Bracing for an intellectual property warIn 2011, Apple declared a patent war against Samsung, claiming that Samsung infringed Apple’s design rights. Samsung countered by suing Apple for essential patent infringement. The war that started in the United States expanded to the world. Through this fierce battle, we learned about the concepts of design patent and essential patent.
In 2014, the Nagoya Protocol came into effect. Countries importing biological and genetic resources need to get prior approval from the resource holders and share gains with them. Moreover, with expansion of digital content and online distribution, copyright protection is emerging as a new issue.
Now, intellectual property, or IP, is expanding beyond the traditional patents to digital contents and biological resources. To secure IP, not just technological development but also political, diplomatic and cultural efforts such as international standards activities and sharing of information among countries should be considered.
Fortunately, the government recognized the importance of intellectual property and established the Presidential Council on Intellectual Property in 2011. The first five-year National Intellectual Property Basic Plan was established, providing a government-level general IP policy structure.
2017 will mark the beginning of the second National Intellectual Property Basic Plan. It is a very suitable time to prepare IP strategy in response to the rapidly changing global environment.
The strategic direction of the second basic plan is to “link IP strategy in all R&D stages from planning to utilization to create strong patents,” “enhance protection of IP and small and medium-sized business technologies to the developed nation’s level,” and “strengthen copyright protection in the digital era.” In addition, “invigoration of IP technology transfer and business and IP financing” is a goal.
Now is the time to treat IP as a core element of scientific technology and research and development policy. Now, IP is the key element in the survival and competitiveness of the nation and businesses.