Patent counsels from South Korea are roughly representing 190,000 patent applications per year. Following China, the United States, and Japan, the country is number four in terms of patent filing volume worldwide.
The largest patent law firm in South Korea is KIM & CHANG. They are representing over 10,000 patent filings per year and are almost twice the size of the firms coming next, Y.P.LEE, MOCK & PARTNERS and YOU ME PATENT AND LAW FIRM.
12 firms represent the majority of filing volume within the top 50 firms. This reflects a rather typical degree of concentration in the market. To compare, Germany is at 13 firms and it is 15 firms in the United States which represent over 50% of filings.
We find a remarkably clear focus on either domestic clients or foreign clients for many largest patent law firms in Korea. In other words, firms that rank high for domestic filings are oftentimes not among the top positions for foreign filings and vice versa. However, either strategy can lead to high filing volumes and make a firm appear high in our quantitative statistics. To give an example, KOREANA PATENT FIRM is number two for foreign filings, but only number 373 for domestic filings.
The share of PCT-based filings vs. direct filings can also vary greatly. This is surprising. Usually, we find rather similar values within a country. For South Korea, it is impossible to identify a typical range.