Korean corporate and government leaders are more and more recognising the importance of IP monetisation and management in order to improve business and economic performance and even national security. These topics, along with others, have been the core of the 2nd Annual Korea IP Conference, event chosen by the government to present its 5-year plan to achieve an IP-based economy. The three pillars on which the government will build its action comprise: reductions in the duration of processes such as examination, patent trial and appeal pendency; anti-counterfeiting enforcement; and patent law implementation. The executive basic plan includes comparative analyses of national policies, improving IP quality, litigation, financing and enhancing IP mortgaging in order to lay the foundations for a solid and efficient private market-base technology valuation system. The conference obviously also addressed the complex issues arisen from finding a balance between IPRs and competition law compliance. The Korean Fair Trade Commission has undertaken to draft guidelines on the management of Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs) to cure the lack of international standards and it’s expected to summon relevant government and private sector representatives so to lead a productive multi-stakeholder approach. Other sessions of the Conference involved problems related to counterfeiting, piracy and brand protection. The European Chamber of Commerce in Korea held a panel illustrating the alarming comparative data on the impact of worldwide counterfeiting. This phenomenon violently hits major brands and it also has tremendous repercussions on consumers, local entrepreneurs and governments. Criminal organisations take advantage of counterfeit goods market, exploiting it as an easy way to do business, perfectly knowing that governments have other priorities to face. During the anti-piracy session, Kwee Tiang Ang of IFPI Asia highlighted the drastic drop of music industry revenues mostly due to online piracy. The most envisaged solution appears to be web-blocking measures; with the technical help of Internet Service Providers, it would be possible to rapidly bottleneck illegal downloading. Furthermore, Kwee Tiang Ang illustrated the positive results of backing up legal action against infringers with administrative measures, such as the so-called 3-strikes graduated response system, the Korean version of France’s Hadopi law: inviting users to stop infringing activities encourage them to switch towards legal platforms. Further enforcement actions have been claimed to fight cybersquatting and protect trademarks and brand protection by enhancing domain name dispute resolution mechanisms. As the ICANN UDRP doesn’t apply to country code domains, Korea Internet Security Agency established a national resolution policy to deal with “.kr” domains and designated the Internet Address Dispute Resolution Committee (IDRC) as the sole Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) provider. At the conclusion of the Conference, a final panel was held to discuss IP management challenges that in-house counsels have to confront with on a day-to-day basis. The participants were unanimous in affirming the strategic role that these experts will play in the fight against IPRs violation, especially in educating staff at all levels and departments to pursue a synergic action. Nonetheless, the increasing requirement of IP knowledge, the vastness of the subject and the complexity of the matters shouldn’t lead in-house teams to be reluctant in asking support from external counsels. gLAWcal Team LIBEAC project Friday, 14 November 2014 (Source: Asian Legal Business)