ROC, S. Korea ink agreement on patent cooperation
Taiwan and South Korea have signed two memorandums of understanding that are expected to slash patent review and approval time, and government officials said petrochemical, electronics and semiconductor industries are poised to reap the most benefits.
The signing of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) will facilitate the spread of industry-related knowledge among the public. It also marks an important milestone for the two countries’ intellectual properties (IP) exchange and cooperation.
Under the PPH mechanism, once a patent review is completed in one country, the patent’s applicant can immediately request a PPH review in the other country.
Joseph Shin ( ), Taipei’s representative in South Korea, said in yesterday’s signing ceremony that the Korean Intellectual Property Office ranks among the top five IP offices in the world, and that many Taiwanese consider South Korea a strategic base for patent applications.
Shin said that government officials arrived at South Korea in February to discuss the potential of IP cooperation, and conditions were ripe to foster the agreement yesterday.
With a bilateral trade topping US$ 30 billion last year, the two countries are each other’s sixth largest trade partners. Since integrated circuit products account for 65 percent of Taiwan’s exports to South Korea, the new PPH is expected to give Taiwan
firms more edge, Shin said.
A Close Ally in Terms of Patent
Wang Mei- hua ( ), director-general of the Intellectual Property Office at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, said South Korea applied for 2,127 applicants in Taiwan in 2014, making it one the nation’s top patent applicants.
LG Chem Ltd., Samsung Display Co. and Samsung Electronics from South Korea made their way to Taiwan’s top 20 patent applicants.
Taiwan filed for 768 patents in South Korea in 2013, and the number climbed to 955 in 2014.
Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. ( ), Winbond Electronics Corp., ), MediaTek Inc. ( Silicon ( ) and Motion Technology Corp ( ) are Taiwan’s top patent applicants in South Korea.
The Intellectual Property Office started to ink PPH agreements in 2011 with the U.S., Japan and Spain. As of 2014, 797 patents were filed under the mechanism. The average review time took 11 months, which was only a third of the normal review duration.
The other memorandum “patent priority electronic file exchange” signed yesterday enables fast access to patent documents, which cut down the cost and time for patent filing and facilitates cross-border patent processing and review.
Taiwan has established this platform with Japan, and South Korea is the second country to enter this partnership with Taiwan.