Bookmark and Share

China, Japan, South Korea to Sign Treaty

Issued: January 01 2011

Media reports indicate that China, Japan and South Korea are expected to sign a treaty in May which will help protect intellectual property and increase cross-border investment. Japan’s Nikkei reported that the agreement is to be signed in Tokyo by leaders of the three countries.

Japanese companies presently must rely on Chinese intellectual property laws to protect their IP, while the planned deal would allow companies to settle IP disputes with existing international frameworks, the newspaper said.

The deal is expected to go into effect by the end of 2012. Japan, Korea and China are also reportedly exploring the possibility of drawing up a three-way free trade agreement.

Northeast Asia Show Strong Patent Growth

International patent filings under the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) increased by 4.8% in 2010, according to a WIPO statement, with strong growth in China (up 56.2%), Korea (up 20.5%) and Japan (up 7.9%) offsetting a mixed performance in Europe and a continued decline in the United States, where PCT filings decreased by 1.7%. WIPO provisional data indicates that 162,900 international patent applications were filed in 2010, compared to 155, 398 in 2009.

“Overall PCT filings recovered from the economic crisis-induced drop in 2009, almost reaching their 2008 level,” said WIPO director general Francis Gurry. “The fast growth rates from East Asia reflected an acceleration in the geographic diversification of innovative activities. This trend has many implications, not least an increased linguistic diversity of the technology that patent offices use as a basis for determining whether an invention is patentable.”

Despite the 1.7% decline, the US remains the largest user of the PCT system, with 44,855 international applications, followed by Japan and Germany. China overtook Korea as the fourthranked PCT filing country.

Japanese manufacturer Panasonic kept the top spot in the list of PCT applications published in 2010, followed by Chinese telecommunications company ZTE and US-based Qualcomm. The University of California accounted for the largest number of applications published in the category of academic institutions, followed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Texas and the University of Florida. Japan’s University of Tokyo was fifth.

At the same time, the Korean Intellectual Property Office announced that the number of patent registrations in Korea has exceeded 1 million. Korea is only the fourth country in the world to register more than 1 million patents, following the US, Canada and Japan.

“The total number of patent registrations exceeded 1 million on December 3 last year, 62 years after the country’s first patent was registered for a sulphur dyeing technique in 1948.”

Some 690,000 of Korea’s patents were registered in the last decade. Diabell, a cell phone component manufacturer, registered the 1 millionth patent.



Related Articles


Law Firms