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S. Korea ranks 13th in IP standards, down 2 notches

South Korea ranks 13th in the world in terms of its intellectual property standards, a new US report showed, down two notches from the previous year.

The Global Innovation Policy Center’s report on International Intellectual Property Index 2019 showed that Asia’s fourth-largest economy was given 36.06 points out of 45 this year, according to the Ministry of Science and ICT on Wednesday.

2019 International IP Index 2019 (GIPC)
2019 International IP Index 2019 (GIPC)

The GIPC, a research institution affiliated with the US Chamber of Commerce, issues the annual report on 50 key countries, measuring them on eight IP categories -- patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, commercialization of IP assets, enforcement, systemic efficiency, and membership and ratification of international treaties.

The US topped the list with 42.66 points and was followed by Britain with 42.22 points, Sweden’s 41.03 points, France’s 41 points and Germany’s 40.54 points. Spain climbed two steps to 11th with 37.07 points, taking Korea’s previous position.

Among Asian states, Japan and Singapore took the lead with 39.48 points and 37.12 points, respectively.

Seoul’s drop in global ranking was mainly attributed to its policy measures and court rulings over recent years that were seen as undermining the term of biopharma patents, according to the report.

The country also scored low in the registration and public announcement of licensing deals and in customs transparency concerning the infringement of IP rights.

“In 2017-2018, the Intellectual Property Tribunal of the Korea Intellectual Property Office and the Patent Court of Korea made a series of decisions that narrowed the qualification range for patent term extension,” the report said.

“This allows rivals to promote patent-infringing products that have the same ingredients in modified formats.”

By Bae Hyun-jung (