KDB and IBK partner on intellectual property fund

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KDB and IBK partner on intellectual property fund

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From left: Kim Sang-ro, CEO of KDB Infrastructure Investment Asset Management; Sohn Byung-doo, head of the financial policy bureau at the Financial Services Commission; Sung Joo-young, vice president of KDB; and Kim Young-kyu, head of the investment bank department at IBK. Provided by KDB

Korea Development Bank (KDB) and Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK) are each investing 50 billion won ($44.5 million) to create the nation’s first Non-Practicing Entities (NPE) fund to invest in intellectual properties.

NPE companies profit from licensing patents or suing others for patent violations, rather than using patents to create new products.

According to the KDB on Monday, KDB Infra IP Capital is the only fund backed by the state-run bank that will invest in actual intellectual properties. Other similar funds invest in companies that handle the properties.

“Last year, Korea ranked fourth in the world when it came to patent applications,” KDB said in a statement. “However, the trade account related to intellectual property suffered a deficit of $6.2 billion because it can’t profit from the intellectual property rights or use them in its financial products.

“Korea became a major target for global companies, as last year alone, American NPE companies have filed 244 patent suits against Korean companies.”

KDB said the fund will find and invest in various institutions with outstanding intellectual properties, purchasing those properties and licensing them to other companies.

The fund will also be used to financially support Korean companies faced with overseas patent lawsuits.

“We will be taking the role of a patent-investing financial company that will contribute to invigorating local technology financing while protecting Korean companies from global lawsuits,” said a KDB official.


BY LEE HO-JEONG [lee.hojeong@joongang.co.kr]

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