Patent and Trademark Applications Reach Highest-Ever Number
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Patent and Trademark Applications Reach Highest-Ever Number
Small and medium-sized enterprises drive spike in patent and trademark applications

23(Fri), Oct, 2020

Commissioner KimYong-rae of the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO).

The number of patent and trademark applications hit a new high in the third quarter of this year.

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) said on Oct. 19 that the number of patent and trademark applications rose 9.4 percent on year to 342,697 by the third quarter of this year, renewing the all-time high in the same period. Experts say that small and medium-sized companies are driving the spike in overall applications.

By rights, patent applications rose 3.6 percent on year to 155,164 applications, while patent applications by small and medium-sized companies swelled 10.7 percent to 38,406, far exceeding those by large companies (a 4.2 percent increase) and those (a 4.7 percent increase) by college and public research institutes.

Trademark applications also posted the highest growth rate with a total of 62,247 applications. Those by small and medium-sized enterprises chalked up a sharp increase of 24 percent, recording 187,553 applications.

Analysts say the sharp rise in the number of patent and trademark applications by small and medium-sized companies is attributable to rapid responses to the COVID-19 era and a shift to an untact economy.

In the case of patent applications, bio-technology patent applications (721 applications) showed the highest growth rate of 33.5 percent, while polymer chemistry patent applications (214 applications, 26.6 percent) and medical technology patent applications (2216 applications, 23.5 percent) increased a great deal, reflecting high interest in the medical and sanitation sectors.

In addition, as for the e-commerce sector closely related to untact technology, small and medium-sized companies filed a total of 3,391 patent applications, the highest number among all technology patent applications, marking a 22.7 percent growth rate.

A total of 2,761 trade applications were filed, showing the largest increase of 66.2 percent in the tenth classification involving medical devices while the fifth classification including medicines (class 5 and 4,498 and) posted a 45.0 percent increase with 4,498 trademark applications.

“The growth of small and medium-sized Korean companies' applications is a positive sign that they wanted or tried to turn an economic crisis sparked off by the spread of the novel coronavirus into an opportunity to sharpen the competitiveness of intellectual property rights,” said Hyun Sung-hoon, director of the Customer Support Bureau at the Korean Intellectual Property Office.

“The Korean Intellectual Property Office will continue to implement support measures to help Korean companies preempt global intellectual property rights in promising technology sectors in the post-COVID-19 era.”

Commissioner Kim Yong-rae of Korean Intellectual Property Office speaks with Andrei Iancu, Under-secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office in a teleconference hooked up at Government Complex in Daejeon on Oct. 16. (Photos: KIPO)

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