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Korean Intellectual Property Management Company is popular (News Letter No.194)



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1. Korean Intellectual Property Management Company is popular

To establish an intellectual property management company (tentatively called ‘Creative Capital Corporation’) for managing creative capital, such as Korean patents, inventions, ideas and the like, and for increasing the industrial added values and competitiveness by discovering, transferring and using intellectual properties, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) invited public participation in the selection of the first CEO by an end of this month.

Another reason to establish the intellectual property management company is to deal with foreign patent trolls or about 220 companies specializing in patent licensing which seek profits by using patent licenses, without any substantial production and services. MKE will continuously increase assets in the form of capital. MKE plans to raise the capital of the Creative Capital Corporation to a total of 5,000 billion Korea Won (including the governmental budget of 2,000 billion Korea Won and private capital of 3,000 billion Korea Won) by 2015.

The Creative Capital Corporation will take the lead in setting the national intellectual property strategies and will internalize core and original technologies and file applications for these technologies which are to be patented. Further, the Creative Capital Corporation will purchase inventive ideas and the research output by Korean universities and research institutes. This is to prevent Korean intellectual properties from being bought by other countries at cheap prices.

The Creative Capital Corporation will purchase and secure the domestic and foreign inventive ideas, inventions and patents, to ensure they are protected rights. Through the packaging process to reinforce patented/protected claims, market-oriented intellectual property portfolios having high added values will be constructed. The secured intellectual property portfolios will be allowed to be freely used by the private companies participating as investors, to face the patent offenses of NPE patent holders.

2. A fingerprint recognizing credit card

The era for popularizing a fingerprint recognizing credit card is here so that another people cannot use the credit card except the owner.

Silicon Display (CEO: Jin JAHNG) announced that it would localize the fingerprint recognizing sensor technology using a thin film transistor liquid crystal display (TFT LCD) material and start the world’s first mass production system thereof from October 2010.

At present, Silicon Display has eleven (11) US patents and seventeen (17) Korean patents related to the TFT LCD fingerprint recognizing sensor. This company will input a total amount of ten billion Korea Won to complete the sensor factory in the Gong-se area in Yong-in in the next month and operate a mass production line of one hundred thousand fingerprint recognizing sensors per month from the fourth quarter.

As the fingerprint recognizing sensor using the TFT LCD material of excellent reliability and price competitiveness is localized, large orders are expected from Korean and foreign credit card industries.

A spokesperson of Silicon Display said, “World card industries have had their eyes on the introduction of a fingerprint recognizing sensor from several years ago but it has yet to be commercialized because of the high production cost and reliability issues. Taking an opportunity of localizing the competitive fingerprint recognizing sensor, an era of popularizing the fingerprint recognizing credit cards will begin.”

3. The touch technology using the “thumb and fingers” has been developed

Korean small and medium companies had cooperatively developed the capacitive multi-touch solution to sense the touch by the thumb and fingers (hereinafter, referred to as “five fingers”) simultaneously and to perceive the contact area. These companies will start the mass production thereof in the next month. These companies lower the price of the product by using only one sheet of a transparent electrode film, indium-tin oxide (ITO).

ATLAB, a touch sensor manufacturer, and SMAP, a touch screen module manufacturer, announced that they developed the transparent multi-touch solution to recognize the five fingers at the same time.

Until now, two or more the ITO films were needed to enable a three-point or more touch capacity. However, the newly developed product is capable of sensing five (5) inputs by using only one sheet of the ITO film. As the use of the ITO film is reduced, the production cost is greatly reduced. As well, the definition of an original display is also expressed without any distortion.

A general touch sensor consumes 2 milliamperes (mA) because it uses an analogue method. However, ATLAB greatly lowers the power consumption to 0.2 mA by using a pure digital technology.

In the analogue sensor, a current continuously flows. However, in the digital sensor, the current flows only upon touch. ATLAB registered the touch circuit and pattern as a patent after filing it in a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) international application in 2005. ATLAB installed, in this touch circuit and pattern, its own software (model name: Touchware) which is capable of converting resolution. SMAP combined the ITO film and chip to be a module. These companies intend to take a lead in the multi-touch market by lowering the production cost by their cooperation and by launching the product earlier.

4. A “3D” fad in trademarks
- the number of applications for 3D trademarks is increasing

Due to the success of the movie “Avatar”, a 3-dimensional film is popularized. In trademark applications, the applications for 3D trademarks are actively filed. An application for a 3D trademark uses a stereo formed in a 3-dimensional form as a trademark.

In view of a recent tendency of an application for a 3D trademark, the number of the applications related to 3D trademarks turned from a decrease to an increase, 81 in 2006, 62 in 2007 and 77 in 2008, and it showed a rapid increase to 131 in 2009. Classified by a type of business, the applications for 3D trademarks are actively filed in the fields of ‘soaps, cosmetics, cookies, seasoning, computers, electronic devices, beers and soft drinks’.

A spokesperson of the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO, Commissioner: Soo-won LEE) said, “If a stereo is well used, it is easy to attract a consumer’s interest and the advertisement effect of goods is high. Thus, people will show more interest in a ‘3D trademark’ in the future.” This spokesperson also mentioned that “even though a 3D trademark directly express a shape of goods or it includes little or more changes in the shape of the goods, if it only expresses the goods’ original function, it is difficult to be registered because it has a weak distinctiveness.”

Starting with the 3D films, a recent trend emphasizes a ‘3-dimentional stereo’ than a ‘2-dimentional plane’ in many fields. Taking this trend into consideration, the number of applications for trademarks using stereos is expected to continuously increase in the future.



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The number of patent applications filed during the first quarter of this year increased by 5.9%...due to business recovery (News Letter No.193)