1. The Republic of Korea held a 3rd place in ranking the number of international design applications filed in 2016
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), The Republic of Korea ranked 3rd in the world, with 1,882 cases in the field of international design applications filed in 2016 through the Hague System as published by the World Intellectual Property Organization. This number increased by 46.8% compared with 1,282 cases filed in 2015 and ranked 4th after France.
In detail, Germany (3,917) was in 1st place in 2016 and 2015, followed by Switzerland (2,555), The Republic of Korea (1,882), the USA (1,410) and the Netherlands (1,317). Japan ranked only 8th.
In ranking by companies, Fonkel, a furniture manufacturing company of the Netherlands, ranked 1st with 953, followed by Samsung Electronics with 862 and LG Electronics with 728. Samsung Electronics ranking 1st in 2015 ranked 2nd in 2016, with a decrease of 23.9% compared with the previous year. LG Electronics, which was not within the top ten-list in 2015, ranked 3rd in 2016 by filing 728 using the international design application system.
2. The number of trademark applications filed by trademark brokers continued to sharply decrease for two years
According to KIPO, the number of new trademark applications filed in 2016 by trademark brokers totaled 247, sharply decreasing by 96.1% (6,046) compared with 6,293 in 2014 and 348 in 2015.
The number of the relevant trademark registrations also continued to decrease from 140 in 2014 to 76 in 2015 and 24 in 2016.
This is considered as a result that KIPO strongly carried forward intensive policies to normalize improper practices.
In the future, KIPO will always monitor trademark brokers and maintain and manage the information by analyzing the cases of applications and disputes. Further, KIPO will continue to develop diverse information activities to prevent any damages by trademark brokers, to continue the effort to fundamentally block trademark brokers.
3. KIPO expands the intellectual property (IP) cooperation of ASEAN+1
KIPO published a plan to expand, in priority, the IP cooperation with the ASEAN 10 countries, by carrying forward a meeting of the commissioners of the Intellectual Property Offices in the form of ASEAN+1 from this year.
As part of this plan, KIPO presented a diversity of cooperation fields, such as performing a preferential examination of an application filed by a Korean company, sharing information of enforcement and control, consulting IP laws and education, etc., in the directors’ meeting which was held in Vientiane, Laos on February 16, 2017.
ASEAN strongly hoped to share the IP, economical development and know-how of the Republic of Korea, and specifically, showed a high interest in education training, policies to use IP, campaigns to improve IP understanding, etc.
Both countries agreed to conclude a memorandum of understanding on comprehensive cooperation in the IP area to build the future cooperation system within the year and to regularly hold a meeting of the commissioners between Korea and ASEAN.
4. The trend of patent applications related to anti-drones catching unauthorized drones
As the awareness of a threat from unauthorized drones has spread, a public security paradigm called ‘anti-drone(s)’ has been initiated.
According to KIPO, the number of Korean patent applications relating to the anti-drone technology steadily increased from the last four years (2013~2016) since 2013 when the relevant applications started being filed.
An anti-drone is to incapacitate an authorized drone which causes a terror or crime, a privacy-zone intrusion or watch, an accident by a skilled operation, etc.
The core of the anti-drone technology is to detect a small object entering a specific airspace, to identify whether it is a drone or another flight object like a bird, and if an unapproved drone intrudes, to disable it.
The detection of a drone is performed usually by radar detection or by recognition of wireless communication of the drone, and the disabling is performed usually by jamming.
Upon specifically reviewing the statistics of the Korean patent applications for the anti-drone technology, the number of these applications increased from only 1 application in 2013, 9 in 2014, 17 in 2015 to 19 in 2016.