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IPR applications breaks record despite COVID-19 pandemic 2022-01-14
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of applications for intellectual property rights (IPR) including patents last year broke a record high with nearly 600,000 cases, with those of small and medium businesses and venture companies seeing a rise of 11% from 2020.

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) on Jan. 11 said 592,615 applications for IPR including patents, utility models, design and trademarks were submitted last year, up 6.3% from the previous mark of 557,256 set in 2020.

The number of such applications filed in Korea has broken record highs for four straight years since 2018. The average growth of 7.7% in 2020-21 of such applications after the pandemic's outbreak was more than double the 3.6% seen in the 10-year period of 2010-19.

By type of IPR, the number of applications for trademarks rose 10.8% to 285,821 and those for patents grew 5% to 237,998.

By applicant type, the number of cases filed by small and medium businesses and venture companies went up 11% to 183,796 last year. Increased efforts by tech-based startups to secure patents early for next-generation growth engines are considered to have helped raise the number of applications.

IPR applications for patents filed by foreign nationals declined after 2018 but saw a big rebound of 11.7% growth last year to help the surge in the number of applications for patents.

Park Jong-joo, director-general of KIPO's Information and Customer Service Bureau, said, "The recent trend of growth in IPR applications can be seen as positive as it shows how Korea's economic players are not shrinking in the face of the COVID-19 situation in actively pursuing technology acquisitions, startups and business activities."

By Kang Gahui and Kim Hayeon

[Source: KOREA.net, Business, January 12, 2022]
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