As the number of international patent lawsuits targeting Korean firms has tripled in four years, some market researchers argued that Korea should come up with countermeasures.
The Korea Economic Research Institute (KERI) announced on June 21 that the number of international patent suits filed against domestic companies increased by as much as 321 percent from 58 in 2010 to 244 in 2014 in terms of patent litigations filed by “non-practicing entities", or NPEs, through its “Intellectual Property Industry Promotion Plan” report.
NPEs are commonly described as entities whose primary activity is acquiring a large amount of patents from another entity at bargain prices through auctions instead of conducting R&D activities to produce patents and provide actual services. They are also referred to as “patent trolls” because they create profits under the pretext of royalty, compensation and settlement.
The KERI pointed out that an increasing number of Korean firms are appealing damages as the number of international patent lawsuits has grown. According to surveys conducted by the Korean Intellectual Property Office and the KERI last year, 43.9 percent of respondents which have had legal battles on intellectual property patent infringement said they are financially burdened by dispute and litigation expenses.