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1. The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) will be at the forefront of eradicating fake characters. (News Letter No. 245)



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1. The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) will be at the forefront of eradicating fake characters

- KIPO concluded a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Korea Creative Contents Agency (KCCA)

‘Seoul Character Licensing Fair 2012’ was held in the COEX Exhibition Center. In the Fair, KIPO concluded the MOU with KCCA and decided to undertake the mutual cooperation and joint effort in the intellectual property field to develop and protect Korean character industries.

As the awareness of the Korean famous characters, such as “Pororo” and “Pucca”, rose and the demand for various character products using these characters increased, the scale of the Korean character industries has rapidly grown from 2.07 trillion Korea Won in 2005 to 7.2 trillion Korea Won in 2011, about 3.5 times during the last six (6) years. The amount of overseas exports relating to the characters has greatly increased by 30%, from 320 billion Korea Won in 2010 to 425 billion Korea Won in 2011, to highly contribute to the Korean wave of cultural products.

The character industrial scale has greatly expanded as indicated above. However, since the characters of animations and so on are not protected as design rights, fake character products, such as “Mashiporo (a doll which combines the characteristics of Mashimaro and Pororo)”, are openly distributed in markets and are big obstacles in the development of the Korean character industries.

Therefore, both KIPO and KCCA which recognized the aforementioned problems decided to be at the forefront of eradicating fake characters by means of the exchange of character-related information and the improvement of design systems.

2. The number of applications for the robot technology for deep seabed exploration and mining has increased

- As the Korean companies, Korea institute of Ocean Science &
Technology (KIOST) and Samsung Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. (SHI)
stand out

According to KIPO, as the interest in the deep seabed exploration and deep sea resource development has gradually increased, the number of patent applications for the relevant sea and seabed robots totals 93 up to now. Among these applications, 67 applications (72%) were filed during the last five years.

The robot technological fields for deep seabed exploration and development are classified under two large types: a remote operated vehicle (ROV) connected by a long-distance cable to be remotely operated; and an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to be self-controlled by a self power source and program without any long-distance cable connection. Classified by the aforementioned technologies, 63 applications (68%) were filed for the ROV type and 30 applications (32%) were filed for the AUV type.

Classified by the applicants, KIOST (formerly, Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute) filed the most applications with 13 applications (14%), followed by SHI with 12 applications (13%), Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) with 6 applications (7%), and Daewoo Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. with 4 applications (4%). The applications were very actively filed by industry-university-institute.

Specifically, KIOST already originally developed “Haemirae”, an unmanned undersea vehicle for 6,000 m in deep sea, and has conducted active research activities. As well, at the end of 2011, KIOST filed a patent application for a ‘multi-legged walking and flying subsea robot’ which performs precise exploration and work by swimming in the water and walking on the sea floor, instead of a human, where it is impossible for a human to work because of the tide, the depth of water, the temperature of water, etc. KIOST is in the process of research, targeting the completion of the development in 2015.

3. KIPO had the highest rate of design registrations of public design goods

- Lighting and resting facilities reached 63% of the total number of the design registrations

As public designs increased in recent few years, the number of design registrations of public design-related goods was the highest on record last year. According to KIPO, the number of the design registrations of public design goods was 1,615 in 2010 and 1,925 in 2011 with an increase of about 20%.

The increase in the number of the design registrations of public design-related goods was influenced by the public design business which had been nationally populated from 2007. The number of the design registrations was over 3,000 per year during the two (2) years, 2009 and 2010, reaching a total of about 6,500.

The registration rate of the public design-related goods for the last three (3) years is about 62% on the average. This is somewhat low, compared with 80% which is an average registration rate of general design applications. Based on KIPO’s analysis, the reason for the low registration rate of the public design-related goods is that a design loses novelty when it is reported through the media prior to the filing of an application or it is publicly known through the Internet, catalogues, exhibitions, etc. for sales promotion.

4. KIPO improves the English versions of the Korean patent abstracts

KIPO announced that they would do the quality improvement work including the surveillance reinforcement of a translation process, the education of the hands-on staff, etc., in order to reduce the error problem in the translation of the Korean patent abstracts (KPA) which was raised by the Electronic Newspaper.

A real-name system for KPA quality guarantee is introduced. A KPA background management system is applied to track a sloppy translation and supervision process. The real names of the patent translator and the native-speaker inspector are described in the KPA background.

In addition to the real-name system for KPA quality guarantee, KIPO will conduct a satisfaction research of KPA users (foreigners) twice every year and will reflect its results in KIPO’s internal evaluation such as personal matters, etc.

A quota system to allow a differential translation amount according to work experience is introduced. Under the differential quota system, a patent translation specialist position and role (mentor) are given to a KPA preparing person having five (5) years or more experience. This person assigns a quantity of translation to a working person having a short translation experience and guides him/her to prevent any errors from occurring in the translation.

KIPO decided to secure an additional budget to expand the inspection of translation by native-speakers in the Korea Institute of Patent Information which is in charge of and manages the KPA. KIPO will gradually expand the inspection by native-speakers by securing the necessary funds.


1. The Special Police Squad for Trademarks (SPST) exposed numerous violators and large quantities of counterfeit goods (News Letter No. 246)


More than one (1) year will be saved in processing an international patent between the Republic of Korea and Japan. (News Letter No. 244)