1. The number of intellectual property (IP) applications filed during the first quarter of 2015 increased by 9%, compared with the same period of the previous year
-The number of trademark applications sharply increased by 20.9% and the number of international patent applications increased by 27.2% in comparison with the same period in 2014
The total number of the IP applications filed with the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) during the first quarter of 2015 was 110,888, showing a relatively large increase (9%, 9,118 cases) compared with the same period of the previous year.
By rights, the numbers of patent, design, trademark applications increased by 2.5% (1,178 cases). 2.3% (374 cases) and 20.7% (7,660 cases), respectively but the number of utility model applications decreased △4.4% (94 cases), compared with 2014.
The sharp increase in the number of the trademark applications is considered as an acknowledgement that individuals and venture companies recognize the importance of trademark rights as new corporations (about 85,000 corporations according to the publication of the Small and Medium Business Administration) increased in 2014. The number of new corporations was 74,162 in 2012, 75,574 in 2013 and 84,697 in 2014.
By applicants, Korean applicants filed 93,616 applications, 86.7% of the total IP applications and foreign applicants filed 14,337 applications, 13.3%.
Compared with the same period, last year, the number of the applications filed by Korean applicants increased by 10.8% (9,095 cases) while that by foreign applicants decreased by △3.4% (504 cases).
The number of foreign IP applications filed by Korean applicants sharply increased. The number of international patent applications filed during the first quarter, 2015 increased by 17.2% (472 cases) and the number of international trademark applications increased by 38.4% (58 cases).
2. KIPO conducted a campaign to use honest goods during a period for IP protection
-A street campaign to inform the importance of IP protection was conducted from April 22nd through April 28th of this year.
KIPO conducted a ‘campaign to use honest goods for the period of IP protection’ in the Seoul main streets including Gangnam-station, Namdaemoon and Dongdaemoon and college towns, to spread a culture to respect IP during the April 22 through 28 period for IP protection.
This campaign was conducted by the public organizations related to IP protection (including Korea Intellectual Property Protection Association, Copyright Protection Center, Trade related IPR Protection Association (TIPA), etc.) and private companies (including Naver, Coupang, ebay Korea, etc.), to actively inform the importance of IP right protection and to recommend consumers to use honest goods.
The ‘2015 IP protecting supporters’ formed of about 30 college students across the country participated in this campaign. They conducted a street campaign and a signature-seeking campaign for consumers, distributors and sales businessmen to join the IP protection, to get good feedback.
3. The number of visitors to ‘Designmap’ passed over about 2,000,000
Designmap (designmap.or.kr) is a design IP portal site enabling the search for information of design rights held in major countries including the Republic of Korea, US, Japan, Europe, etc. and to provide contents related to design rights. According to KIPO, the number of visitors to this site in 2014 passed over 2,000,000 for the first time after this site was open in 2009. The number of the visitors reached about 580,000 during the first quarter of 2015, showing an increase of 5.1% compared with the same period of 2014.
The number of visits per year increased from 280,000 in 2009 → 640,000 in 2010 → 1,360,000 in 2011→ 1,390,000 in 2012→ 1,900,000 in 2013 → 2,270,000 in 2014 (increased by 19.5% compared with the previous year).
The secret of continuous popularity of Designmap is because Designmap finds interesting issues on the latest design rights and provides content which is easily understood by not only the experts but also designers and the general people, thereby being positioned as an essential course to secure design rights.
At present, Designmap includes information of a total of 83 goods and about 720,000 domestic and foreign design rights. This year, Designmap plans to further spread the awareness of design rights protection through the publicity activities, such as a ‘design right seminar’ for college students majored in design, and to increase the conveniences of users by reorganizing a detailed view of design publications and UI, etc.
4. The number of foreign trademark applications filed by Korean companies has rapidly increased
The number of the Madrid international trademark applications filed by Korean applicants during the first quarter of this year has reached the highest record since the joining of Madrid Protocol.
The number of the Madrid international trademark applications filed during the first quarter was 209 with an almost 40% increase in comparison with the same period of the previous year, showing that Korean companies’ filing of foreign trademark applications has been active. The number of the Madrid international trademark applications filed in 2014 increased by 14.6% compared with 2013. Compared with this, the increase in the first quarter of this year is sharp.
The increase in Korean companies’ interest in going into foreign countries and the spread of awareness of advantages of the Madrid international trademark application filing system are considered as the main factors of the recent sharp increase in the number of the Madrid international trademark applications.
In fact, a person related to a company which filed a trademark application through the Madrid system in the first quarter of this year said that (s)he would continue using this system because of the inexpensive costs and simple procedures for filing an application.