DAEJEON, May 12 (Korea Bizwire) — Despite a drop in patent-related lawsuits in the U.S., so-called non-practicing entities (NPEs) are still actively filing lawsuits against Korean companies,
Also known as “patent trolls,” NPEs refer to entities that generate profits from licensing or enforcing patents.
Overall patent suits in the U.S. have declined every year since 2015, according to a report published Monday by the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the Korea Intellectual Property Protection Agency.
However, lawsuits between Korean companies and foreign companies in the U.S. only started to decline last year. The number of complaints filed by NPEs in the U.S. dropped from 132 in 2018 to 90 last year.
However, the ratio of NPE defendants out of the total lawsuits in the U.S. involving Korean companies was around 70 percent, similar to that of previous years.
In 2018, it was 73 percent of the total 180 defendants, with 132 cases, and last year, it was 71 percent with 90 cases out of 127 cases.
The KIPO plans to investigate NPEs operating in the U.S., analyze rights relations and trends, identify key NPEs that are highly likely to be related to Korean companies, and provide basic data on conflict response to the damages.
“Since NPEs are active in various industrial and technical fields, we need to continue to take care to protect our exporters,” said Jung Yeon-woo, director of the KIPO’s Industrial Property Protection and International Cooperation Bureau.
Kevin Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)