1. Intellectual Property (IP) right trend during the third quarter of 2014
□ Trend of filing applications
The number of the IP applications filed during the third quarter of 2014 was 115,616, showing a 10.9% increase in comparison with the same period in 2013.
This shows the greatest increase rate among the increase rates in the number of applications filed during the same periods (third quarters) of the last five years.
0.5%→ (2009)→ 8.9% (2010)→ 8.2% (2011)→ 7.0% (2012)→ 7.3% (2013)
- By rights, the numbers of the applications for patents and trademarks respectively increased by 20.9% and 6.6% and the numbers of the applications for utility models and designs decreased by 18.5% and 5.0%, respectively.
- By Korean and foreign applicants, the number of IP applications filed by Korean applicants increased by 12.1% and the number of applications filed by foreign applicants increased by 4.0%.
□ Trend of registrations
The number of the IP registrations registered during the third quarter of 2014 was 71,828, showing a 1.3% decrease in comparison with the same period in 2012.
- By rights, the number of registered designs increased by 24.0% while the numbers of registered patents, utility models and trademarks decreased by 2.8%, 19.8% and 8.6%, respectively.
□ Trend of examinations and trials
The number of the examinations requested during the third quarter of 2014 was 42,445, showing an 8.0% increase in comparison with 39,220 examinations requested during the same period in 2013.
The total number of the examinations requested through the third quarter of 2014 was 121,169, showing a 6% increase in comparison with the same period in 2013.
The number of the trials filed during the third quarter of 2014 was 2,987, showing a 19.4% decrease in comparison with the same period in 2013 and the number of the trials settled was 2,958, showing a 14.0% decrease.
2. Chinese fashion brands come to the Republic of Korea
- The number of clothing-related trademark applications is increasing
Chinese people would purchase Korean products but they regard the Republic of Korea which is geographically close to China as the best market for their products. So, they have been filing many trademark applications with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). Especially, the number of Korean trademark applications for clothing (including shoes) has steadily increased every year.
KIPO analyzed, by goods, the Korean trademark applications filed by Chinese applicants (including Taiwanese and Hong Kong people) during the last five years (2009~2013). As a result, the most trademark applications, 1,982, were related to electronics and communication (Classification of Goods: Class 9), followed by 1,487 to clothing (Classification of Goods: Class 25) and 511 to cosmetics (Classification of Goods: Class 3).
One of the factors why the trademark applications have increased is expected to target the commodity market of the Republic of Korea which is geographically close and emotionally amicable to them, based on their abundant labor.
3. The number of coffee brand-related trademark applications has rapidly increased
As Korean people’s coffee consumption has rapidly increased and the coffee market has grown, the wave to file trademark applications is sweeping to dominate the market of coffee-related brands.
According to the trend of applications for coffee-related trademarks/service marks during the last five years, published by KIPO, the number of these applications has continued to increase, from 612 in 2010, 665 in 2011, 850 in 2012, 1,180 in 2013 and 989 as of September in 2014.
By applicants, corporations filed 1,142 applications of the 4,275 applications filed during the last five years, showing only 27%. In comparison, individuals filed the most applications (3,133), forming 73%. By Korean and foreign applicants, Korean applicants filed 4,147 applications (97%) and foreign applicants filed 128 applications (3.0%), showing that the most of the relevant applications were overwhelmingly filed by Korean applicants.
Since the kinds of coffee have become diverse such as Americano, Cafe Latte, Cappuccino, Ristretto, Cafe Mocha, etc. and people’s favorites have been also diverse in their unique taste and flavor of coffee which cannot be obtained from the other beverages, the number of people enjoying coffee has rapidly increased. Accordingly, the Korean coffee industrial scale has grown beyond about 4 trillion Korea Won per year. Therefore, the reason why the number of the applications for trademarks related to coffee brands has rapidly increased is because an individual businessman or a company continues to file the application to secure the right for one’s own unique coffee brand and simultaneously to use it for commercialization.
4. KIPO held Korea-EU IPR Conference 2014
- Korean and European trademark and design experts gathered together.
On October 28, 2014, KIPO and European Chamber of Commerce in Korea (ECCK) jointly held ‘Korea-EU IPR Conference 2014’ in the Conrad Hotel in Seoul.
Korean and European experts met together to discus the recent current state of trademark and design fields, with the subject of effective protection and use of trademarks and designs.
In the ‘subject presentation’ time prepared in morning and afternoon, the following topics were introduced: ① recent revisions to Korean Trademark and Design Acts and recent precedents, ② EU Trademark and Design Systems and recent precedents, ③ current state of the Hague System which is an international design application filing system, and ④ DesignView which is a design search system of the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM).