No. 26
September 2012
International Association for the Protection of Intellectual Property
AIPPI General Secretariat |Toedistrasse 16 | P.O.Box |CH-8027 Zurich
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Spotlight on some of the activities of the AIPPI Korea Group in the lead up to the Congress
AIPPI Chair of the Seoul Organising Committee Seong–Ki Kim

What does your role as chair involve?

Though the Korean Group of AIPPI started work a long time ago, I was elected as chair at the end of February last year. We have 18 members on the committee.

Once I became chair, I began to confirm the original plans that had been decided earlier. Due to economic changes and the status of the development of the originally planned venue, one of the first decisions was whether to hold the Congress in Incheon, as we had planned. There was a plan to develop a new city in Incheon, but its completion had been delayed, so we consulted our members and decided to move the Congress to the Coex exhibition centre in Seoul, which was available for our dates.

That was the main change and, otherwise, we have kept the same organising committee members and the plans we had before. The questions and workshop topics were decided either years ago or last year. We cooperated with AIPPI and recommended speakers for the workshops and other events. We then had to finalise the workshop contents and social events.

AIPPI has two structures, one for the delegates who participate in the ExCo and make resolutions and the other for general members of AIPPI who attend the workshops, which will cover 11 topics this year. All members will get information for their profession, whether they are IP practitioners or work in academia.

This year we also have a mock trial, which will demonstrate the process for enforcement of patents, especially in east Asia. We will have one judge from the Seoul District Court, Ki-Young Kim, who has significant of experience in patent and copyright cases, and two attorneys for both the plaintiff and the defendant. We will also have commentators from Germany, China, Japan and the United States, including Chief Judge Rader from the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. They will discuss how the decision would be made in their own country, so we can compare laws and procedures in different countries. That should be of great interest for the participants. The program will be held in English, and it will take place on Sunday, 21st October 2012, from 9:00 to 12.30 in the morning, with a 30-minute break.

What other speakers do you have?

We have invited speakers from around the world, including James Pooley of WIPO. Some of the commentators from the mock trial will also make keynote speeches. I am very much looking forward to these.

What about the social programme?

This year we are starting the Congress a day earlier, so on Saturday there is a welcome reception and then on the Sunday there is a cultural evening, which will be a highlight. It will feature Korea's cultural heritage, including dance and music. The Organizing Committee has succeeded in reserving the exquisite Buddhist Cultural Properties of Bongeunsa Temple. And on Tuesday night there is a Gala Dinner, which is always a highlight of AIPPI meetings.

This Congress will be the first time any official AIPPI meeting has been held in Korea. In the past our group hosted some seminars and national-level meetings, but not the Congress or ExCo. We are very excited to have such an opportunity to welcome AIPPI members and to show the public in Korea the importance of IP for the economy and society in the 21st century. Many newspapers report on IP almost every week, but we still want to let people know that we are one of the key participants in r the development of global IP policy and protection. We invited the Korean Prime Minster, who chairs the National IP Committee, to attend the opening ceremony and we have an oral acceptance from his Office indicating that he will attend if he is available to do so.

What should people do while in Seoul?

Visit the CoEx mall, which is in the Congress venue. It is the centre of shopping and business in the Seoul, south of the river. It was developed only within the last 40 years. If visitors want to see the history of Seoul as the capital of Korea since 1392, I would recommend visiting the northern parts of Seoul, such as the gate of the Royal Kingdom which is on the cover of the Congress programme. There are many royal palaces in Seoul.

Due to the FTA with Europe last year and the US this year, the visitor can find many things imported from overseas. You can also taste popular Korean cuisine such as Bulgogi and Kimchi at many restaurants in Seoul that, typically, are not expensive.

What are you looking forward to in particular?

I look forward to discussing the future of the global IP system in the 21st century. The US recently changed its patent system to first-to-file and they are now busy implementing the America Invents Act. That is something leaders from Europe and Asia have discussed with US leaders. There are also discussions about how an EU patent court would work. So now is a good time to discuss how all IP systems in the world can become more user-friendly. We all file internationally so, for example, the EU unitary patent system is of interest to all companies that file patents, including those in Korea, Japan and the United States. Now is a good time to discuss these topics.

How many people are you expecting?

We expect in the order of 2000, as usual. But I also want to emphasise that we want to demonstrate the value of IP to the public and politicians, and to explain how IP will help innovation and development of new products and services in the future. I hope the AIPPI Congress will offer an excellent opportunity for the general public to appreciate the value of IP, especially as east Asia is now a key engine of the global economy. We hope the world IP community will recognise the economic and creative value of east Asia and the key role that IP will play in the protection of new ideas to help the future of the world economy.

I think east Asia needs to better appreciate the value and importance of IP, especially in China and Korea. Asian people have a tradition of Confucianism, which emphasises education and learning. Since Confucianism makes it easier to get success without legal or technical barriers, Asian people need to have a new look at the importance of IP assets. Some people think the government should make IP freely available and the idea of needing protection is quite new. We all need to discuss both how to create new ideas and how to protect them.

What special information would you like people to know about the other activities of the AIPPI Korean Group?

AIPPI Korea hosts a workshop in April every year together with three sister IP organizations - Asian Patent Attorneys Association Korea, LES Korea and FICPI Korea - on IP topics to discuss international developments on patent, trademark, copyright laws and related subjects.

AIPPI Korea also organises, together with AIPPI China and AIPPI Japan, trilateral meeting every year. This year, the three Groups met in Sapporo, Hokkaido Japan on July 14, 15. Next year, the trilateral meeting will be held in China.

Among other activities, AIPPI Korea has held the Seoul IP Conference from time to time, with the next one to be planned later this year.

Finally, AIPPI Korea is highly proactive in submitting all AIPPI resolutions to the Korean government for legislation in Korea.
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