Gwang Hwa Moon IP Law & Consulting / CEO Patent Attorney Hong Seong-hoon mini interview

지윤석 기자l승인2023.01.17l수정2023.01.17 15:28






▲ Gwang Hwa Moon IP Law & Consulting / CEO Patent Attorney Hong Seong-hoon

Gwang Hwa Moon IP Law & Consulting opened business in July 2020 in Gwanghwamun, Seoul, and is engaged in numerous services including patent, R&D strategy establishment, investment attraction, listing, and commercialization. CEO Hong Seong-hoon, a patent attorney, worked previously in charge of patent for LG Electronics, Korea Institute of Energy Research, Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Samsung Electronics’ C-lab spin-off startup, and neofect. The main business of the company is to provide intellectual property and patent services. 


Paying attention to the progress of startups

CEO Hong recently paid attention to deep tech startups and emphasized the importance of utilizing patent portfolios. “Deep tech startups I think start unstably though they have high-tech technology, but they can grow rapidly to dominate the market and change the game in a short time. Even if you have a good idea, there are often cases where it is not possible to cover human resources due to lack of funds or to make prototypes and production facilities. Therefore, it is necessary to form a patent portfolio at an appropriate time so that the technology of the company can be recognized externally and be able to secure investment or government funds (government support program, technology guarantee fund, credit guarantee fund, etc.). In other words, securing a patent portfolio is essential for the rapid growth of startups. Because of this, as a patent attorney, I naturally paid attention to startups.” 

Regarding the role of a patent attorney, Hong said ““First of all, it is to derive a meaningful patent item from a company’s product or service. In other words, securing a patent portfolio is essential for the rapid growth of startups. The role of a patent attorney is to protect the company’s core technology (core value) and to provide a strategy for entitlement to patents with high technology evaluation grades. It is also to establish a plan to exercise market dominance based on patent rights and to receive the necessary funds in a timely manner.” 


Professional knowledge and experience in the field

Hong is a member of the Ministry of SMEs and Startups, Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, and Gyeonggi-do R&D evaluation committee. When asked a memorable case, he said ““For large corporations, patents are like an army. Large companies spend a lot of money to secure high-end technology development infrastructure, and based on this, they own a number of powerful patents and build their own patent maps for strategic use. However, until war breaks out, such patents are kept hidden and not used. If a conglomerate proceeds with a patent lawsuit against a small-to-medium-sized company, criticism may arise and the corporate image may be affected. However, when a patent war breaks out with large companies of the same class, or when small and medium-sized enterprises file a lawsuit against large companies first, they use their strong patents to reverse or invalidate the other party’s patent infringement. On the other hand, in the case of patents of public research institutes, there are many patents for technologies that have not yet been commercialized due to policy issues. If a market is formed for that technology, it is very likely to become a source technology. I met many doctors who received generous compensation from the transfer of original technology. In the case of startups and SMEs, there is a high tendency to quickly secure a small number of patents for the growth of the company in the early stages. However, there are cases in which patents are secured in a way that shows the lack of technology. In this case, it is difficult to give a good score. The Korea Institute of Energy Research’s energy storage system (ESS) project using flow electrodes is interesting. As a source technology, it was a key patent for new and renewable energy that can dramatically increase the efficiency of seawater desalination and energy storage, and of course, I also proceeded to obtain overseas rights. The problem occurred in China, and the examiner argued that it was a technology with no significant differences from existing secondary batteries. As a result of responding with a theory that has no room for refutation after searching related papers all night, it was registered in China and dramatically raised the value of the technology. I couldn’t stop smiling even though I was tired but I had repaid the doctors’ trust and improved the national interest which made proud. I thank the doctors to trust me.” 

Giving helpful tips to emerging enterprises, Hong said “Technical skills, business skills, and communication skills are important. I believe you know the technology. Business power means the ability to strategically sell core technologies to meet consumer needs. Communication ability means the courage to understand the other person’s position rather than one’s own position when meeting with people inside and outside the organization. If there is passion for this, the company grows rapidly. In addition, professional knowledge and experience in the field can also be a strength. My goal is to become a lifelong patent attorney for clients who never lose their original intentions.”

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