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Thirteen (13) Patent Offices of the world agreed to operate a ‘Global Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)’ program(News letter No. 278)



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1. Thirteen (13) Patent Offices of the world agreed to operate a ‘Global Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)’ program

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) agreed to proceed with operating the global PPH program, together with the Patent Offices including the USA, Japan, Australia, Canada, Russia, England, Spain, Norway, Denmark, Portugal, Finland and the Nordic Patent Institute.

Under the PPH system, when an applicant files her/his invention in two or more countries and the Patent Office of one country examines the invention and makes a decision that it is patentable, if the one country’s examination documents are submitted to the Patent Office(s) of the other country(ies) to examine the invention later, the Patent Office(s) of the other country(ies) conducts a faster examination of the relevant application than a general application in consideration of the fact of patentability of the invention.

When this program starts from January 6, 2014, in the case where an applicant receives ① a decision that her/his invention is patentable in the Republic of Korea or ② a positive examination result in the PCT international phase, (s)he has a preference examination choice in the Patent Office(s) participating the global PPH program. Using the global PPH program, a faster examination is also expected in Australia, Canada, Russia, England, etc. as well as USA and Japan which respectively have already operated the bilateral PPH and PCT-PPH with our country. Thereby, KIPO will operate the PPH and PCT-PPH with a total of twenty (20) countries from January 2014, expecting to prepare a base for Korean people and companies to quickly obtain patents by using the PPH systems in most countries where they file their applications.

2. The world patent classification experts gather in Daejeon

- Opening of a meeting of patent classification working groups of the Patent Offices of the five (5) countries advanced in intellectual property (IP)

KIPO held a 9th meeting of IP5 patent classification working groups (WG1) attended by the experts of IP5 for five(5) days starting November 18, 2013 in the Daejeon Government Complex, the Republic of Korea.

Twenty-five (25) experts of the Patent Offices of Korea, USA, Japan, China and Europe attended this meeting, to discus about a patent classification system development plan. Specifically, in this meeting, they tried to find a plan to harmonize the Japanese patent classification FI and US-Europe patent classification CPC which are the world two patent classification systems around the new technology field and they also intensively discussed about a plan to reflect it on a revision of the international patent classification IPC which is an international standard level.

The Republic of Korea as a chairman country to hold this meeting fulfilled the leading roles of selecting the topics of the meeting, making a draft of a revised bill to the patent classification and tuning opinions of each country, etc. Taking this opportunity, the technologies filed in the most applications with KIPO and the future promising technologies would be intensively reflected in the revision of the patent classification.

3. A trademark annual meeting of five(5) countries, Korea, USA, Europe, Japan and China (TM5), will be held

A high-level meeting of the advanced IP5 countries will be held in Seoul this December, to discuss the trademark system globalization to improve an applicant’s convenience.

This meeting will be attended by about fifty (50) people, including the high-level figures in the trademark field of the TM5 such as a President of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (trademarks and designs) (OHIM), a Deputy Commissioner of the US Patent and Trademark Office, etc., those concerned from the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), and user groups. In the meeting, they will check the status of carrying forward the existing nine(9) cooperative projects including the TM-View and TM-Class projects enabling to search at once the trademarks and goods of the IP5 countries, the project to build a list of goods jointly approved by the five(5) countries and a plan to prevent a malicious fake application from being filed. And they will also proceed with a comprehensive discussion about future development directions.

4. A gang that had sold fake medicine and medical supplies at the maximum scale in the Republic of Korea was arrested

- Two (2) Chinese Koreans, sales businessmen of Viagra, etc. of sound market value of 37.1 billion Korea Won, were imprisoned and two (2) were booked.

In the investigation of the forged goods in Korea, a family gang selling fake erectile-dysfunction pills, such as Viagra, Cialis, in the maximum quantity and amount were arrested.

The special police squad of trademarks (SPST) under KIPO arrested a Jeon (female, age: 42), Chinese Korean, on a charge of selling Korean and foreign famous products including the fake erectile-dysfunction pills (Viagra, Cialis, etc.,) and her brother, Jeon (age: 46) responsible for domestic delivery since they were against the Trademark Act. On November 22, it was published that the accomplices, her husband, a Jeong (age: 52), and his sister (age: 49), were arrested on the same charges.

SPST started the investigation in May 2013 and as a result, on November 4, SPST seized a total of about 580,000 pieces (sound market value: 37.1 billion Korea Won) including about 370,000 fake erectile-dysfunction tablets (such as Viagra, Cialis, Levitra), package containers, direction descriptions, etc., which had been sold in the storage located in SinGil-dong, YoungDeoungPo-ku, Seoul.


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