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The results and tasks of the Special Police Squad for Trademarks (SPST) after its one-year launch (News Letter No. 225)



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1. The results and tasks of the Special Police Squad for Trademarks (SPST) after its one-year launch

- A total of 141 people engaging in counterfeit goods activities were arrested and about 48,000 counterfeit goods were confiscated

SPST under the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced that it has strengthened the control of counterfeit goods since it was established in September 2010, charging a total of 141 people engaging in criminal counterfeit goods activities and confiscating about 48,000 counterfeit goods (corresponding to about 12 billion Korea Won as the value of real goods) over the last year.

Upon comparing these results with the results during the period of January to August, 2010 before SPST was established, the number of people charged with a crime increased by about six (6) times and the number of confiscated goods increased by about eleven (11) times, based on the average monthly results. The reason why the results of the arrest greatly increased is because, since SPST was launched as a special investigation organization of counterfeit goods, KIPO could independently concentrate on controlling the large-scale manufacturers, distributors and dealers of counterfeit goods, without depending on joint-control with the prosecutors’ office and police office.

Classified by the types of exposed crimes, 105 people were related to wholesale and retail activities, 24 people were related to online sale activities, 7 people were related to manufacturing activities and 5 people were related to distribution activities.

Upon classifying confiscated counterfeit goods by items, 6,618 goods were accessories, 5,583 goods were clothing, 5,411 goods were bags, 1,272 goods were shoes. Classified by brands, 8,702 goods were related to Louis Vuitton, 6,085 goods were related to Polo, 4,653 goods were related to MCM, and 4,651 goods were related to Chanel.

2. The Republic of Korea is 4th in the world ranking of the number of filing the nano-related applications during the first half of this year

In the nano-area, the Republic of Korea filed 3,879 patent applications in the first half of this year and took the 4th place in world ranking in this area.

According to ‘nano-related patent tendencies during the first half of 2011’ by the national nanotechnology policy center, 75,761 patent applications in the nano area were filed with the Patent Offices in ninety-three (93) countries and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).

Classified by the nationalities of the inventors in the applications in the nano area, the USA had 18,324 cases, Japan had 10,949 cases and China had 5,435, followed by Korea. The tendencies of the applications filed with the Patent Offices in the major countries, such as US or Japan, had been analyzed, however, it was for the first time that the data during the first half of this year in the ninety-three (93) countries were collected and combined.

By applicants, Fuji Film filed the most applications (806 cases) and Samsung Electronics took the 2nd ranking (799 cases). During the one month of May, Samsung Electronics ranked 1st. Samsung Electronics was 2nd in ranking of filing the applications with the USPTO. 3M was indicated as a high ranking applicant in the patent registration agencies in most countries. The Republic of Korea ranked 8th , being in the top 10.

By technologies, the most applications were filed in the semiconductor device (H01L) area. Upon analyzing the disclosed patents in the nano area by the International Patent Classification (IPC) Codes, the most cases (with 8,719) were related to semiconductor devices, followed by preparations for medical, dental or toilet purposes (with 6,907).

3. The super-high speed patent examination system of the green technology has been in operation for two years

- The fastest patent registration has been done eleven (11) days after a request for super-high speed patent examination was filed.

According to KIPO, October 1, 2011 is a second anniversary of the super-high speed patent examination system which processes, within one (1) month, the patent examination of green technology studied and developed based on the national strategy of low carbon green growth.

At present, the processing examination period of a general patent is about, on average, seventeen (17) months. However, when using the super-high speed patent examination system, the processing period is shortened to within one (1) month. This is the fastest level in the world. The case which was fastest registered through the super-high speed patent examination system was the application related to a ‘solar light generating system’, filed by a medium/small company. It was decided to be patented in eleven (11) days after a request for super-high speed patent examination was filed.

When an applicant obtains an early patent right of a green technology through the super-high speed patent examination system, the applicant is able to promptly commercialize the patent accordingly. After the super-high speed patent examination system was operated in October, 2009, the super-high speed patent examination was conducted in a total of 278 cases by August, 2011. The percentage of commercializing the patents which were patented through this system is 83%, higher than the 43% which is the percentage of commercializing all patents.

In order for an applicant to use the super-high speed patent examination system of green technology, first, an invention shall be a green technology approved by eight (8) environment- and energy-related laws including a fundamental law of low carbon green growth; second, there shall be a prior art search result conducted by a special agency designated by KIPO; and third, a request shall be made by an electronic application.

4. Now, patent fees can be paid using an ATM

Without visiting a bank or accessing the internet, anyone can pay patent fees any time, using an automated teller machine (ATM) available all across the country.

According to KIPO, it is possible to pay annual registration fees of a patent, a design and the like, using an ATM, from September 28, 2011. In the future, the fees to be paid by an ATM will be gradually expanded to other fees, such as fees for filing an application, etc.

When anyone wants to pay patent fees using an ATM, (s)he shall transfer the corresponding annual registration fees to a virtual account stated in a bill sent with a payment guide notice of the annual registration fees.

As for even a patent client who cannot easily visit a bank or for whom it is difficult to access the internet, (s)he can now pay the patent fees through an ATM. In the future, the patent clients’ convenience in paying fees is expected to be even further improved.  


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