SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s smaller firms have lost nearly 86 percent of patent suits against large businesses this year due mainly to their lack of legal expertise and resources to protect their intellectual properties, a lawmaker said Tuesday.
Citing data from the Korea Intellectual Property Office, Rep. Kim Jung-hoon of the main opposition Liberty Korea Party said small and medium enterprises (SMEs) lodged 21 patent lawsuits against larger firms in the first eight months of the year, losing 18 cases.
The losing rate came to 85.7 percent, the same as the figure for all of 2016 but up from 83.3 percent in 2015 and 49.2 percent in 2014.
The legislator attributed the high losing rate to smaller firms’ limited resources, as well as their lack of access to legal consultations.
“The government should realistically increase its budget for the protection of intellectual property rights in order to improve the quality and quantity of a program to support SMEs caught up in patent suits against large concerns,” Kim said.
According to the lawmaker, smaller firms lost to large companies in 41 out of 75 lawsuits involving patents, trademarks, design and other intellectual properties in the January-August period. The 54.7 percent losing rate was up from 53.2 percent the previous year.