You know, a special wall was set up at Seoul City Hall today. It is a wall displaying the list of patents acquired by Seoul Metropolitan Government officials in association with their assignments.
We at Seoul Metropolitan Government named the wall People Who Changed the Future. The items displayed include: a rainwater drain designed to prevent traffic accidents or electric shock due to rainwater puddles formed on roads particularly during the rainy season; a device attached to a fire hose (usually with high pressure) designed to make it easier to handle by two people. They are small yet marvelous, epoch-making inventions.
Inventions are the city’s knowledge property. The Seoul Intellectual Property Center consisting of 50-plus business mentors will provide SMEs with comprehensive support, including technological consulting. A startup business submitting a patent application will be paid up to 7 million won (i.e., about 70% of the expense usually required for a patent application in a foreign country). A total of 31 SMEs that have acquired good-quality patents were selected as star businesses. Seoul City will provide 200 million won to each of them for the next 3 years and help them carry out prior art search and develop brands.
Recently, there have been cases wherein SME-developed technologies are dishonestly used by large businesses. If you are in such a situation, we at Seoul Metropolitan Government will help by shouldering part of the legal expense.
Seoul Metropolitan Government will hold an invention contest in October. We will also build by next year a knowledge property hub portal site, where people can get information on inventions easily.
We will disclose the patents acquired by Seoul Metropolitan Government officials to people and businesses and let people use the patents left unused for a long time free of charge.
Last March, Seoul Metropolitan Government revised the municipal ordinance for generous compensation for employee invention. When revenue earned from a patent is in excess of a certain level, we will make generous economic compensation for the inventor and consider promoting him/her.
Invention is a revolution stemming from inconvenience. Inventions in modern society do not refer to the creation of new things. Rather, they refer to new ideas created through convergent thinking on existing thoughts or matters.
I believe that the core idea of the creative economy being emphasized by the new government is nothing more than invention or knowledge property.
Those of you who are interested in inventions, please come to Seoul. We will help you!