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Kim, Hong & Associates has brought in a patent attorney as a partner of our firm. The patent attorney is (News Letter No. 355)



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1. Kim, Hong & Associates has brought in a patent attorney as a partner of our firm. The patent attorney is:

Mr. Man-Chul JANG practiced for twenty-eight (28) years as a patent examiner in the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and has the following:
Academic Background
- graduated from Inha University (Aeronautical Engineering)
- Master at Yokohama National University
Professional Career
- Examiner for Machinery/metal
- Head of Machinery Examiner Division
- Judge at Korean Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board
- Counselor, Embassy of the Republic of Korea to Japan
Literary Works
- Examiner for Machinery/metal
- Explanation for Patent Law (KIPO)
- Patent Precedents Guide (KIPO)
- Standard Model of a Shop Right (Precedent Part) (KIPO)

Together with Mr. JANG, we will do our best for our clients’ patents to be registered.

2. Patent systems newly changed in 2017

∋ System for requesting cancellation of a patent: From March 2017, a procedure for requesting the cancellation of a patent has been newly introduced to cancel a patent that is wrongly registered, to prevent poor patent quality. When anyone files a reason for cancellation of a patent within 6 months after the patent is registered, an examiner examines the patent and cancels it if it is an improper patent.

∋ Ex officio examination system: An ex officio examination system has been introduced, wherein even though an invention is decided to be patented, if a critical defect is found, an examiner can reopen examination by authority. Thereby, the quality of a patent examination is expected to be improved.

∋ Shortening of the period of a request for examination of a patent application from 5 years to 3 years: For a rapid determination of a patent right, the period of requesting examination of a patent application has been shortened from 5 years to 3 years.

∋ System for requesting a transfer of a patent right: when one acquires a patent by stealing an invention of a person entitled to obtain the patent right, the system for requesting a transfer of a patent right has been introduced to enable the proper entity to directly file with the court a request for transfer of the patent right, to return the patent right.

∋ In addition, the Trademark Law has been partially revised to include the expansion of the subject to request preferential examination of a trademark application, abolition of a limitation regarding a trademark sample standard, addition of reasons for suspension of examination, etc. The Design Law also has been partially revised to include the clarification of the time of applying the relevant design novelty, expansion of the scope to acknowledge the design creativity, etc.

3. The Republic of Korea achieved a 1st place in world ranking for 3 years (2014-2-16) in a row, in the international intellectual property (IP) index in the trademark category

The Republic of Korea held the top rank for 3 years in the international IP index in the trademark category.

According to KIPO, in the evaluation of the trademark category regarding ‘2016 international IP index’ published by Global IP Center (GIPC) under the US chamber of Commerce, the Republic of Korea held the first place this year by beating the strong IP countries including the USA previously holding the first place with the Republic of Korea, and Switzerland.

International IP index is to measure and evaluate a nation’s IP protection and enforcement capacity. In 2014, the Republic of Korea, the USA and GB held the first place together and in 2015 the Republic of Korea and the USA held the first place together.

This report provides the information regarding the evaluation, improvement details, etc. of the IP protection levels and environments of 45 countries. This report provides the evaluation based on the laws, reports, guidelines and policies of the countries subjected to the 2016 evaluation, study reports, legal precedents and academic materials, etc.

As to five (5) trademark indicators (with a maximum possible score of 1 per indicator), the Republic of Korea held the first place again with a total of 6.55 including:
(1) trademark term of protection 쭯 score: 1,
(2) restriction of the use of brands in packaging of products 쭯 score: 1,
(3) protection of famous trademark 쭯 score: 1,
(4) legal measures to prevent unauthorized uses of trademarks 쭯 score: 0.75,
(5) restriction measures against online sale of counterfeit goods 쭯 score: 1,
(6) design term of protection 쭯 score: 1, and
(7) legal measures to prevent unauthorized uses of designs 쭯 score: 0.8

4. The number of drone-related design applications has rapidly increased from 2015

- Small and medium companies and individuals have led the growth of these applications.

As a new growth industry, the drone market is expected to show a 13% growth per year until 2020. In the meantime, military drones have been the majority of the drone market. However, as the drone market for a private industry has been activated, the number of the relevant design applications has rapidly increased since 2015, recording 102 in 2016 with an increase of 50 times compared with 2008 when the first drone-related application was filed.

According to KIPO, the number of the relevant applications filed in 2008, which is the first year when the first design application related to a drone (unmanned aerial vehicle) was filed, was 2 but increased to 102 in 2016, by about 50 times.

The number of the drone-related design applications was under 10 per year until 2014 but rapidly increased from 2015 to record 102 in 2016. The number in 2015 showed the explosive growth of over 800% compared with 2014. Such an increase is because drones, which were born for military in the USA at the beginning of 21st century, have been expanded to private markets and influenced the Republic of Korea.



KIPO continuously expands the providing of IP data (News Letter No. 356)


The number of intellectual property (IP) applications filed in 2016 decreased relative to the number filed in each of the last six (6) years (News Letter No. 354)