July 30, 2009 11:47
President Lee Myung-bak and his Council on National Competitiveness discussed ways to promote production and protection of intellectual properties at the top office Wednesday. The discussion comes amid worries of a trade deficit in the intellectual property market.
At the monthly meeting, the presidential council stated that the nation's export-import ratio of technologies stood at merely 0.43 and that the balance of payment for trading technologies (TBP) was at minus US$2.9 billion in 2007. The figure is the lowest among the OECD member countries. Korea's mobile phone industry, for example, loses more than W500 billion (US$1=W1,245) annually on royalty payments for foreign patents.
The presidential council also pointed out that Korea does not have any patents in the top-ten list of the most profitable intellectual properties, although Korea is ranked the world's fourth in terms of the number of patents at 185,000 last year.
To resolve such issues the council decided to reduce reliance on patents from overseas and boost the TBP figure to 0.79 by 2012. While promoting funding for “invention capital” by private companies, the government will create a W20 billion fund to launch a management company for intellectual properties within the year as a model. And over five years starting in 2011 the government will jointly invest with private corporations a total of up to W500 billion in establishing an IP management non-practicing entity (NPE).
An NPE is a patent owner that does not manufacture its patented technologies directly but rather enforces its IP rights through licensing negotiations.
The government will also increase the budget portion for commercializing homegrown technologies from 0.7 to three percent of the nation's total spending for research and development. The presidential council believes that such measures will increase the productivity of Korea's tech-heavy manufacturers by over 42 percent and the size of the nation's IP market from the world's ninth to fifth by 2012.
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