1. A one-stop search for information of examination progress in foreign patent offices has started
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), from March 31, 2015, the website (http://kopd.kipo.go.kr) provides a One Portal Dossier (“OPD”) which is a unified search service of international examination information enabling Korean people to search for information on the patent examination progress of an application filed in the Patent Offices of the advanced five (5) countries in intellectual property (“IP5”) at once.
By the OPD service, the examination progress information of the other corresponding patent application(s) filed in the other country(ies) is available by using an application number of a patent application filed in one country. Through the OPD service, it is possible to check the detailed information related to a particular patent application or patent, such as examination progress states, registration or objection reasons conducted in the Patent Offices of IP5.
This service is provided, without cost, as for an application filed by self and published applications.
The Patent Offices of IP5 holding 80% of the world patent applications agreed to build the OPD service in the meeting of the Commissioners of the Patent Offices of IP5 in June 2013, to solve the clients’ inconveniences and to enhance the use of the patent information. After that, they established the standards for mutual information exchanges through the continuous cooperation and connected the relevant systems, to open the OPD service.
2. For five (5) consecutive years, the Republic of Korea has kept the 6th place in the world rank of holding standard patents
The (accumulative) number of standard patents held by the Republic of Korea, which was declared to the international standardization organizations (ISO, IEC, ITU) based on 2014, increased 22.3% compared to the previous year and exceeded 16.7%, an increase rate in the number of the world standard patents, to hold the 6th place during the five (5) consecutive years.
According to the data aggregated by KIPO and Korea Intellectual Property Strategy Institute (Standard Patent Center), the total number of the standard patent cases declared before the international standardization organizations increased 16.7%, from 9,520 to 11,107. The number of standard patents held by the Republic of Korea increased 22.3% compared to the previous year, from 394 to 482. This increase rate of 22.3% was greater than the total increase rate of 5.6%.
The share of the Republic of Korea, among the total number of the standard patents, was 4.3% with an increase of 0.2% compared to the previous year and it was behind the US (27.4%) holding the 1st place, Japan (17.8%), Finland (16.6%) and France (14.3%). However, the gap between the Republic of Korea and the Germany holding the 5th place was reduced from 0.9% to 0.5%, brightening the future prospect of the Republic of Korea as a powerful country in standard patents.
It is also remarkable that the number of Korean companies and agencies holding standard patents increased 41% compared to the previous year, from 17 to 24.
3. The number of microorganism deposits has passed 10,000 since the operation of the patent microorganism deposit system
KIPO announced that the accumulative number of deposits of microorganisms for a patent was over 10,000 within the thirty-four (34) years since the patent microorganism deposit system was operated in 1981.
The countries recording 10,000 or more cases of depositing microorganisms for a patent are only a few, namely, US, Japan and China. The achievement of 10,000 cases of depositing microorganisms for a patent is considered as results from the support of a government organization, the Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning, in collecting and using genetic resources in the bio industrial area and accordingly the constant efforts of researchers in private and public agencies for decades.
In the bio industry, the research of the microorganisms for a patent is performed in various areas, the pharmaceutical area, agricultural food area, environment area, energy area, etc. and the application field thereof is infinite.
As the application fields, the microorganisms for a patent are used to develop vaccines, antibiotics, etc. in the pharmaceutical area, to produce health food, microbial pesticides and feeds in the agricultural food area, and to purify contaminated matters in the environment area. Especially, the importance of the microorganisms for a patent is emphasized as an essential element in developing new and renewable energy, such as producing bio fuel, in the energy area.
4. From April 2015, it is possible to file an application for a non-traditional mark, such as a sound mark, in Japan following the Republic of Korea
According to KIPO, five (5) non-traditional marks marked with sound, motion, hologram, sound and color only is additionally protected in Japan, starting April 1, 2015. As the Japanese non-traditional mark system expands, it is expected to be very helpful to business activities of Korean companies to advance in Japan.
An application for a non-traditional mark is closely related to a change in the marketing method of a company. That is, the marketing method has changed to create only a company’s image in promoting a product’s performance or convenience and to deliver it to consumers in many different ways.
In the Republic of Korea, after a 3D mark was introduced in 1998, a hologram mark and a motion mark were introduced in 2007 and a sound mark and a scent (odor) mark were introduced in March 2012. The motion mark and hologram mark were introduced about seven (7) years earlier than Japan and the sound mark was introduced about three (3) years earlier.