1. KIPO will improve the service for filing an electronic application for a beginner applicant
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) will improve the service for filing an electronic application (e-application) such that a beginner applicant can easily proceed with the procedures of filing an e-application on-line.
First of all, the terms will be changed to easy ones for a beginner applicant to intuitionally use the e-application portal site and e-application software. The entire e-application filing system will be improved concerning the areas that may cause any confusion when a beginner applicant prepares a document. To this end, KIPO will operate its internal and external experience groups, to positively reflect received opinions to finish the improvement work by the end of this year.
Further, KIPO will make improvements to make it possible to make an international patent application including a specification without installing the e-application software. That is, the environment to file an international patent application will be improved during the second half of the year, making it possible to directly prepare an international patent application on the web, to be filed.
Furthermore, as the environments of the web browsers used by applicants become diverse, the e-application portal homepage will be improved according to the web standards by the end of this year. In the meantime, it is possible to use the e-application service only in Internet Explorer, however, when the work to improve the web standards is completed, a user can use the e-application service in the different web browsers, such as Chrome, Firefox, etc.
2. An on-line video interview service is operated between an applicant and an examiner
KIPO will fully operate a video interview service to enable an on-line video consultation between an applicant and an examiner from July 8, 2017. The applicant (a representative patent attorney) that wants to have an interview with an examiner does not need to directly visit KIPO (located in Daejeon).
This service is introduced to reduce the applicant’s burden of face-to-face interviews which have recently rapidly increased from 2,257 in 2014, 2,845 in 2015 to 3,764 in 2016, and to enhance the communications. An applicant is able to have an interview with an examiner conveniently, by using a video interview system with excellent communication quality.
Interview places are preferentially designated in major places around the nation, considering a security issue on a patent in the interview between an applicant and an examiner to usually deal with confidential/closed documents.
The interview places are each installed in the eight (8) IP service centers in the non-capital region areas, Gangwon, Gyungnam, Gyungbook, Gwangju, Woolsan, Incheon, Jeonnam, Busan in addition to Seoul (KIPO Seoul office).
An interview between the applicant and the examiner is not to only talk face to face but to deeply discuss the patent technology. Thus, the applicant as well as the examiner is able to review the interview materials including the patent application and technical literature, etc. prepared in advance, and to make notes and exchange sufficient opinions by using a document sharing function of the interview system.
3. The number of trademark application related to dental (teeth) products continues increasing
According to KIPO’s research of the trend of trademark applications related to dental (teeth) products for the last four years and four months (2013~April, 2017), the number of these applications was 8,115 in 2013 but increased to 10,135 in 2016 by 24.9%. Further, 3,654 relevant trademark applications were filed by the end of April this year and the number thereof is expected to be more than that in 2016.
Among a total of 39,740 trademark applications (2013~April, 2017) related to dental (teeth) products, the most applications, 34,530 (86.9%), were related to toothpastes, toothbrushes, etc. This is considered as an active development of the products, such as a toothbrush which is eco-friendly and takes account of a health condition of teeth, a high functional toothpaste, etc., and an increase of interest and concern in a consumer’s tooth health. The number of the trademark applications for dental prosthetic implants, fixture for a set of teeth, etc. was 2,648 (6.7%), followed by dental filling materials, 2,213 (5.6%).
Specially, the number of the trademark applications for expensive implant-related products was only 51 in 2013 but sharply increased to 115 in 2016 (125.4%). This is considered as due to the technical development of Korean companies and the popularization of such treatments.
4. The number of patent applications for a driver-customized driving control technology has rapidly increased
According to KIPO, the number of the patent applications related to a learning-based driving control technology increased from 3 to 15 starting 2011. After that, there was no big change but the number greatly increased to 24 in 2016.
An automobile driving control technology is to be aware of road conditions by using sensors, such as radar, camera, etc. and to automatically control the speed of the automobile, steering and braking, etc. based on the road conditions. This technology is able to support a driver’s driving or to completely replace it, according to a self-driving step.
An automobile’s self-learning is usually used in comprehending a driver’s tendency according to a relative distance or speed with an object, enabling to control driving to be driver-customized. Thus, this results in the stability of driving and has an effect of greatly decreasing the drivers’ fatigue.
Further, when only a part of an object is taken in a camera video/image, this self-learning is used to accurately recognize the road conditions by distinguishing whether the object on the camera is an automobile or a pedestrian by assuming the unseen portion of the object.