Yearly Statistics on IPR Applications and Grants/Registrations by/to SMEs

 

1998

 1999

2000

 

SMEs A

(A/B %)

Total B

SMEs A

(A/B %)

Total B

SMEs A

(A/B %)

Total B

Application

44,644

(24.1)

185,209

62,179

(26.9)

231,028

89,122

(31.5)

282,767

Registration

46,525

(28.5)

163,159

34,895

(23.6)

148,107

31,965

(25.3)

126,261

Explore WIPO