SEOUL, Aug. 21 (Yonhap) -- Applications for intellectual property continued to rise in the first half, mainly driven by tech firms, in a sign of the economic recovery, data showed Wednesday.
There were 205,114 intellectual property application cases as of the end of June, up 5.9 percent from a year earlier, according to the Korean Intellectual Property Office.
On a first-half basis, patent applications have been on the rise since 2011 after suffering from a third straight year of declines.
The onset of the 2008 global financial crisis dampened companies' moves to spend more money on invention or invest in new technology due to heightened economic uncertainty.
Samsung Electronics Co. ranked first by applying for 3,588 patents in the first half, followed by its rival LG Electronics Inc. with 1,382 cases and LG Chem with 1,156 cases.
Patent applications made by tech firms accounted for 30.7 percent of the total, trailed by petrochemical companies with 23.4 percent, the data showed.
South Korea posted a royalty balance deficit of US$4.95 billion in 2012, larger than a shortfall of $2.96 billion the previous year, according to the central bank.
The balance tracks the nation's cross-border expenses and income for using patents and copyrights as well as brand royalties.
Local firms' overseas royalty payments tend to remain high as they relied heavily on foreign patents and intellectual property rights for their products.
In the first half, the country logged a deficit of such account of $2.33 billion, larger than a deficit of $2.25 billion the previous year, the data showed.
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