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A one-stop service to examine patent+trademark applications at one time! (News letter No, 295)

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KH

Post Date 

2014-09-02

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1. A one-stop service to examine patent+trademark applications at one time!

- Under a package examination system customizing a company’s strategies, patent, trademark and design applications are examined at a single request.

The package examination has been for the first time requested to examine a plurality of applications for IP rights which are different in type, according to an applicant’s intellectual property (IP) strategies.

The package examination system customizing a company’s strategies was introduced for patent and utility model applications in December, 2013 and was expanded to trademark and design applications in April, 2014.

Previously, examination was individually conducted for each application for each different IP right. Unlike the previous practice, when an applicant uses the package examination system, the applicant can receive the results of the examinations on a plurality of patent, trademark and design applications which are related to a product at the applicant’s desired time.

In the meantime, seven (7) requests for the package examination on only patent applications were filed. Each request was filed for from two (2) patent applications to seventeen (17) patent applications. Most subjects of the patent applications undergone the package examination are the latest products related to complex convergence, such as slim TVs, bendable batteries for smart watches, touch sensors for smart phones, etc.

When a preference examination is requested in addition to the package examination, the starting and closing periods of a patent examination which generally would take an average of 13.2 months and 19.1 months, respectively can be shortened to 2 months and 6 months, respectively.


2. The number of Korean trademark applications filed by Chinese applicants is skyrocketing

- The number of Korean trademark applications filed by Chinese companies is greatly increasing

As the scale of economic exchange between Korea and China has expanded, the number of Korean trademark applications filed by Chinese companies has greatly increased.

According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the number of Korean trademark applications filed by Chinese applicants, which was only 977 in 2009, sharply increased to 1,238 in 2010, to 1,665 in 2011 and to 2,324 in 2013, recording a growth rate of 137.9%, more than twice for the last three to four years.

This number surpasses 42.4% which was the increase rate of the applications filed by all foreign applicants during the same period, implying that Chinese companies have competitive power with their own brands to have fully expanded into Korean markets.

In the view of the application trends by main products, the growth rate is clear in the technology-intensive products, such as electronics, communication devices and software, and the fashion products, such as clothes, bags, etc.


3. Safety management policy of patent microorganisms is drastically strengthened for disaster preparation

According to KIPO, as a part of the reform of a crisis management manual upon disasters, the safety management policy of patent microorganisms has been drastically strengthened by sharply improving a counter manual to be provided for the situation that the patent microorganisms kept in the patent microorganism depositary authority are damaged or discharged and by newly establishing the safety management rules that the patent microorganism depositary authority has to prepare in this connection.

In the case where the patent microorganism kept in the depositary authority as a core output of the bio industry is damaged, it is very likely to cause a patent dispute since it is difficult to prove the invention of the microorganism. Further, when the patent microorganisms are discharged to the outside, since there is concern about causing serious environment issues by living modified organisms (LMO), the patent microorganism depositary authority has operated the storage facilities of their copies in preparation for the damages or the like of the patent microorganisms and KIPO has periodically checked whether the deposited microorganisms are safely kept and managed.

However, as the concerns of damages or discharges of the patent microorganisms have been raised due to the insufficiency of initial responses when large disasters, such as fire, earthquakes, etc., happen, there is raised a need to more strengthen the crisis management cooperation system between KIPO and the patent microorganism depositary authority to minimize such a risk.

Accordingly, to solve the problems in that the initial response is delayed or any proper countermeasures are not taken due to a complicated reporting system to the proper authority or the like upon the occurrence of damages or discharge of the patent microorganisms, KIPO has established a field-centered response system by improving the crisis management manual so that an expert first takes proper initial countermeasures and then reports to the proper authority. In this connection, the safety management rules of the patent microorganism depositary authority have been prepared to strengthen the cooperation system between KIPO and the patent microorganism depositary authority.


4. A patent troll is aiming at the Republic of Korea

Patent trolls, called a patent assertion entity (NPE), leading global patent wars is watching Korean companies. About 100 Korean companies per year have been charged by NPE since 2011. Most NPE bringing Korean companies to lawsuits appeared around 2009 and they have continued the patent wars against Korean companies for the last three to four years.

Specifically, as the NPE lawsuits aiming at Korean automobile industry and small/medium companies have increased, a preparation plan is required. In fact, Suprema, a company specialized in fingerprint verification, and Enswers, a company specialized in video recognition, were the objects of an attack by NPE last year. According to an analysis of KGT Lab Co., Ltd., a company specialized in patent analysis, the number of NPE which brought Korean companies to the lawsuits more than five times are twenty (20).
 

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Many international trademark applications are filed in the countries that we export goods to (News letter No, 296)

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KIPO and SIPO agreed to strengthen the cooperation in the trademark field (News letter No, 294)