1. The five (5) Patent Offices in the world decided to jointly cope with new technology, such as artificial intelligence, etc.
- IP5 agreed with a test project of IP5 joint examination of a PCT international patent application.
In an IP5 Commissioner’s meeting, an annual general meeting of the world IP5 Patent Offices, a ‘joint statement’ was adopted, including that the IP5 would find a cooperation plan on the IP5 level to effectively cope with the latest technologies, such as artificial intelligence and the internet of things, etc. IP5 (Intellectual Property 5) started in 2007 as a consultative group among the Patent Offices of the five (5) countries, the Republic of Korea, USA, China, Europe and Japan holding about 80% or more of the patent applications throughout the world.
This statement, which was finally agreed to in the 9th IP5 Commissioner’s meeting held in Tokyo, Japan on June 2, 2016, is evaluated as greatly expanding the prospect of the existing cooperation frame. That is, the IP5 Patent Offices decided not only to try the previously existing cooperation to solve the accumulation of examination and to improve the quality of examination but also to cooperate together to prepare and use environmental changes which might be caused by the cutting edge technologies.
Specially, this joint statement includes content to enable the IP5 Patent Offices to start joint research regarding the influences which may be had on the IP system by these technologies (such as the artificial intelligence and the internet of things, etc.) which have recently stood out.
2. KIPO requested Korean trademark holders to be watchful about the foreign preoccupancy of trademarks without notice
- More than 1,000 Korean brands have been preoccupied in China alone
As the damages have increased by the preoccupancy of Korean companies’ trademarks, without notice, by local natives in foreign countries, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) requested Korean companies which have acted at home and abroad to watch for foreign preoccupancy of trademarks without notice and to prevent any damages thereof.
According to KIPO, the number of the trademarks just preoccupied by the others in foreign countries was over about 1,000 as of May this year and the number of the companies damaged reached about 600.
The act of preoccupying trademarks without notice was across the entire industrial fields of cosmetics, foods, clothes, franchises, etc. Specifically, there have also been continuously reported the damages of the companies sponsoring soap dramas due to the Korean drama fever.
In addition, the preoccupancy of trademarks without notice in foreign countries by trademark brokers has changed from the previous individual act of preoccupancy to the company’s strategic form.
The act of preoccupying without notice has been concealed by establishing a subsidiary company in a corporate form, or the portfolio has been diversified by filing a similar trademark application (composite mark application) or filing the relevant trademark application for other goods. Further, a local agent has been hired to actively deal with legal matters, taking the strategy to block any attempt of a Korean company which plans to advance into the local area such that the company cannot file any application thereof and take any measures in the local area.
3. KIPO-WIPO joined together for the improvement of a PCT international application filing system
- It will become easier to make a PCT patent application to be filed in a foreign country.
On June 2, 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland, KIPO and WIPO agreed to a “2016-17 PCT information cooperation plan” with a main content to improve the PCT system. This plan includes a specific plan for improving the system to improve the convenience and work efficiency of a PCT application.
The biggest change by this agreement is that when a Korean applicant files an international patent application, it is possible to simply make the application in the WIPO ePCT hompage (https://pct.wipo.int) without installing a PCT application formatting software (PCT-SAFE). Further, it is possible to search, in a real-time, the progresses of receipt of a PCT application document and an international search, etc. through the ePCT homepage.
In addition, both of KIPO and WIPO positively carried forward a project to electronically transmit and process a PCT document.
Starting the establishment of the “2016-17 PCT information cooperation plan”, the two agreed to continue the cooperation by holding an information expert meeting, etc.
4. KIPO performed an international search of the international patent applications related to the drilling and excavating of shale oil
It learned that the number of the international patent applications in the shale oil field has steadily increased.
It is interesting because KIPO exports an examination service of an international patent application related to the shale oil to the USA, etc. At present, KIPO has acted as an international search authority which can examine the international patent applications from fourteen (14) countries in the world including the USA.
According to KIPO, the number of the international patent applications filed during the last five (5) years increased just by 5.3% on average per year. However, the number of the international patent applications related to the drilling and excavating of the shale oil increased from 1,761 in 2011 to 3,235 in 2015, showing an increase of 16.5% on average per year during the last five (5) years.
These international patent applications were lead by the major northern American global gas companies, such as Haliburton, Baker Hughes, Schumberger, etc. These companies requested KIPO for the examination service of about 44% of the international patent applications related to the shale oil.