The Largest Patent Prosecution Firms in South Korea

Published On: 2024-01-26|Tags: , |2.7 min read|

Based on IP Pilot’s data, South Korea recorded a total of 948 representatives engaged in handling over 1,025,688 patent prosecution matters between 2018 and 2022.

Rank: Largest 25 Patent Prosecution Firms in South Korea

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The largest 25 patent prosecution firms in South Korea alone represented 36% of the total patent applications during the observed period. As seen from the chart above, the largest 3 firms KIM & CHANG, Y.P.LEE, MOCK & PARTNERS and YOU ME PATENT AND LAW FIRM – have consistently maintained their strong foothold in the industry with top leader KIM & CHANG surpassing 10,000 patent filings each year.

Also worth noting amongst the largest 25 patent prosecution firms in South Korea are two fairly young firms HAEAN PATENT & LAW FIRM (15th in position) and SANG SANG PATENT AND LAW FIRM (20th in position) which saw a vast leap in their patent portfolio by 50 and 158 times respectively during the five-years time period.

Overall Patent Landscape in South Korea

Most of the patent applications done in South Korea were for domestic applicants, and only 23% of the total volume were filed on behalf of foreign applicants. In fact, more than half (550) of the top 1000 applicants were from South Korea. Some of the largest domestic filers are unsurprisingly stemming from the local chaebols Samsung, Hyundai and the LG Group.

On the other hand, some of the largest foreign filers included American QUALCOMM INC, Japanese TOKYO ELECTRON LTD and SEMICONDUCTOR ENERGY LAB, and Chinese HUAWEI TECH CO LTD.

For most of the largest patent prosecution firms in South Korea, there was a distinct focus on either domestic clients or foreign clients in their portfolios. For example, KOREANA PATENT FIRM (rank #5) had 99% foreign filings in their portfolio versus ENVISION PATENT & LAW FIRM (rank #22) with 2%.

Case Exchange Trends

From 2018 to 2022, patent prosecution firms in South Korea received a total of 264,506 patent cases from their foreign associates. The major senders were associate firms from the United States, China, Japan, Germany and Taiwan, collectively sending 86% of the cases received by patent prosecutions firms in South Korea.

On the flip side, South Korean firms sent 198,400 patent cases to their global counterparts. The US, Japan, China and Germany were the largest receiving countries, accounting for 80% of the total number of cases dispatched by South Korean law firms.

Law Firms Receiving Most Cases from S. Korea: Country Breakdown 2018-2022
Law Firms Sending Most Cases to S. Korea: Country Breakdown 2018-2022

In summary

The patent prosecution landscape in South Korea is undoubtedly driven primarily by domestic inventions and applicants, especially with the chaebols consistently filing very large volumes every year. The jurisdiction has certainly witnessed a few high-potential young firms rising up the ranks in the recent years too but the top patent prosecution firms continued to dominate the market with their legacies and reputations.

In spite of the heavy domestic influence, South Korea is also an important and attractive market for many international filers as seen by the higher volume of cases received than cases sent. Consequently, we would see some large firms that almost exclusively serviced international clients.

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