1. KIPO presents a guideline for trade secret grades
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), a self confirmation service for a trade secret grade is operated to classify and manage trade secrets by grades.
A secret grade needs to be assigned to protect a trade secret and an effort to accord to the grade needs to be made. However, previously, since no guideline on how to classify which information into which secret grade was in existence, small and medium companies experienced difficulties in classifying secret grades.
Thus, KIPO researched and prepared a secret grading system which is proper to a Korean company reality, to support this system to be easily utilized on an online page and to relieve the burden of a company worker.
A self-confirmation service for a trade secret grade provides a grade search function of about 190 kinds of management and technology information types which were collected from companies. This service enables a user to easily perform a keyword-search to confirm a recommended secret grade for the trade secret information. It also enables the user to calculate a trade secret grade by directly evaluating the required elements for classifying the grades. Evaluation is made according to the weight of the elements, such as information creating and maintaining costs, the level of calculated information, the level of information utilization, the ripple effects of information utilization, etc..
2. The number of patent applications for a lithium secondary battery related to energy storage system (ESS) has increased
According to KIPO, the number of patent applications related to a lithium secondary battery for ESS which is essential in new and renewable energy development has increased.
The number of these patent applications filed for the last 10 years (2007~2016) totaled 279 and an annual average number thereof was only 16.5 during 2007~2010 but it increased to 31 in 2011~2013 and 40 in 2014~2016.
By applicants, Korean applicants at 53% were more than foreign applicants. Of the Korean applicants, companies (at 78%) were the most, followed by universities and institutes (17%) and individuals (5%). The most applications were filed by LG Chemical (with 59 applications) and BASF (15).
The scale of the ESS market has expanded together with the growth of the new and renewable energy market.
When ESS is used, the efficiency of the electric power system is increased through the ‘electric utility load leveling’ to store the power produced at a time when power demand is low and to supply the power at a time when power demand is high, to solve the load leveling problem.
3. The number of patent applications related to an absorbent of contaminating substances, such as cesium, has increased
The number of the applications related to an absorbent to remove contaminating radioactive substances has steadily increased. Specially, the relevant applications have been filed, focused on the absorbent(s) to remove radioactive cesium which is harmful to a human body when it is absorbed in the body since its half-life is long.
Cesium-137 (Cs-137) is one of major radioactive isotopes generating upon nuclear fission and its half-life is 30 years.
Since Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan, 2011, the number of the patent applications related to the absorbents to remove the radioactive substances has rapidly increased. According to KIPO, the number of the relevant applications filed in 2016 increased by 15 times the number thereof in 2010, and the number of the relevant applications filed during the period from 2010 to April 2017 was a total of 61.
Most of the relevant applications were filed by Korean companies and agencies. The number of the relevant applications filed by foreign companies and agencies was only 10% of the total number thereof.
56% of the total number of the relevant applications (46% for cesium; 10% for cesium and strontium) was related to the technology of absorbing cesium among the radioactive elements. Because cesium has a half-life of 30 years and is easily accumulated to human organs and muscles to cause the diseases, such as sterility, general paralysis, bone cancer, etc.
26% thereof was related to the technology of absorbing the mixed radioactive elements, 8% to the technology of absorbing iodine, and the rest to the technology of absorbing uranium, ruthenium, tungsten and molybdenum.
4. The number of applications related to customized functional sunglasses has increased
According to KIPO, there was almost no change in the average number of applications (85 applications) filed for the last 5 years (2012~2016) and that (83 applications) for the previous 5 years (2007~2011) in the entire sunglasses field. However, the average number of the applications related to customized functional sunglasses, filed for the last 5 years, was 64, showing an increase of 35% compared to the average number (47) filed for the previous 5 years.
The customized functional sunglasses are divided into ‘sunglasses with a function of blocking harmful light’, which blocks the light to stimulate the eyes, ‘sunglasses with a function of blocking harmful substance’, which reduces wind or foreign matters to enter the eyes, and ‘buildup-typed sunglasses’, which allows lens, etc. to be attached or detached according to a specific situation.
In the applications for the sunglasses with a function of blocking harmful light, the most applications were related to mirror coating sunglasses (84 applications), polarizing lens sunglasses (67) and photochromic lens (35).
The mirror coating sunglasses are to realize the effect of reflecting the sun light, like a unidirectional mirror, by mirror-like coating the front surface thereof. These sunglasses are preferred by young people so as to be known as ‘celebrity sunglasses’ and many relevant applications were filed.