The world Major Oil Companies
12 Jun 2016 The Electronic Newspaper
The world's major oil companies appear to be scrambling to file the international patent applications on shale oil to Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) in accordance with the PCT.

KIPO revealed that the number of international patent applications filed in the drilling and excavating of shale oil for the last 5 years and 4 months (from 2011 to 2016 April) was a total of 13,242, among which 5,808 cases (43.8%) were filed to KIPO for international patent examination.

The international patent applications on shale oil drilling and excavation went up by 16.5% on average annually for the last 5 years from 1,761 in 2011 to 3,243 in 2015.

The number of international search cases submitted to KIPO recorded an annual growth of as much as 24.2% on average from 602 in 2011 to 1,432 in 2015.

KIPO is currently serving as an international searching authority eligible for examining the international patent applications of 14 different countries, including the U.S.

Halliburton, the world's major oil company, commissioned the international examination to KIPO on almost half of the total of 2,591 patent applications. The share of examinations on the international patent applications commissioned to KIPO by Baker Hughes was 19.5% out of the 1,134 patent applications and for Schlumberger, it was 16.8% in the total of 975.

The growing popularity of KIPO as an international patent examination organization among foreign companies may lie in the short examination-processing period, affordable international search costs, and the high-quality examination.

KIPO met the WIPO's recommendations (within three months) at the rate of 90.5% in terms of international patent application examination period in 2015. The number is far higher than 57.6% of the European Patent Office (EPO) and 33% of the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

KIPO also has the upper hand in the examination service cost. Examination service fee of $1,120 in Korea is half the cost compared to Europe ($2097 per case) and the U.S. ($2080 per case).

The excellent quality of examination compared to the fee is another factor at play that attracts the growing number of global corporations to Korea.

KIPO has been earning annual revenue of $1,600,000 from exporting the examination of the international patent applications related to shale oil.

Jang Wan-ho, director of KIPO's Patent Examination Policy Bureau, said, "We will do our best to provide internationally recognized examination services and create jobs."

Reported by Shin Sunmi in Daejeon