1. Korean trademarks are searched in the whole world!
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the Global Brand Database which is a trademark search service operated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has started the Korean trademark search service since the end of November 2015.
The Global Brand Database’s internet address is www.wipo.int/branddb.
For the information cooperation, KIPO and WIPO exchanged an MOU to exchange IP information in November, 2014. Accordingly, the information of about 3,000,000 Korean trademarks was added to the Global Brand Database.
Thereby, the Global Brand Database provides about 24,490,000 trademarks of 26 countries/organizations including the Republic of Korea, the US, Germany, Japan, etc. in the world.
Anyone in the world can more easily search Korean trademarks through the Korean trademark data service provided by the Global Brand Database. Further, this database is expected to greatly assist foreign companies which seek to obtain Korean trademark rights and to advance into Korean markets.
2. Korean leading IP policy capability and experiences were passed to ASEAN
The International Intellectual Property Training Institute (IIPTI) of KIPO and WIPO jointly held a ‘2015 WIP Asia-Pacific Regional IPR Seminar’ from November 23 through 26, on the subject of ‘Effective implementation of ASEAN countries’ intellectual property development plans’.
ASEAN established an ASEAN IP strategic plan for ten (10) years (2016~2025) to strengthen the cooperation and policy capabilities in the IPR field. This is an effort to implement successful IP strategies to strengthen the IP infrastructure, expand the IP ecosystem and to set up the mechanism for promoting the use of IP in the ASEAN countries.
As one effort, 22 officials and 3 experts in the IP field of 12 ASEAN countries including Indonesia, Malaysia and Myanmar, among others, visited the Republic of Korea.
In this seminar, the participants learned detailed strategies and polices of the advanced countries including the Republic of Korea in the IP field. Therefore, this seminar is considered to be a beneficial opportunity for the participants to learn the strategies for national IP and economic development.
3. The number of applications for counterfeiting trademarks greatly decreased
According to KIPO, the number of applications for counterfeiting trademarks filed by October 2015 totaled 286 (averaging about 29 per month), rapidly decreasing to 1/18 of a total of 6,276 (averaging about 523 per month) for 2014. In addition, the number of the relevant registrations greatly decreased from a total of 133 cases in 2014 to a total of 17 in 2015.
Further, there were many small merchants or new small business owners who were unfairly damaged by those that had filed applications for counterfeiting trademarks and registered the counterfeiting trademarks and then sent warning notices stating that the small merchants or new small business owners infringed their trademark rights and requesting settlement money or royalty payments.
To eradicate the applications for counterfeiting trademarks which are in full swing, KIPO selected this issue as one of the governmental normalization core tasks of 100 abnormal subjects and has strongly carried forward the intensive policy measures.
First, KIPO intensively controls a trademark broker by selecting an applicant of an application for a counterfeiting trademark in doubt, listing the applicant in an examination system, performing a strict examination of this application and strengthening an examiner’s ex officio investigation and objection to register the trademark filed in the application which is of a doubtful unfair purpose.
4. Patent trend for user-customized advertisement
As the information technology (IT) environment, such as supply and spread of internet, smart devices, has been popularized, the paradigm of advertisement has been changed.
Facebook which is a global enterprise has provided the customized advertisement through the ‘Custom Audiences’ since 2012. Google announced to start a ‘user-customized advertisement service’ at the end of this year or the beginning of the next year.
According to KIPO, the number of patent applications related to online advertisement methods, which sharply increased in 2012, continued increasing over the last 3 years. Specifically, 682 patent applications were filed during the first half of 2015 and therefore more than 1350 patent applications will be expected to be filed by the end of this year.
One thing to note is that the advertisement methods have evolved such that the advertisement is combined with the cutting-edge technology (such as recognition of an user’s sensibility, realization of virtual space for experiences, etc.) to provide various information, rather than provide simple general information.