1. Intellectual Property (IP) right trend during the third quarter of 2013
- The number of applications for IP rights increased by 6.8% compared with the same period in the previous year
□ Trend of filing applications
The number of the IP applications filed during the third quarter of 2013 was 104,231, showing a 6.8% increase in comparison with the same period in 2012.
- By rights, the numbers of the applications for patents, designs and trademarks respectively increased by 6.3%, 6.7% and 9.5% and the number of the applications for utility models decreased by 12.0%.
- By Korean and foreign applicants, the number of IP applications filed by Korean applicants increased by 8.2% and the number of applications filed by foreign applicants decreased by 0.4%.
□ Trend of registrations
The number of the IP registrations registered during the third quarter of 2013 was 72,750, showing a 28.4% increase in comparison with the same period in 2012.
- By rights, the numbers of registered patents and trademarks respectively increased by 28.7% and 48.5% while the numbers of registered utility models and designs respectively decreased by 0.5% and 1.7%.
- By Korean and foreign applicants, the number of the IP registered by Korean applicants increased by 29.5% and the number of the IP registered by foreign applicants also increased by 23.8%.
□ Trend of trials
The number of the trials filed during the third quarter of 2013 was 3,369, showing a 9.0% increase in comparison with the same period in 2012. However, the number of the trials settled was 3,437, showing a 4.2% decrease.
2. The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) is proceeding with an entire revision of the Trademark Act in twenty-three years
According to KIPO, pre-announcement of legislation regarding a revised bill of the Trademark Act has been made from November 14 (Thursday) to December 24 (Tuesday) in twenty-three years since the general revision to the Trademark Act in 1990.
Whereas this general revised bill is focused on recovering the trademark order by more comprehensively protecting a just right holder, it is also focused on blocking the registration and use of a trademark which is not proper by eradicating a trademark broker who intends to obtain unfair profits using a trademark right, complementing problems of the ‘First to File Rule’, preventing an acquisition of a right against the ‘Principle of Good Faith’.
When anyone files, without permission, an application for a trademark (which is another’s result made with considerable investment and effort) so as to be earlier registered as a trademark right with the objects of using the trademark right against the just right holder or requesting settlement money from a small-scaled businessman by citing criminal punishment clauses, a new regulation is established to reject such an act of filing the trademark application in an examination stage. Furthermore, even if such a trademark against the ‘Principle of Good Faith’ is erroneously registered, wherein an act of filing, another regulation is prepared to prevent the trademark from being used without the consent of the just right holder, to keep a trademark broker from taking root any more.
3. Korea-China-Japan IP cooperation with customers in Government3.0
- The Patent Offices of the three countries, Korea-China-Japan, proceed with a joint homepage to be open to the public
A 13th Commissioners’ Meeting of the Patent Offices of the three countries, Korea-China-Japan, was held on November 14, 2013 in Sapporo, Japan. KIPO agreed to open to the public from that day, the joint Trilateral IP Offices (TRIPO) which is a website containing various information related to the IP cooperation among the three countries.
This open homepage introduces a diversity of cooperative activities in the IP fields progressed among the three countries, Korea-China-Japan, and it systematically arranges the outcomes of the cooperative projects by fields. Previously, this homepage was available only to examiners of the three countries.
As the joint homepage of the three countries has been open to the public, many diverse and useful information in the IP fields are provided to the public. The information specifically includes comparative study reports on the determination of novelty and inventive steps in the Patent Offices of the three countries, comparative and checking tables of each country’s legislation, each country’s patent examination guides, IP Laws and IP information search service links, etc.
At present, the number of patent applications received in the Patent Offices of the three countries, Korea-China-Japan, reaches 41% of the total of the patent applications filed in the world. The number of design applications received in these three Patent Offices reaches 78% of the total of the design applications filed in the world. Thus, the importance of the cooperation among these three countries, Korea-China-Japan, and the ripple effects thereof are very great in the IP fields.
4. A design in a video also becomes a right
The Republic of Korea recently raising an IT powerful country by holding a 1st place in the world rank in smartphone supple rate has shown an eye-opening growth in video design applications.
As icons stood out as one of major issues in the smartphone-related infringement trial(s) between Samsung and Apple in 2012, interest in a video design expressed in a display section is intensified and therefore the number of video design applications by the relevant industries greatly increased.
According to KIPO, the total number of the video design applications was 1,784 as of the end of September, this year, easily passing over the 1,159 (54% increase) filed during the same period, last year. Specially, the number of the video design applications was 1,732 in 2012, showing a 123% increase in comparison with 774 in 2011. This is an explosive increase compared with 17%, an average increase in the number of the video design applications filed ruing the last five years.