The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced on March 24 that South Korean companies applied for 66,792 patents in the United States, China, Europe and Japan in 2019. The number represented a 11 percent increase from the previous year, the highest increase rate since 2014.
The patent applications include 36,852 applied for in the United States. The number, which continued to decrease from 2016 to 2018, increased by 8.5 percent in 2019. The ratios of patents applied for in China, Europe and Japan are 15.4 percent, 13.8 percent and 11.1 percent, respectively.
The KIPO explained that last year’s increase in the number of overseas patent applications is because the intellectual property rights of South Korean enterprises and individuals were better protected and their intellectual property-based profit generation accelerated in overseas markets.
Until recently, non-large companies and venture firms in South Korea had a hard time obtaining intellectual property rights abroad, in spite of their excellent patent competitiveness, due to factors such as under-financing and under-networking. In this regard, the KIPO has launched programs such as patent application cost support and patent-related deductions to facilitate overseas patent application.