Korean smart grid companies on the march: International patents pave way for exports


By: SGN Staff


By Jesse Berst


Quick Take: In the U.S., the smart grid has largely been about empowering customers and utilities with better information. In Korea, the smart grid is part of the country's industrial policy and has been singled out as an important new export opportunity. The story below documents one of the steps the country is taking to make that plan into a reality.


The Korea Smart Grid Association is launching a national program to encourage and support the creation of smart grid patents that meet international standards. Energy Korea reported that the organization is supporting companies, universities and research institutions that want international patents. The association is taking the lead in developing technologies and standards that can be baked into future patents.


The association also has a special emphasis on strengthening the global competitiveness of innovative small and mid-sized businesses, which would not normally have the sophistication necessary to deal with international patent issues. It is also emphasizing technologies that can become de facto standards or "platforms" that "can enjoy both market power and monopolistic strength."



Jesse Berst is the founder and chief analyst of Smart Grid News.com, the industry's oldest and largest smart grid site. A frequent keynoter at industry events in the U.S. and abroad, he also serves on advisory committees for Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and the Institute for Electric Efficiency. He often provides strategic consulting to large corporations and venture-backed startups. He is a member of the advisory boards of GridGlo and Calico Energy Services.


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