Korean companies can get U.S. patents faster if they have a patent acquired in Korea.
Seoul and Washington are expected to reach an agreement on comprehensive bilateral cooperation in intellectual property as early as next month.
Upon the signing of the memorandum of understanding, both countries will use the same patent application form and unified assessment standards and share each other`s patent database.
Both nations will also adopt the Patent Prosecution Highway, which is running on a trial basis, to expedite acquisition of a patent early if examination work has been conducted in Korea.
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Commissioner for Patents John Doll told The Dong-A Ilbo Thursday that both countries will share each others patent-related data and seek working-level cooperation to enhance patent management processes of their intellectual property offices.
The agreement has specified eight areas needing bilateral collaboration, including the unification of patent applicant forms; integration of a standard classification system; sharing patent databases; and better human resource exchanges.
The U.S. Patent Office had not recognized patent examination results conducted by the Korea Intellectual Property Office, costing Korean applicants time and money since they have to repeat the process for a U.S. patent.
The two countries have also agreed to respect patent rights recognized by either patent office without a separate application process.
We have concluded that comprehensive bilateral cooperation measures suggested by the United States at the bilateral working-level meeting are in the national interest, a Korean patent official said. The MOU will be reached on the sidelines of the general assembly of the World Intellectual Property Office Sept. 22.