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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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1. Many international trademark applications are filed in the countries that we export goods to

- Korean companies have filed many Madrid international trademark applications (hereinafter, referred to as an international trademark application) in the countries that the Republic of Korea exports goods to.

As a result of counting the statistics (totaling 26,950) of the international trademark applications filed from 2003 when the Republic of Korea joined the Madrid Agreement to the first half of this year, the country where Korean applicants filed the most international trademark applications (2,494 applications) during that period was China, followed by US (2,407 international trademark applications) and Japan (2,247 international trademark applications).

The 1st to 3rd ranking in the countries where Korean applicants filed the most international trademark applications is in concordance with the ranking in the countries where the Republic of Korea exports the most. This is considered as reflecting the Korean companies’ efforts to secure competitive power through active brand marketing abroad.

2. The special police squad of trademarks (SPST) under KIPO has started intensively controlling counterfeit goods in preparation for Chuseok (Korean Thanksgiving Day)

- SPST under the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) decided to intensively control counterfeit goods through online transactions, such as open markets, individual shopping malls, etc.

The SPST had announced that they would strengthen the control of counterfeit goods which would be distributed in large quantities prior to Chuseok.

The online transaction of counterfeit goods tends to have rapidly increased since online shopping mall markets as well as big markets or customary sale areas (such as tourist regions) have expanded. Further, an act of selling the counterfeit goods which come from China, etc. and are represented as original goods has been unrelenting.

During this control period, the objects to be intensively controlled are the counterfeit goods through the online transactions, such as open markets, individual shopping malls, social commerce, etc. Specifically, the intensive control is made to the items which are mainly sold for Chuseok gifts as well as the daily necessities, such as fake outdoor wear, shoes, bags, etc.

For the online control, KIPO operates a system to monitor counterfeit goods sale sites or sale notices for 24 hours in connection with opening markets, individual shopping malls, etc. During this control period, KIPO strengthens the monitoring and takes action to close those sale sites which are confirmed as selling counterfeit goods.

The SPST under KIPO started as an organization in charge of controlling counterfeit goods in September, 2010. In the meantime, it confiscated 1,880,000 counterfeit goods and brought criminal counterfeit goods charges to more than 1000. The SPST is also intensively controlling counterfeit goods related to national health and safety (fake medicinal and medical supplies and automobile parts, etc.) as well as luxury items and daily necessities (such as fake foreign famous goods, clothes, shoes, etc.).

3. Intellectual Property (IP) disputes in the game industry has increased

An aspect is that the IP disputes in the game industry have gradually spread as patent disputes. While there is a concern about an attack from a patent assertion entity (NPE), a foreign company specialized in managing intellectual property and called a patent troll, it is pointed out that Korean game companies’ preparation is needed.

In July this year, “Lemon”, a Korean game company brought a trial for prohibiting infringement of a patent right and a trial for compensation for damage against “Devsisters” being well-known for a mobile game called Cookirun. The reason is that the patent right on a ‘method for purchasing a game item’, owned by Lemon, was infringed.

Experts said that the game industry should realize the importance of a patent and need to start establishing home and abroad portfolios. They indicate that patents have been progressively used as the means to attack competitors and the foreign NPE’s threat is also already realized.

According to the ‘present condition of the game-related patent applications’ in a recent survey, among Korean game companies, Neowiz Games owns 342 Korean registered patents, NCSOFT owns 72 patents, NEXON owns 78 patents and GAMEVIL owns 17 patents.

4. The number of patent applications for industrial power-saving technology has increased

According to the trend of the power-saving technology-related patent applications filed during the past five years (2009~2013) published by KIPO, the number of the patent applications related to the power-saving technology for household and public use continued to decrease from 311 in 2009 to 132 in 2013. However, the number of the patent applications related to the power-saving technology for industrial use was at a standstill at about 250 per year from 2010 to 2012 and then increased to 390 in 2013.

The industrial power-saving technology is classified as a ‘structural design technology’ improving the materials and layout-structure of the industrial electric equipment, such as industrial motors, pumps, freezers, etc., and a ‘power-saving control technology’ by the optimum operation control. These days, the trend of the patent applications for the power-saving control technology is steadily increasing, covering a technology for blocking standby power being unnecessarily consumed, a technology for controlling whether to operate the industrial equipment in real time by using a wireless communications technology, a technology for providing the optimum environments by controlling temperature, humidity and the intensity of radiation, and a technology for efficiently managing the use of power in Smart Grid.


KIPO expanded the service of providing information of foreign IP rights to support strong patent creation (News letter No, 297)


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