1. KIPO eradicates a filing of an illegally used trademark
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) announced that it would strengthen the relevant examination and carry forward the improvement of the law system, to eradicate trademark broker acts of taking profits by imitating the trademarks of famous celebrities or broadcast programs and the trademarks well known in foreign countries, etc.
The number of the trademark applications to preoccupy trademarks by imitating the trademarks starting to be known at home and abroad increased by more than 10 times, from 90 in 2008 to 912 in 2012.
What was worse is that a specific person filed 730 trademark applications including foreign famous trademarks for 1 month.
KIPO amended the Trademark Law in 2007 to positively reject the registration of an application filed to obtain unjust profits by imitating a foreign trademark. However, the occurrence of easily obtaining profits by the acts of trademark brokers has not easily disappeared.
To straighten out such problem, KIPO is carrying forward the following measures to eradicate trademark brokers:
First, the examination is strengthened to prevent a registration of a trademark of a foreign company by a person having had a transaction relationship with the foreign company and to eradicate an act of imitating a foreign trademark.
Second, regarding a trademark imitating a foreign trademark, etc., an examiner investigates a real condition of use of the trademark by authority, without waiting for any information provided by an interested party, to positively reject the imitating trademark.
Third, a trademark of a famous celebrity or broad program may cause a consumer to have a misconception that the relevant product(s) or service(s) are operated by or have something to do with the celebrity. Therefore, a person having no just title shall not obtain a registration of the trademark.
2. The number of patent applications for a printed circuit board (PCB) to increase the brightness of LED lighting has increased
While LED lighting receives attention as a power-saving product, the number of patent applications regarding a thermal radiation PCB used to enhance the efficiency of LED lighting has increased.
The thermal radiation PCB which is a main component of the LED lighting functions to increase the life and efficiency of the LED lighting by effectively dissipating the heat generated.
The number of the relevant patent applications has steadily increased since 2008. It was only 19 in 2008 but has increased by about 38~55 every year since 2009, showing 100~189% in comparison with 2008.
The thermal radiation PCB technology which has been filed in the applications has been developed from a type of simply selecting materials that heat is well transmitted to a type of improving the structure of the LED lighting.
The technology of improving the structure or shape, such as a ventilation hole, a lead frame, a stacking method, etc. holds 67%, a large majority of the quantity of the relevant applications. The technology of applying new materials, such as ceramics, metals, nano elements, etc. holds 31%.
3. A design in a pending application is protected
Many designers register their design rights with KIPO, to keep the rights for their work. However, it takes about 6 months if not longer, to about 1 year, to obtain a design right.
In the future, a design is in the process to obtain its intellectual property (IP) right and has not been completed will be protected.
The Korea Institute of Design Promotion (KIDP) and KIPO agreed to introduce a system of notifying and verifying a design’ and held the inauguration ceremony on August 18, 2013. This system is a first protection measure to prevent the imitation of a design before the design is registered, by verifying the creator and the creation time of the design.
If a request for notifying and verifying a design is filed in the system of notifying and verifying a design (publish.kidp.or.kr) operated by KIDP, a certificate is issued through a 3-day examination period. The design as notified and verified is transferred to KIPO, to be used for the examination of a design examination.
4. A financial world is in the grip of supporting IP
As the government brought up a plan for IP activation as a core engine of a creative economy, the financial world seems to unwrap the ‘IP’ gift pack of about several trillion Korea Won.
A private financial company following a government-run bank and a guarantee organization has competitively poured out IP loan goods and dashed ahead in the competition to take excellent IP medium/small or venture companies by preparing a diversity of support benefits. Experts indicate that fair standards of IP value evaluation are urgent to connect the IP financial support measures to the industrial activation.
As the IP financial support claiming to stand for the activation of the creative economy has burst out, some people have loudly voiced their concerns that the prevention of double investment and the standard of value evaluation should be first prepared. If the feature of the IP which is the basis for future profits loses its valuation, then the relevant market indicates that the human resources for an objective IP verification and examination/evaluation need to be arranged in the financial world.