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KIPO chief strengthens IP alliances with Middle Eastern counterparts

By Hwang Joo-young

Published : Nov. 28, 2023 - 13:24

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Korean Intellectual Property Office Commissioner Lee Insil (left) and Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property CEO Abdulaziz Alswailem pose for a photo after signing a memorandum of understanding in Saudi Arabia, Oct. 22. (KIPO) Korean Intellectual Property Office Commissioner Lee Insil (left) and Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property CEO Abdulaziz Alswailem pose for a photo after signing a memorandum of understanding in Saudi Arabia, Oct. 22. (KIPO)

The Korean Intellectual Property Office has moved to strength relations with authorities in the Middle East to pursue cooperation in intellectual property fields, ranging from manpower training to patent information utilization.

According to the KIPO, its commissioner, Lee Insil, held a series of meetings with her Middle Eastern counterparts during an official visit to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia on Oct. 20-22.

Lee and Abdulla Al Saleh, the UAE's undersecretary for the Economy Ministry, reached an agreement to implement a training course designed by the KIPO for UAE patent examiners, during their meeting on Oct. 20.

The two also committed to fortifying cooperation in various areas, including supporting small businesses and startups, the integration of artificial intelligence in patent administration and youth invention education.

"We expect the recent meetings with our valuable partner offices to give impetus to our endeavors to export our excellent IP administration services and promote the Korean Wave in terms of IP," Lee said.

The UAE is one of the countries where the KIPO has been working to bolster collaborative ties.

A total of 14 South Korean examiners have been deployed to the UAE’s Ministry of Economy since 2014, providing quality patent examination services and advisory support to improve the country's intellectual property system.

The KIPO's collaborative endeavors extend to Saudi Arabia, where 22 Korean experts have been dispatched to the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property since 2018. Notably, the KIPO helped the SAIP in establishing a comprehensive national intellectual property strategy -- a significant outcome of the KIPO-SAIP partnership. The positive relationship between the two countries recently led to the appointment of a senior KIPO official as an advisor to the SAIP's CEO.

On Oct 22, Lee and SAIP CEO Abdulaziz Alswailem signed a memorandum of understanding during the Korea-Saudi Arabia Summit, further solidifying their commitment to expanding cooperation in intellectual property financing, intellectual property training and patent information utilization.

Continuing diplomatic engagements, Lee met with the Assistant Undersecretary for Industry Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry of Qatar, Mohamed Hasan Al Malki, on Oct. 25. The meeting also aimed to stimulate bilateral cooperation in the field of intellectual property.

During the meeting in Qatar, the two parties agreed to take concrete steps, focusing on establishing Qatar's national intellectual property strategy, setting goals, and developing strategic tasks for the creation, protection and utilization of intellectual property rights.

"The KIPO wishes to have a chance to work with other Middle Eastern countries such as Oman and Bahrain, and will work hard to do so and to promote a Korea-friendly IP landscape in the local markets,” Lee said.

By Hwang Joo-young and Lee Kwon-hyung

(flylikekite@heraldcorp.com) (kwonhl@heraldcorp.com)