Korea Intellectual Property Office Commissioner Lee In-sil speaks with the Korea Herald at the KIPO office in Daejeon on July 26. (KIPO)
“The amount of South Korea’s intellectual property assets has increased significantly over the past decades, and the country is considered one of the world’s intellectual property powerhouses. Now is the time to focus on improving the quality of the IP valuation system,” Korean Intellectual Property Office Commissioner Lee In-sil said in a recent interview with the Korea Herald.
Lee, a former patent attorney at law firm Kim & Chang, took over as head of KIPO on May 31, becoming the first private-sector expert to lead the state agency in its 73-year career. of history.
As part of efforts to strengthen the competitiveness of the country’s intellectual property valuation system, she has pinned high hopes on intellectual property financing which refers to loans and investments that companies can obtain from institutions. financial institutions by holding intellectual property assets as collateral.
The concept is on the rise as companies around the world invest heavily in securing patents despite tightening their belts amid widespread fears of an economic downturn.
The head of KIPO pointed out that a better system for valuing their intellectual property assets would stimulate both innovation and investment in all sectors.
“For IP funding to be used freely by businesses, the national IP valuation system must be credible and systematic,” she said.
To increase the credibility of the IP assessment system, Lee said, the agency plans to establish a new IP Assessment Center, an independent body that can more objectively investigate the quality of IP assets. intellectual property, by 2023.
A separate information system should also be put in place to better manage IP-related data and prevent cases of fraud during the entire examination process.
“At a recent General Assembly of the World Intellectual Property Organization, countries like Singapore and Chile expressed interest in South Korea’s vision for intellectual property financing. We plan to carry out joint projects to promote cooperation on the ground,” she said.
Based on the increased credibility, the agency plans to expand financial support for enterprises, with its intellectual property-related funding programs reaching a total of 7.5 trillion won ($5.75 billion) this year. .
An IP investment fund, which collects shares from institutional investors, will be raised to 250 billion won by 2023, giving a big boost to IP-related investments in the private sector.
The financial burden of the IP application should also be reduced since the agency would cover part of the costs. As a result, the number of cases assessed will increase to 2,500 cases this year from 1,943 last year.
The tax advantages will be further extended as small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit from tax deductions on their intellectual property assets.
The KIPO commissioner also highlighted the agency’s role in boosting the competitiveness of the country’s crucial semiconductor industry.
The agency is expected to speed up the review process for chip-related patents, with the period reduced to 2.5 months from 12.7 months.
The agency also plans to hire retired technical experts as KIPO patent examiners, which it hopes will help alleviate a labor drain in the industry.
“As a massive retirement of highly experienced technology experts is expected in the near future, there are growing concerns about talent drain. We hope the new measure can help ease those concerns,” she added.
KIPO also plans to use artificial intelligence technology to upgrade the country’s intellectual property valuation system, which would go a long way in reducing the examination process while improving overall accuracy.
“As a private expert has taken office as Commissioner of KIPO for the first time in 73 years, I feel a heavy responsibility. I will do my best to meet people’s expectations,” Lee said.