Gov’t to give grants based on quality of patents

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Gov’t to give grants based on quality of patents

The Korean government yesterday announced a new technology evaluation system that will consider the quality of a company’s patents, rather than its number of patents when selecting projects to receive government grants.

With the new system, which will be implemented over the next two years, the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy aims to have more research results that are applicable to real life and patents that will profit from licensing deals with local and international companies.

The ministry said in a statement that “it hopes to enhance productivity of government-led R&D projects to prevent wasting the budget.”

When evaluating each project, the government will focus on the quality of patents involved and each institute or company’s capability to manage the patents.

In the evaluation, the ministry will give extra points to projects that have already patented one idea simultaneously in the United States, Japan and European Union, because those areas have high standards and only grant patents to ideas that have the highest chances of being licensed.

Extra points will also be given to holders of standard patents, which are more profitable and are recognized by the World Intellectual Property Organization.

According to the Korea Institute of Intellectual Property, a standard patent generates an average of 3.5 billion won ($3.4 million) per year, which is triple that of regular patent, which produces about 1 billion won a year.

Applicants for government grants will also be evaluated on their patent database, a history of their profits from giving licensing and how many times their patents have been referenced in another person’s research.

Research institutes and private companies that have a patent management team will receive extra points.

The ministry added that it will be more involved in applicants’ project planning so it can be sure that the grant is being used to develop technology that is in high demand.

The government has been criticized for allocating its R&D funding based on the numbers of patents a company has registered and its number of academic papers published.

BY KIM JI-YOON [jiyoon.kim@joongang.co.kr]





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