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The number of patent & trademark applications filed during April 2013 has greatly increased (News Letter No. 265)



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1. The number of patent & trademark applications filed during April 2013 has greatly increased

The number of Korean applications for the intellectual property (IP) rights for patents and trademarks which were filed in April, 2013 was 38,604, showing a great increase of 19.8% in comparison with the same period of 2012.

The number of the IP applications filed from January to April, 2013 increased by 6.1% in comparison with the same period of 2012, showing an increasing trend, and the number of the applications filed in April, 2013 greatly increased by 19.8% in comparison with the same period of 2012.

According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the number of the patent applications filed in April, 2013 was 17,081, showing an increase of 13.5% compared with 15,043 patent applications filed during the same month in 2012. The number of the trademark applications filed in April 2013 was 13,863, showing an increase of 32% and the number of the design applications filed in April 2013 was 6,647, showing an increase of 16.2% compared with the same month, last year.

The number of PCT applications filed in April, 2013 showed an increase of 12.8% in the fields of electrics, electronics and automobiles. From this, Korean companies are considered as preoccupying the international markets through the international applications.

2. The Korea Institute of Patent Information (KIPI) concluded a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Chinese and Japanese IP information service agencies

KIPI announced that it exchanged the MOU for business cooperation with the Intellectual Property Publishing House (IPPH) under the State Intellectual Property Office (SIPO) of the People’s Republic of China and the Japan Patent Information Organization (JAPIO) under the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) in their respective countries.

IPPH is an agency specialized in the service to provide the patent-related integrated information and JAPIO is a non-profit agency specialized in providing patent information by comprehensively collecting, handling and processing the patent information.

KIPI agreed with these two agencies to carry forward the following:
△ exchange of technique in the IP information field △ promotion to spread products and services among the agencies △ participation/PR of mutual patent information conferences and events △ carrying forward all cooperative projects based on mutual discussion and △ regular tour, visit and dispatching human resource.

3. Patent attacks in the automobile field have expanded from finished vehicle companies to parts companies

It is confirmed that Hyundai Mobis has been sued for patent infringement in US and Germany. Patent attacks starting in foreign countries have spread from Hyundai and Kia Motors to parts companies, expanding to the overall Korean automotive business world.

Hyundai Mobis has been sued in two (2) patent infringement trials by Autolive, the number 1 vehicle airbag maker in the world. The matters of the trials are related to the airbag cushion module of Elantra. This module functions to prevent a passenger from being injured by an airbag which too strongly deploys.

Hyundai Mobis was sued for patent infringement related to a parking guide system (PGS) by Magna, a Canadian company in the beginning of 2012. However, Hyundai Mobis confirmed that there was no infringement in fact and won the trial. This is the second foreign patent trial.

According to a spokesperson of Hyundai Mobis, as a result of an internal investigation, it has been confirmed that the company did not infringe the airbag patent. Therefore, the company will take a legal action since the patent trial was brought.

4. The number of patent applications for location tracing by a mobile phone

The number of missing children reported during the last three (3) years passed over 10,000 every year.

As a solution to this, the technology related to a child protection by tracing the location of a child using a mobile phone and taking a smart action has been remarkably noticed.

According to KIPO, the number of the applications for child protection by location tracing using a mobile phone was only 2 in 2007 but it rapidly increased to a total of 64 during the last five (5) years (2008~2012).

This is considered as resulting from the fact that the distribution/use rate of mobile phones by young children has become high. It is also noticeable that telecommunication and mobile phone manufacturers are included in the top five applicants in filing many applications.

A spokesperson of KIPO said, “[S]ince our kids are still exposed to the dangers, such as missing or school violence, our society’s demand for the safety of kids will continue to be high and diversified. Therefore, the number of the patent applications related to smart methods to protect kids will continue to increase.”


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