7.6.3 Early case management (preparatory proceedings)
In most cases, after the first date for oral argument, the court refers the case to preparatory proceedings to identify and organize the issues and evidence. The presiding judge and another judge from the three-judge panel will conduct the preparatory proceedings during which the parties will present their detailed arguments.
On the first or second date of the preparatory proceedings, the court and the parties will confirm the issues in dispute and may decide a schedule for the proceedings. Depending on the arguments made on each date of the proceedings, the court and the parties may adjust the schedule or discuss what the parties should prepare for the next date for proceedings.
During preparatory proceedings, according to Article 104-2 of Patent Act, when the defendant denies the description of the allegedly infringing products or process described by the plaintiff in the complaint, the defendant should present a description of those products or process prepared by the defendant. Based on this description, the defendant will present a brief that includes arguments as to whether the alleged infringing product or process falls within the technical scope of the patented invention. If the defendant argues a defense of patent invalidity, the defendant will present a brief outlining the defense based on an investigation of publicly known prior art documents and should also submit any other relevant and necessary documentary evidence in its possession.
The plaintiff will also present a brief that outlines the plaintiff’s arguments against the defendant’s denial of infringement in terms of the technical scope of the patented invention, as well as any defense of patent invalidity (including the defense of correction), and will also submit any necessary documentary evidence to support its assertions.
On the third date of preparatory proceedings, the defendant will present another brief to counter the plaintiff’s allegation made at the previous day of preparatory proceedings regarding the technical scope of the patented invention. The defendant may also provide supplementary material relevant to the defense of patent invalidity.
On the fourth date of preparatory proceedings, the plaintiff will present briefs that outline any supplementary arguments with respect to the defense of patent invalidity. At this stage, the key arguments on infringement, including the validity of the patent and their proof, will be completed.