The Korea Herald


S. Korea offers coronavirus-related patent information in English

By Bae Hyunjung

Published : April 26, 2020 - 09:01

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South Korea will provide international community its COVID-19-related technologies, ranging from the recognized test kits and “walk-thru” test booths, according to the country’s intellectual property agency.

The Korean Intellectual Property Office on Friday expanded the range of the COVID-19 patent information navigation service of its webpage ( and also started to provide the English version of the uploaded information.

Last month, KIPO kicked off the patent guidance function to share the rights information of the new coronavirus-related technologies, as well as expired patents and foreign-registered patents that are accessible for free.

The list includes potential candidates of alternative COVID-19 treatments such as Avigan and Ciclesonide, technologies to improve the functions of face masks, and protection suits that are easier to wear and take off.

It also shows video clips on how to use airborne infection isolation booths -- crucial for the quarantine of confirmed patients and the protection of the medical staff -- as well as the corporate information of each type of such facilities.

The country’s drive-thru and walk-thru testing facilities will be promoted under the “K-walk-thru” label and used in development assistance and other public projects, according to the office.

The test kit information sector, too, will provide details such as the corresponding manufacturer’s name, business size, certificates, product line-up, and contact information.

“The patent rights information on (potential) cures will especially be useful when (the government) has to forcibly acquire and execute a patent right in order to produce alternative treatments here,” the office said.

The Patent Act allows patent rights to be waived in cases of national emergency, other circumstances of extreme urgency, or in cases of public non-commercial usage.

“Since last month, we have received numerous requests from key IP partner states around the world to share (Korea’s) patent information navigation for global access,” said KIPO Commissioner Park Won-joo.

“With our latest move, we hope to contribute to cross-border partnership and to eventually overcoming the incumbent epidemic crisis.”

By Bae Hyun-jung (