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Utilization of China’s utility model system becomes a necessity for Korean companies.
2014-11-03 12:04 10369
Utilization of China’s utility model system becomes a necessity for Korean companies.

Recently, foreign companies have taken a rising interest in the Chinese utility model system.
In China, it takes only 5 months from the filing date to acquire utility model rights, and the fees are only half as expensive as what is charged for patent rights. In addition, if the applicant simultaneously files for utility model rights and patent rights pertaining to a single product, the applicant can change it to a patent right, if needed.

While the efforts of Korean companies to file for utility model rights in China have stagnated, foreign companies from the U.S.A., Japan, etc. are rapidly increasing their utility model applications to China. This is especially true of Japanese companies, whose average rate of increase for utility model filings over the last 4 years was 87.3%. However, there were only 253 utility model filings from Korean companies in 2013, for an average rate of increase of 2%.

KIPO’s analysis for the first half in 2014 shows that utility model filings made in China decreased by 6.9% in comparison to the previous year. Domestic filings decreased by 7.1%, but foreign filings increased by 11.1%.

Even though the duration period for utility model rights in China is only 10 years, this system still enables foreign companies to secure these rights more promptly and cost-effectively than they can do with patent rights. In addition, considering the rapid changes in technological trends, foreign companies seem to feel that 10 years is ample time for them to fully exercise their rights.

The Chinese utility model system has resulted in increased setbacks for Korean companies, which is why KIPO’s senior deputy director, Mr. Lee Jong-gi, claims that it is necessary for KIPO to fully utilize the useful aspects of the Chinese utility model system in order to take preemptive action on IP disputes in China.
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