1.KIPO homepage obtained ‘Web Accessibility quality certificate mark’ three years in a row
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), its official homepage (www.kipo.go.kr) obtained the ‘Web Accessibility quality certificate mark’ three years (2015~2017) in a row. This is a result of the continuous efforts of KIPO for the disabled and senior people, etc. who need the social consideration to easily use the website. Web Accessibility means the guarantee that the disabled and senior people can access to and understand the information provided by a website, equally to ordinary people.
KIPO has concentrated every effort to improve the web accessibility for the users.
In the first half of the year, KIPO provides a proper substitute text to substitute an image with a voice, so that a visually-handicapped person does not experience any inconvenience in using the website.
KIPO reorganized the website by following the web content accessibility guidelines, so that a person who cannot use a mouse enables a clear visual distinction on a screen when she or he moves visible focus by using a keyboard.
To improve a user’s accessibility to intellectual property information and a user’s convenience in use, KIPO will additionally provide forms which are often used by civil petitioners. KIPO will also improve the function to search a form so that the user can easily find a desired form.
2.A PCT system information session was held for Korean applicants
For Korean applicants that want to obtain foreign patent rights through the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) international applications, KIPO and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) jointly held the PCT system information session in the Korea Intellectual Property Service Center on June 23, 2017.
The number of the PCT international applications filed by Korean applicants has rapidly increased since the Korean language was adopted as one of the public languages for PCT international applications, reaching about 14,500 in 2016 to be the 5th place following US, Japan, China and Germany.
This information session, which was jointly hosted by KIPO and WIPO, introduced the recent changes in the PCT system, strategies to secure a foreign patent through a PCT application, procedures for filing an electronic application, KIPO’s services for international search. KIPO and WIPO also received Korean applicants’ difficulties.
3.The number of sensitivity metal-related patent applications has increased
An alloy manufacturing technology increases the value of a product by stimulating the sensitivity, such as the vision, the sense of touch, etc. of a human. This technology has held the limelight.
According to KIPO, there has increased the number of patent applications for sensitivity metals which satisfy the sensitivity of people as well as the functions and properties of metals.
A sensitivity metal increases the value of a product by stimulating the sensitivity of a human, through the color changing according to alloy elements and the particular texture/feeling of metal. As the Fourth Industrial Revolution arrives, the demand thereof is expected to increase, focused on customized higher value-added industries, such as mobile phones, home appliances, car interior materials, etc.
As reflecting these trends, the number of the sensitivity metal-related patent applications was fifty (50) for the last four (4) years, increasing by more than 50% compared with thirty-three (33) which were filed for the previous six (6) years. Since this technology will be applied to the products related to our real life and thus its application range is also expected to further expand, the number of the relevant applications will steadily increase.
4.The number of trademark applications in the senior care and medical field increased by 25 times for the last five (5) years
KIPO published that the number of trademark applications related to service businesses of welfare for senior citizens, which were filed for the last five (5) years, increased by about 30%, from 760 in 2012 to 987 in 2016. This year, the number of the relevant applications totaled 293 as of March, showing an increase of about 20% compared to 243 during the same period of the previous year, 2016.
The distribution ratio by types of the service businesses for senior citizens’ welfare is: 86% of the relevant trademark applications is related to the business of running nursing homes and silver towns as elderly residential facilities, about 11% to the business of sanatoriums and senior specialized hospitals as recuperation and medical facilities, and 3% to the business of senior care.
The increase range by the types of the service businesses for senior citizens’ welfare is: the number of the applications related to the business of sanatoriums and senior specialized hospitals as recuperation and medical facilities recorded an increase of 25 times, from 10 in 2012 to 258, and the number of the applications related to the business of senior care recorded an increase of more than 10 times, from 7 to 75. This is considered as having relation with an increase of geriatric illnesses as it moves into the elderly society.