1. KIPO has carried forward the enhancement of an IP information system to improve the quality of examination
- A partial examination work of a smart trademark system, such as a hybrid search, etc. will be automated.
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) will greatly improve the examination system and the search system that examiners use, to perform the examination work as a part of an effort to enhance the work efficiency and examination quality.
This system improvement is to shorten the time that an examiner spends in examining formality errors and searching the prior art and to prepare an environment that an examiner can focus on the examination work, by making the automation of a partial trademark examination and patent search.
First, the trademark examination work is to be made efficient through the development of the ‘smart trademark examination system.’ To this end, the smart trademark examination system builds a ‘function of automatically making a notice’ to automatically make a proper standard wording when an examiner selects a reason for rejection of a trademark application, a ‘function of preventing an error in a notice’ to check whether the notice made by the examiner meets with the requirement(s) prescribed by the legislation, and a ‘function of automatically classifying goods’ by using the previous data for goods classification.
Through these functions, an examiner can effectively examine and prevent an error in a notice, so that the quality of examination is expected to be improved.
2. Korea and China decided to positively cooperate to settle trademark brokers
- The two countries agreed to share the information of a malicious trademark application.
KIPO held a 4th meeting on the commissioner’s level in the trademark field with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce (SAIC) of the People’s Republic of China in Beijing, China.
In this highest-level meeting in the trademark field which was for the first time held after the Korea-China FTA came in effect, the two countries discussed a plan of cooperation on the major pending issues between the countries, such as the malicious preoccupancy of a trademark, a counterfeit product, etc.
These two agreed to an anticipative/preemptive cooperation plan to prevent an imitation trademark from being registered. Specifically, concerning a Chinese application for a trademark which is considered as imitating a Korean trademark, such as a trademark in Korean, a brand well-known through a Korean Wave content, etc., the two countries decided to build a cooperation system so that the Chinese application is fundamentally prevented from being registered at the examination stage by sharing information between the two countries.
Further, the two agreed to build an ex-post cooperation system to prevent an imitation trademark from being registered by sharing information during the opposition period even if an imitation trademark is not filtered at the examination stage. These series of agreements are expected to be of great help in easing the burden of Korean companies which endure the damages in time and economy to invalidate a registered imitation trademark.
3. The number of package design applications to contain foods, cosmetics, etc. increased by twice over the ten (10) years
The number of package design applications containing the contents of the products consumed in our daily life (such as foods, cosmetics, crackers/biscuits, beverages, medicines, etc.) has steadily increased.
According to KIPO, the number of design applications related to the package containers (bags, boxes, bottles, cups, etc.) and the package labels attached to the outer surfaces of the package containers increased from 2,708 in 2006 to 3,441 in 2008, 4,539 in 2012 and 5,698 in 2015, by more than twice for the last ten (10) years.
Based on the current status of the applications by package container forms, the most applications, 9,459 (23.2%), was for the form of boxes, followed by 9,037 (22.1%) for the form of bottles, 6,382 (15.6%) for package labels attached to the package containers, and 4,629 (11.3%) for the form of bags, etc.
By goods, the most applications, 5,842 (14.3%), was for food package designs, followed by 5,802 (14.2%) for cosmetic-related package container designs and 3,228 (7.9%) for cracker/biscuits and beverages.
4. The number of patent applications related to a smart automobile headlight has increased
The number of patent applications for a ‘smart automobile headlight’, which greatly reduces an opposite car driver’s or a pedestrian’s glaring while securing widely the vision of a driver at night, has increased. A smart automobile headlight has a function to automatically control the direction of the headlight upwardly, downwardly, right or left as necessary when a sensor installed in the automobile senses another automobile or pedestrian.
According to KIPO, the proportion of the smart automobile headlight -related applications to the total patent applications in the automobile headlight field filed during the last ten (10) years (2006~2015) increased from 11% in 2006 to 42% in 2015.
The smart automobile headlight technology is to automatically control a high beam downwardly or automatically rotate the headlight in the cornering direction. The representative technology as the method to control a high beam downwardly is to cover an upper part of the light from the headlight by using a shield or to turn off the upper part of an LED point light source in a lattice shape.
For the method to automatically rotate the headlight in the cornering direction, different technologies are used by rotating the entire headlight or rotating only the reflector wrapping a light source.