1. The subjects for requesting preferential examination of a trademark application have been significantly expanded
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), a pre-announcement of legislation regarding the amendment bill to the Enforcement Decrees and Enforcement Rules of the Trademark Law was made on April 5, 2016, for relaxing regulations and improving convenience for an applicant by significantly expanding the subjects for requesting preferential examination of a trademark application and reducing proof documents to be submitted to file an application for a collective mark as a geographical indication, etc.
Since applicants’ demand for addition to the subjects for requesting preferential examination of a trademark application has increased, this amendment positively reflected the demand, to significantly expand the subjects for requesting preferential examination of a trademark application.
Under the amended Law, when a notification of a reason(s) for rejection is made based on a trademark of an application which has been earlier filed by another, it is possible to request a preferential examination of the relevant application as earlier filed, to be helpful in rapid settlement of a dispute.
Further, when an international application based on a Korean trademark application is filed under the Protocol of the Madrid Agreement, it is possible to request a preferential examination of the Korean trademark application. Also, after a trademark right period expires, when the same applicant of the owner of the trademark as expired again files a trademark application for the same trademark by designating the same goods, it is possible to request a preferential examination thereof to improve the convenience of the applicant.
2. KIPO opened a briefing session to guide the trends of revision to the Korean Patent Law
- Preventing poor patents, strengthening the submission of evidence regarding compensation for damages, etc. are subject to the 2006 revision to the Patent Law poor patent.
- A discussion is introduced to improve a patent invalidation system to ease the burden of a company.
KIPO announced that the briefing session regarding the trends of the revision to the Patent Law was held.
The recent revision to the Patent law is focused on properly protecting a registered patent right while preventing a poor patent.
The revision reflects the tendency that patent disputes frequently occur at home and abroad and the opinion that a patentee’s right is not properly protected.
The briefing session introduced a system to prevent a poor patent and to protect a rightful owner of a right, such as a system of requesting a patent cancellation, a system of requesting a patent right transfer, etc.
① System of requesting a patent cancellation: If any one submits invalidation evidence by 6 months after a patent is registered, an examiner examines the patent and cancels the poor patent earlier.
② System of requesting a patent right transfer: When another illegally uses an invention of a rightful owner of a right and obtains a patent thereof, the patent right is returned to the rightful owner by directly requesting a patent right transfer to a court.
3. Trend of patent applications related to the forest disease and pest control technology
According to KIPO, the number of patent applications related to the forest disease and pest control technology, filed for 10 years from 2006 to 2015, totals 344. The number of these patent applications was 29 in 2006 and showed a steady increase tendency but gradually a decrease tendency with 54 in 2011 as the peak. This is considered since the number of patent applications related to chemical biocides rapidly decreased.
The number of the applications for the forest disease and pest control technology: 29 in 2006, 47 in 2009, 54 in 2011, 28 in 2013 and 28 in 2015
The number of the chemical biocide-related patent applications was 40 (74.1%) of the total number, 54, of the forest disease and pet control-related patent applications filed in 2011. After that, the number rapidly decreased to 4 (14.3%) of the total number, 28, of the forest disease and pet control-related patent applications filed in 2015.
However, the rate of the applications related to the eco-friendly control technology (decoy trap, natural medicine, biological control) rapidly increased. The number of these applications was 6 (11.1%) of the total number, 54, of the forest disease and pet control-related patent applications filed in 2011 but increased to 18 (64.3%) of the total number, 28, of the forest disease and pet control-related patent applications filed in 2015.
The number of the patent applications related to the eco-friendly control technology: 6 in 2011→ 8 in 2012→ 8 2013→ 11 in 2014→ 18 in 2015
4. Trend of patent applications related high molecule (polymer) materials
According to KIPO, the number of patent applications related to self-healing polymer materials has steadily increased for the last 10 years. On about average 3~4 applications were filed from 2006 to 2012 but, on average, more than 10 applications have been filed since 2013.
The types of self-healing polymer materials are classified as a ‘capsule type (polymer which disperses a healing material containing micro capsule within a polymer)’ and a ‘self-repairing type (polymer which introduces a healing functional group in a polymer itself)’. Upon reviewing the recent trend of the relevant patent applications, the number of the applications related to the self-healing type polymer materials in a capsule type has relatively increased.
Upon specifically reviewing the trend of the relevant applications by industries of self-healing polymer materials, applications have been filed in diverse fields including the coating materials, such as coating, film, paint, etc., the architecture and construction materials, such as cement, asphalt, etc., the electronic, medical and optical elements, etc. Therefore, an industrial ripple effect using these materials is expected to be very great.