1. Apple and Samsung are taking the lead in computer-generated graphic designs of smartphones
Since the beginning of the smartphone fad, the graphical user interface (GUI) design which is a kind of a computer-generated graphic design is increasing in connection with an IT product having a liquid crystal screen, such as a mobile phone.
The annual average number of applications for computer-generated graphic designs relating to mobile phones is about 100 or so. However, the number of applications filed only for 2008 was 420, an increase more than four fold. Such an increase is considered to have resulted because a great number of applications for computer-generated graphic designs were filed by smartphone manufacturers to dominate the Korean market by securing design rights in the Republic of Korea, the arena of competition of IT products, before smartphones were fully released in 2009.
In the ranking of filing the applications for computer-generated graphic designs relating to mobile phones during the latest five years (2006~2011), Apple filing 420 applications ranks 1st, followed by Samsung Electronics filing 117 applications, SK Telecom and SK Telesys. As shown, Apple and Samsung Electronics are leading the creation and right in computer-generated graphic designs. Also, these two companies are considered as positively using the computer-generated graphic designs as the means of business strategies.
2. The Republic of Korea sharply increased the number of international trademark applications
- The Republic of Korea ranked 1st among the top 20 countries regarding the increase rate in the number of filed international trademark applications.
The Republic of Korea ranked 1st in the top 20 countries regarding the rate of increase in the number of international trademark applications filed last year under Madrid System.
According to a statistical report of ‘International trademark filings in 2010 under the Madrid System’ recently published by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), the largest growth was registered by the Republic of Korea (42.2%) in the top 20 countries, followed by China (42%), Italy (38.7%) and USA (29.6%), among others.
The statistical report showed that the number of the worldwide international trademark applications filed in 2010 was 39,687, an increase of 12.8%, compared with 2009. Thus, the downturn of 2009 due to the worldwide economic recession was considered as being overcome.
3. KIPO has fully started developing a 3rd generation patent net
To realize the smart filing and examination environments, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) concluded agreements with Samsung SDS and Sungmin Information Technology Consortium on April 20, 2011 through the Public Procurement Service and started the 3rd generation patent net development.
The patent net is an information system to support the overall patent administration services, such as filing/examination/registration of patent/utility model/trademark/design applications. The 1st generation patent net which started in 1999 opened the internet electronic filing era, and the 2nd generation patent net which started in 2005 and is operating has enabled electronic filing.
Setting a goal of realizing the ‘Smart Work’ environments of a world top level, KIPO plans to open the 3rd generation patent net, step by step, from 2012, by inputting about 22,000,000,000 Korea Won for three years (from 2010 to 2012).
When the 3rd generation patent net is built, an informal/formless electronic filing is possible, that is, a patent application can be filed by using a thesis, research note or the like, to fast secure a right of a result of research and development. In addition, the efficiency and quality of examination service is greatly improved by using an intelligent search function to fast and correctly find the technical information needed for the examination. Furthermore, since the server-based computing technology is applied, security is tightened by originally blocking patent documents from being available to the public. Also, the 3rd generation patent net is capable to easily support the functions as required in fulfilling international intellectual property treaties into which the Republic of Korea will enter in the future.
4. Controlling counterfeit products is being strengthened by building an information system
KIPO promotes the building of an information system for supporting a trademark right investigation and for systematically supporting the service of controlling counterfeit products greatly increasing after the special judicial police squad for trademarks was established in September, 2010.
The information system consists of:
- an ‘investigation service supporting system’ to computerize and process the entire process of controlling and investigating counterfeit products,
- an ‘investigation information supporting system’ to enhance the professionalism of an investigation by making a database of various investigation data relating to counterfeit products,
- a ‘confiscated article managing system’ to systematically manage confiscated articles, and
- a ‘dedicated homepage’ to receive and process a diversity of civil affairs in real time and to provide information regarding counterfeit products.
The head of the information development department said, “[U]nder the circumstances that the distribution of counterfeit products is rapidly increasing through online methods and has become clandestine, once the ‘information system’ is developed to support the service of the special judicial police squad for trademarks, it is expected to greatly strengthen the KIPO’s investigation power of, in real time, analyzing the distribution information of counterfeit products and on-line exchanging the investigation information with the relevant agencies.”