The Internet has always been pushing modern life into far-reaching homes with its powerfully penetrating influence. It often results in either work-at-home or Internet-based workplace situations. The South Korean Government has been quick to adapt to the climate, and a number of different departments are currently running Internet-based systems for which people to have government-related businesses at their fingertips. One of them is the KIPOnet system, the world's first Internet-based e-filing system which allows people like inventors to turn in their Intellectual Property(IP) applications regardless of when or where. Plus, they can track their IP process in real time to get the administrative result of their application; the procedures are filing and receiving of applications; examinations; registrations; and the publication of official gazettes. KIPOnet assumes Work-at Home System, 24/7 nonstop public services and various options like push mail, Short Message Service(SMS), a diverse set of IP-information-related web services. Now, as of July 2011, KIPOnet boasts of drawing a 95.6% of online-filing out of the whole application, and 98% for all patent applications.
Let us trace back how KIPOnet has been up to nowadays. Back in 1999, the world's first Internet-based IPR e-filing system KIPOnet that computerizes all IPR administration activities was launched. From 2003 to 2005, the system was getting an upgrade as newly formed KIPOnet Task Force set up a 3-Year Information-Oriented IPR Administration Plan during the period ( 2003~2005);its ultimate goal zeroed in on establishing an information strategy plan for improving KIPOnet. Starting 2006 until now, a 24/7 nonstop IP service for customers, Work at Home System for examiners and the framework for sharing examination information and exchanging priority documents with Intellectual Property offices(IPOs) based on the Trilateral Document Access(TDA) technology standard was introduced following the catch phrase 'Ubiquitous KIPO'. And beginning 2012, KIPOnet is to go through another phase of upgrade to facilitate the creation of core indigenous patents; this will allow the system to respond faster than before, more flexibly, to changes in and out of especially KIPO and Korea. This is a new KIPOnet, what is called G-KIPOnet, and it will make one more inch closer to the success of our national agenda - Green Growth Leading the Knowledge Society.
KIPOnet offers various benefits; for customers, the system brings a dramatic improvement with introduction of Internet-based e-filing, real-time examination result; high-value patent information, 24/7 electronic civil service. From administrative perspective, it enables transparent and efficient procedures with computerized search and online administrative process. Also online Work at Home system changes the way the examiners work, with the convenience.
Not only online e-filing and application causes no fee but collecting Information and technology development costs also can be saved with computerized search, which leads to more effective research and development activities ( save 27.6% for R&D costs, shorten R&D period by 26.2% ). A total of $603.5 million has not been wasted from 1999 to 2008 as several unnecessary administrative costs were cut off. For customers, they saved about $ 7,332.5 million with help from online e-filing and application method and online search
KIPOnet system is comprised of 44 subsystems; they are e-Filing System, General Receiving System; Formality Check System, Examination System; Registration System, Trial Administration System; Gazette Publication System and Integrated Search Systems, and others.
E-Filing System as the world's first was launched in 1999 and supports the electronic filing of international patent applications under the PCT, international trademark applications under the Madrid Protocol, and domestic applications. Since November 2005, applicants have been able to file online 24/7 from anywhere at any time. KIPO is offering a one-stop public service and patent information web service via the Internet. The General Receiving System takes care of applications and intermediate documents. It also supports requests to convert paper documents, issue receipts, provide application numbers and more administrative functions. The Application Receiving System does formality checks and distributing work, preparing notifications, and transferring them to the examination system. The Online Examination System helps the examiners do their job for patents, utility models, industrial design, and trademark applications. The Work-at-Home System with security features like fingerprint identification and the GPKI can be accessed by examiners through a VPN for their examination process. The Online Registration System handles all related businesses from granting to lapsing for registrations. The Online Trial System is responsible for information ranging from receiving trial-related documents to its trial decisions.
The Patent Search System can offer all patent information around the world based on a web platform. Its database has over one million cases of both domestic and international intellectual property, and other relevant journals, theses, and study resources are stored in another database. It supports Korean, Japanese, and English and quickly produces search results. With its intelligent search service that automatically creates the most optimized search results based on the customer's input phrase, one can easily pinpoint the information.
Gazette Publication System began in 1999 with the introduction of KIPOnet. Around that time, the official gazette was first published in CD-ROM. Later the on-line gazette publication was initiated and has been on a daily basis since July 2001. Over 33 different domestic and overseas institutions are the recipients. People can now get access to both domestic and overseas patent information with a free and all-year-round system KIPRIS. It offers free mobile services and PDA applications. It is also connected to 9 university libraries. In addition, the KIPRIS-plus service puts out all of its content in the form of an openly shared system. That content includes patent information and 300 Application Program Interfaces (APIs) that allow people to find Intellectual Property information within and outside South Korea with few lines of program inputs.
In order to distribute the domestic patent information and its protection, K-PION( Korean Patent Information Online Network), automatic translation service (Korean - English) for patent gazette, design and trademark, and the examination document, is out there for those examiners from 36 overseas intellectual property offices. Also to enhance the international cooperation, KIPO-EPO Heads Meeting was held in 2011 for cooperation between South Korea and Europe in IT sector; Korean Intellectual Property Office is leading the task for advancing the machine translation as a part of IP5(South Korea, US, Japan, China, Europe); it is offering the patent information system to Mongol and technical consulting to Africa in together with ARIPO( African Regional Intellectual Property Organization) for automating their patent-related administrative system to close a gap in the international community; with WIPO, KIPO is managing and spreading its e-learning content course for Intellectual Property.
In 2010, analysis and design for the 3rd generation G-KIPOnet project was complete with the previously assigned task team. Its development is heating up this year, and next year this G-KIPOnet will be put into use gradually. This 3rd generation G-KIPOnet will features No-Formality Patent Procedure for inventors' sake based on PLT (Patent Law Treaty),beefing up the introductory function for electronic patent procedure software, 24 hour non-stop examination service for its efficiency and SBC(Server Based Computing) for continuous work process.
KIPO plans to steadily re-establish its patent database centering on quality, plus adding English abstraction DB for safeguarding domestic patents, English- Korean automatic translation service. The plan is to carry out the establishment of systematic infra (KIPO can communicate and share the information with overseas intellectual property offices) and Knowledge-Share Campaign (supports building the automatic patent system for several countries who are behind in the IT race). South Korea is expected to continue to level up the international cooperation for automating patent system to pioneer in laying the groundwork for global patent information infra.
The following is series on the Korean e-Government system from June 2011
April, 2012 — Local government office that provides e-government service through a TV in the Kangnam governmental office
May, 2012 — E-Procurement System that manages the whole process of bids & contracts electronically.
June, 2012 — Home tax System.
September, 2012 — A collection of articles on e-government by IT Times.