1. KIPT will expand a remote video oral trial
- Travel time and expenses are reduced to increase user satisfaction.
As the user satisfaction of the Seoul-Daejeon remote video oral trial, which has been in operation since last year, is very high, on September 13, 2015 the Korea Intellectual Property Tribunal (KIPT) announced to further activate the use of the video oral trial system.
The video oral trial system was introduced in April, last year, to solve the inconvenience that an applicant and a patent attorney who live in the Seoul metropolitan area have to travel to Daejeon to attend a patent trial.
As a result of analyzing the usage, 105 video oral trials were held during the test period, last year and 90 video oral trials have already been held in this year. The importance of video oral trials in the total of oral trials has increased from 16.6% (105 cases of a total of 633 cases) last year to 23.0% (90 cases of a total 392 cases) this year.
Specially, from a survey conducted with the video oral trial users, 91% of the respondents (78 people of a total 75 people) were satisfied with the progress of the video trial and 96.4% (82 of 85) answered that they would be willing to continue using the video oral trial system.
Further, the introduction of this new system is considered as being substantially helpful to about 68% (262 of 390) of the video oral trial users (plaintiffs and defendants) which were Korean individuals or small and medium companies.
2. Filing Korean and foreign applications related to the domestic automatic parking technology is active
Filing of patent applications related to the automatic parking technology by Korean companies has been active not only home but also abroad.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the number of Korean applications related to the automatic parking technology totaled 585 during the last ten (10) years (2005~2014). The number of these applications which was 8 in 2005 rapidly increased to 115 in 2012, by 14 times. The number of these applications somewhat decreased to 96 in 2013 and 70 in 2014, but many applications were steadily filed.
By applicants, Korean applicants had 91% (533 applications) and foreign applicants had 9% (52 applications). Hyundai Mobis filed the most applications, (158 applications, 27%), followed by Mando (125 applications, 21%), Hyundai Kia (90 applications, 15%), and Hundai Auton (26 applications, 4%). This ranking by applicants shows that the component companies, such as Hyundai Mobis, Mando, etc., rather than the finished automobile companies, such as Hyundai Kia, etc., have taken the lead in the technical development.
By subject matter filed in these applications, 182 applications (31%) were related to a parking space recognition technology to determine whether it is possible to park an automobile by automatically sensing a parking line, surrounding environment, obstacle, etc., 151 applications (26%) were related to a parking route setting technology to set a route through which an automobile heads towards a parking space, and 174 applications (30%) were related to an automobile control technology to control the engine, steering apparatus, etc. such that an automobile itself moves to a parking location. That is, a relatively even distribution was shown by element technologies required for automobile parking.
3. Smart world where NFC is open by one touch!
- The number of patent applications related to the near field communication (NFC) has jumped.
- Smart phone payments are used for sending data of electronic devices.
The number of patent applications related to NFC, which is a super Wi-Fi technology used for smart phone payment means, data transmission, etc., has rapidly increased.
According to KIPO, the number of NFC patent applications filed during the last six (6) years (2010~2015.8) has steadily increased from 2011.
By years, 78 NFC patent applications were filed in 2010, 430 in 2011, 645 in 2012, 883 in 2013, 1,001 in 2014 and 696 as of August in 2015, continuing the increasing trend. The number of the NFC patent applications (1,001) filed in last year shows an increase of 12.8 compared with that (78) filed in 2010.
NFC is a simple technology wherein it does not require any complicated setting for the communications between devices and it takes less than 0.1 second for connection. Like a transportation card saved in a smart phone, NFC is able to send and receive data by only one touch.
Upon reviewing the application trend, since NFC enables communication only in a close distance of about a half of a handspan, its physical security is excellent. Therefore, at the initial stage, NFC was mainly used in a mobile payment service. At present, NFC is used for transmitting data for information exchange of electronic products, such as a camera or printer including NFC.
By technical types, card payment technology has 26.6%, tag technology has 30.9%, and camera/printer/accessory technologies have 11.7%. Therefore, the NFC patent applications show a flow of expanding from the mobile payment means to the other fields including the data transmission, etc.
4. Korean companies were in the lead in US trademark and design registrations for 2014
- Samsung ranked top in design registration and LG took third place in trademark registration
In the top fifty (50) companies of US design patents and trademarks for 2014, which was published by the Intellectual Property Owners Association (IPO) on August 28, 2015, Samsung Electronics ranked top in the design field and LG Electronics achieved third price in the trademark field.
In the ranking of US design patents for 2014, Samsung Electronics held the prevailing first place by having 836 design patents. This number was more than twice the number of design patents owned by Microsoft which was in second place and more than four times the number of design patents owned by Apple which was in fifth place. LG Electronics registered 307 trademarks, recording the third place. Samsung Electronics kept the first place in the number of design patents for the last three years and LG Electronics maintained the top five in the number of trademark patents for the last three years.
One of the reasons for the increase in the number of US trademark and design registrations of Korean companies is that Korean companies have continuously expanded the investment to R&D in the IP area so that their market competitiveness has greatly increased. Further, as shown in the intellectual property trials between Samsung and Apple, the iPad trademark dispute, etc., rather than post-counteraction which takes enormous expense and time, aggressive IP strategies have been spread to pre-empt IP rights at an advanced preventive level of a dispute by first registering a trademark and a design in the USA.