International Patent Information System for work-sharing
• Background / Outline
In 2011, our international patent applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) numbered 10,447, which ranked fourth in the world for such applications. Regarding the number of filed PCT applications, LG Electronics ranked 8th in the world, followed by Samsung Electronics at 15th. Korean patent documents have been incorporated into PCT Minimum Documentation since April 1, 2007. This mandates IPO examiners to refer to Korean patent documents when they examine domestic and international patent applications filed to their offices. The Korean language has also been included as an official language of publication for international applications under the PCT since 2009.
Along with the accumulated technologies and the PCT union's decisions above, international demand for Korean patent information has continuously increased. To meet the demand, KIPO planned to develop an efficient system for disseminating patent information so that examiners of foreign Intellectual Property (IP) offices could easily access patent information including Korean patent documents in 2005 and also established a development plan for a patent information system that would facilitate the sharing of examination results with other Intellectual Property Offices (IPOs).
• Main Contents / Results
Beginning with the translation of Korean patent gazettes in November 2005, examination histories and full text of examination documents have been available through the Korean Patent Information Online Network (K-PION) since November 2006. Also, in November 2007 we added functions for searching Korean Patent Abstracts (KPAs). Furthermore, in November 2008, we started offering full-text Korean patent documents for search using English keywords, and in 2009, expanded that to designs, trademarks, and PCT data filed to KIPO. This was all in an effort to ensure higher accessibility of Korean patent information by foreign IPOs. In 2009, K-PION launched a service which searches Korean trademarks and designs and PCT documents. In 2011 and 2012, KIPO added 200,000 translation memory items and 10,000 dictionary entries to K-PION to improve the quality of its Machine Translation.
We analyzed sentence patterns that were frequently used in patent documents and combined patent glossaries and examination terms (amounting to approximately 3.7 million items) so that even those who are not familiar with the Korean language can adequately comprehend Korean patent documents. As a result, 28 foreign offices including the USPTO, EPO, and JPO use Korean patent information through the K-PION service.
Also, we have been consistently promoting a framework for sharing examination information and exchanging priority documents with other IPOs based on Trilateral Document Access (TDA) in collaboration with the USPTO, EPO, and JPO. With the JPO, we have been collaborating on the exchange of examination information since April 2007 and performing the electronic exchange of priority documents since April 2008. With the USPTO, we have been exchanging electronic priority documents since October 2008 and examination information since November 2008. With the EPO, we have been electronically exchanging priority documents since December 2008. Also, we built the sharing system of examination information in November 2009. The system has been operating since the second half of 2010. Moreover, we have extended electronic exchange of PCT-related documents with the USPTO since November 2008.
Additionally, in June 2009 we launched the Digital Access Service (DAS) service which enables KIPO to exchange priority documents with WIPO member states. Through the DAS system, we have electronically exchanged priority documents with major offices in such nations as China, England, Spain, Israel, and Finland along with the USPTO, EPO, and JPO.
• Development Direction
In December 2012, we successfully developed our One Portal Dossier (OPD) system, which aims to share examination information between the IP5 Offices (i.e., the EPO, JPO, KIPO, SIPO, and USPTO) with a single interface. The OPD system is supposed to be made available to our examiners after inter-office tests in the first half of 2013.
Through K-PION and TDA, we will continue to provide Korean patent information to foreign patent offices, thereby contributing to the promulgation of Korean patent information and strengthening the overseas protection for Korean patent holders. Furthermore, it is expected that this expansion of Korean patent information will also contribute to the creation of technologies and patents which will be useful for global economic development and well-being.
We will also enhance the sharing of examination information with the patent offices of each country and mutually approve examination results for the same patent applications filed in each country. This is expected to reduce the examination period for each country and effectively resolve problems arising from examination quality while improving patent administrative efficiency and convenience for applicants through the electronic exchange of priority documents.