rom now on, mobile applications and computer software technologies can be officially protected by patent.
The Korean Intellectual Property Office announced on June 18 that it has revised patent standards and will begin granting patents for “Computer Program” claims. A claim is the extent of the protection conferred by a patent, or the protection sought in a patent application.
Up until now, the office had classified a software program as a recording medium, for the reasons that it is not clear whether software is an invention or a mechanism. Now, the revision will mandate new software to be applied as a computer program.
Such latest amendments aim to embrace petitions from the software industry which has demanded cutting down of perfunctory prerequisites for patent applications regarding the technology to relieve the developers of inconveniences and thereby protect by patents more diverse types of software technology. Previously, over 600 cases have been filed every year, of which new computer programs such as mobile applications could not be secured as they were not included in the list of patent-protected subjects.
An official at the intellectual property office said, “The industry have been quickly steering toward software-centered, but our patent system have not kept up with the trend. The latest revision will open up the ways for domestic software companies to be protected of their innovations and secure competitive power in the international market.”