1. A patent prompt trial is now processed within 3 months!
- The processing period of a patent prompt trial has been shortened and an object of the patent prompt trial has been expanded from November 1, 2015.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the process of a prompt trial newly laid-out such that the result of the trial can be used in time as substantial settlement means of a patent dispute has been enforced from November 1.
Based on the newly laid-out process of a prompt trial, a decision of the trial is available within 3 months since an issue of a case is early presented through an oral trial if possible after a single written exchange. Further, a request for extending a due date of submitting documents is limited to one time. Therefore, even though a concerned party delays submitting documents, the trial can be terminated within 4 months.
This is a measure to move up the process period of a prompt trial which has been about 5 months from the date of filing the trial by about 2 months at the maximum. It is meant that a patent dispute actually is settled for the time being within a far faster period than the other major countries.
Together with the shortening of the process period of a prompt trial, the object range of the prompt trial has been expanded to include all trials related to the cases of infringement disputes handled in courts and the prosecution. Therefore, the result of a trial made by the Korea Intellectual Property Tribunal can be substantially used in the procedures of an infringement dispute.
2. A patent fee supporting system is operated in the cases of a gratuitous transfer and a gratuitous grant of a license
A small/medium company “A” which produces raw materials for cosmetics, located in Eumsung, Chungcheongbuk-do, the Republic of Korea, has taken over 7 patents relating to the raw materials for wrinkle improvement and whitening cosmetics from a big company through the Chungcheongbuk-do Center for Creative Economy & Innovation. “A” is carrying forward the development of functional raw materials and the expansion of business, with the technical skills secured through the transferred patents.
The number of cases where small and medium companies are provided, free of cost, with patents and use them in business is expected to considerably increase in the future. This is since the collection regulations, such as patent fees, to provide fee incentives when a patent is open free of cost, have been revised and fully operated from November 1, 2015.
When an owner of a patent/utility model/design right expresses an intention to open the patent/utility model/design through the Center for Creative Economy & Innovation or the Korea Invention Promotion Association and actually, for free, grants a (non-exclusive or exclusive) license or transfers a patent right itself to a small/medium company, KIPO announced to give an ‘intellectual property (IP) point’ which can be used as cash upon payment of patent fees.
3. The using rate of the IP dispute mediation system tends to increase
According to KIPO, the number using the IP dispute mediation system, which is operated as one of the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) to promptly and inexpensively solve an IP dispute, has increased.
Under the IP dispute mediation system, when a dispute occurs concerning an IP right or an employee’s invention, the IP Rights Dispute Committee consisting of experts presents a mediation plan. This system to draw the reconciliation between the concerned parties through the plan has been operated since 1995. However, it was difficult to activate this system due to the domestic low awareness of ADR, such as mediation or arbitration.
The number of cases using the IP dispute mediation system was under 5 per year, which is very low. However, the number of requests for dispute mediation totaled 11 in 2014 and 12 as of the third-quarter, 2015, passing the total number of the requests last year. Therefore, this year is expected to achieve the most number of the requests for dispute mediation since the introduction of the IP dispute mediation system.
4. The number of trademark applications relating to an ‘electronic book’ jumps about twice in 10 years
With the growth of an electronic book instead of a paper book which a user turns a page with fingers, the number of trademark applications relating to electronic books steadily increased in 10 years, threatening the stronghold of paper books.
According to the trend of trademark applications for the last 10 years (2005~2014) published by KIPO, the number of trademark applications for electronic books was 1,246 in 2005 but 2,345 in 2014, showing a sharp growth with an increase of 88.2% in 10 years. However, the number of trademark applications for paper books was 2,191 in 2005, 2,156 in 2010 and 2,125 in 2014, maintaining a steady state without any big fluctuation.
Especially, the number of trademark applications for electronic books filed in 2014 increased by 184 (8.5%) compared with the previous year, 2013. The number of trademark applications for electronic books filed as of the first half of this year was 1,092, passing 1,023 trademark applications for paper books, to slowly widen the gap therebetween.