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KIPO builds the intellectual property diplomatic networks with Europe (News Letter No. 218)

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KH

Post Date 

2011-06-16

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1. KIPO builds the intellectual property diplomatic networks with Europe

- KIPO expands the base for cooperation with OHIM within EU and SPTO

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) expands the cooperation in the intellectual property field with the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (trademarks and designs) (OHIM) within the European Unit (EU) and the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office (SPTO).

KIPO announced that the commissioner’s meeting between KIPO and OHIM, one of the world top three trademark offices, was held the morning of May 24, 2010 in Alicante, Spain and a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was concluded to strengthen the cooperation in the trademark and design fields between the two offices.

The meeting of the world top 3 trademark offices consisting of OHIM, US Patent and Trademark Office and Japanese patent Office agreed to admit KIPO to full membership in the annual conference of the International Trademark Association (INTA) held in the US last week.

According to the MOU concluded by Mr. Soo-won LEE, the commissioner of KIPO, and Mr. Antonio Campinos, the commissioner of OHIM, the cooperative programs to be carried forward are as follows:

▲ Holding a meeting of experts in the trademark and design fields
▲ On-line exchange of trademark and design publications
▲ Electronic exchange of trademark priority documents
▲ Cooperation related to educational training programs.

The two commissioners discussed plans to protect the names of Korean traditional foods to keep pace with the Korean food globalization.


2. A system for disclosing the patent attorney information will be introduced…you can see the information on individual patent attorney(s) at a glace

- The system for disclosing the information on patent attorneys and a system for training patent attorneys will be operated from November 24th of this year

KIPO announced that the Patent Attorney Law was revised on May 24, 2011 and focused on a system for disclosing the information on individual patent attorneys and a system for training patent attorneys. This revision will be in force from November 24, 2011 through the preparation process of six (6) months.

When the system for disclosing the information on individual patent attorneys is operated, the Korean Patent Attorney Association (KPAA) shall disclose the qualifications of license, information of offices, areas of expertise and the like of all the patent attorneys registered with KIPO. Patent attorneys shall provide KPAA with the information required for the disclosure.

Detailed ranges and methods of disclosing the information of patent attorneys will be determined in the Enforcement Decrees of the Patent Attorney Law.


3. MIMO is responsible for 4G mobile communications

The multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) has attracted attention as a core technology of the long term evolution (LTE) of 4G mobile communications providing large capacity multimedia contents.

If a bus has a number of doors, passengers can get in and out much faster in comparison with another bus having one door. Like this, MIMO is a technology to innovatively increase a data transmission speed by comprising a number of mobile antennas.

According to KIPO, the number of the MIMO-related applications had continuously increased since 2001 and the trend peaked in 2007.

Classified by domestic and foreign applicants, the number of the applications filed by domestic companies, laboratories and universities was 53% of the total number of the applications and the number of the applications filed by foreign companies was 47%, showing a minor difference therebetween. Thus, the domestic and foreign companies are considered as keenly competing to hold a dominant position in the technology.

Classified by companies, Samsung Electronics filed 26%, Qualcomm filed 23%, LG Electronics filed 9%, and Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute filed 6%. The applications filed by Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm held 49% of the total applications.

In view of technical fields, the number of the applications related to the spatial multiplexing technique was 119 (38% of the total applications), the number of the applications related to the spatial diversity technique was 70 (22%), the number of the applications related to the beamforming technique was 69 (22%), and the number of the applications related to the combinations of two or more of the aforementioned techniques was 58 (18%).


4. When a domain name, ‘한국’, is registered or used, it must not violate the Trademark Law and the Unfair Competition Prevention Law

The service of the domain, ‘한국’, which is a new national domain in the Korean language, Hangeul, has started since May 25, 2011. The Korea Internet & Security Agency (KISA) gives an owner of a trademark right a preferential request period from May 25 to June 21, 2011, to minimize a domain dispute.

However, even though the aforementioned period passes, it is not that anyone can legally use a domain name which is identical with or similar to a trademark. Even though a name which is identical with or similar to a registered trademark or a trade name/trademark of another being widely known is registered as a domain name and then used, if it falls under certain conditions, it is regarded as an act of violating the Trademark Law or the Unfair Competition Prevention Law. In this case, the user shall bear civil/criminal liability.

Under the Trademark Law, when anyone having no just right uses a trademark which is identical with or similar to a registered trademark in order to sell or distribute identical or similar goods, such an action is regarded as an infringement act. Under the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, when anyone uses a name, trade name or trademark which is identical with or similar to a name, trade name or trademark of the other who is widely known at home, even though it is not a registered trademark, and thus (s)he causes any confusion of the goods or service of the other, such an action is regulated as an unfair competition action. Accordingly, when the registration and use of a domain name fall under the aforementioned conditions, even though the domain name is used after its registration, it may violate the Trademark Law or the Unfair Competition Prevention Law. However, since an ex post facto remedy becomes a burden to a company in view of cost and time, an owner of a trademark right needs to endeavor to prevent the damage that a domain name is preoccupied by others, through the preferential request period.
 

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