Addressing intellectual property rightsLately, the fourth industrial revolution is a buzzword worldwide. The age of technology convergence is happening. The value of technologies as an asset can be protected under intellectual property rights. Therefore, in the era of the fourth industrial revolution, the value of intellectual property, most notably patents, will increase, and conflicts and discords over intellectual property will intensify.
Since early 2000s, Japan has worked to reconstruct the national economy based on intellectual property. Japan is promoting extensive intellectual property policies, including comprehensive legal system reform to make more professional and swift resolution of intellectual property-related conflicts.
As a part of the reform, joint representation by attorneys and patent lawyers for patent violation cases was introduced. When the system was first implemented in 2003, the lack of technical responses by attorneys were considered one of the main causes for delayed trials.
Therefore, instead of having a patent lawyer explain technical elements to the attorney, and the attorney speak to the court, it would make trials more swift and accurate when the patent lawyer comes to the court and personally testifies.
In fact, until the late 1990s, Korea was more advanced in intellectual property resolution than Japan. Korea installed the Patent Court six years before Japan and the National Assembly began discussing the joint representation by attorneys and patent lawyers. But that was all. The joint representation has still not been concluded.
It can only be resolved when the problem is viewed from the perspective of the consumers. The center of Japan’s legal reform was the users of the law. They focused on what reform would be most consumer-friendly.
In the 20th National Assembly, two bills on joint representation of patent lawyers on patent violation cases were proposed. They are the fourth of their kind. Korean and Japanese consumers all hope for swift and accurate handling of intellectual property-related lawsuits.
Rather than exhausting debates, the lawmakers should address the issue to improve legal service and enhance national competitiveness.