Korea accounts for less than 15 percent of patent applications in the field of micro LED display, which is considered a next-generation display, causing concern that Korean companies may lose their lead in the future display market.
According to a report released by the Korea Intellectual Property Office on April 1, the United States and China accounted for more than half of the global patent applications in the micro LED field, while Korea took up a mere 14.4 percent.
The office analyzed patent applications filed from 2000 to April 2018. The United States came in first with 525 applications, followed by China with 353 applications. The two countries accounted for 51.9 percent of the world's total. Korea filed 243 applications, followed by Taiwan with 140 applications and Ireland 91.
It is a problem that Korea trails far behind the United States and China in terms of patent application numbers. A bigger problem however, is that Korea falls far behind other countries in terms of the number of countries where it has filed patent applications. Korea has secured only two markets per patent on average. This means that excluding Korea, Korea secured only one country per patent on average. This puts Korea at ninth place among the top 10 patent application nations.
Ireland filed fewer patent applications than Korea, but it secured an average of 5.07 overseas markets per patent. Ireland’s absolute number of patent applications lagged behind Korea's but it can be said that the country has a more advantageous position when its patents are commercialized. The United States secured 4.81 countries per patent and Taiwan, 2.99 countries. However, China secured 1.17 countries per patent, fewer than Korea. "Eight of the top 10 countries excluding Korea secured 3.89 countries per patent on average," said an official of the Korea Intellectual Property Office. "Korea was inferior in both quantitative and qualitative indicators in the field of micro LED patents."