1. A heated contest of main characters to lead future patent trials
- The Patent Court of Korea and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) jointly held a 4th contest conference for a patent trial defense.
According to the Patent Court and KIPO, the 4th contest conference for a patent trial defense was held on August 16, 2017, in which the Korean Law School students competed in showing their ability through a mock trial.
The contest conference is to provide reserve judicial officers with an opportunity for practical work experience, preparing for the reality that the number of disputes involved with intellectual property rights has continuously increased.
As a method to progress the contest conference, the participants submitted documents for a preliminary pleading with respect to a mock case, which was set by the judges of the Patent Court and the judges of the Korean Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board (KIPTAB), and performed a trial according to actual procedures. A review examination was performed by a judge panel formed of the judges of the Patent Court and IPTAB.
Among the competitors for a defense, the top two (2) teams in each field were offered a total amount of 40,000,000 Korea Won in prize money, including a prize from the Chief Judge of the Patent Court and a prize from the President of KIPTAB with 4,000,000 Korea Won in prize money for each team member. The next top six (6) teams (4 patent teams and 2 trademark teams) were given an opportunity of probation in the Patent Court and all awarded teams were provided with benefits of preferential treatment when each member applies for employment with KIPO.
2. China expands the subjects for patent preferential examination to include a utility model application and an invalidation trial
A utility model application and an invalidation trial are subjected to the Chinese patent preferential examination which was limited to a patent application. A period of processing the preferential examination is one (1) year for a patent application and two (2) months for a utility model application or a design application. When the preferential examination is applied, the examination of an invalidation trial finishes within four (4) or five (5) months and thus it is expected to be helpful in determining an infringement case which is handled in a court.
According to the relevant industry, China has operated the enforcement of a ‘patent preferential examination management method’ which expands the subjects of the preferential examination from August 1, 2017 (local time). The ‘preferential examination management method regarding a patent application for an invention’ applied from 2012 got many evaluations that its effects were limited since the preferential examination was applied to only a patent application. The revised plan included a utility model application, a design application, an appeal trial against a rejection decision and an invalidation trial in the subjects for the preferential examination. The preferential examination system can be used by foreign companies which have R&D agencies in China or which manufacture or sell products locally.
3. Heat wave activated the filing of ice cream-related design applications
According to KIPO, the number of design applications in the field of ice cream was only 22 in 2011 but increased to 68 in 2016 by 3.1 times. The number thereof was 58 in the first half of this year (as of June 2017), showing a faster increase compared with the last year.
The number of design applications by ice cream types increased from 11 in 2011 to 39 in 2016, with an increase of 3.5 times for the last 6 years. The number of design applications by ice cream articles increased from 11 to 29 during the same period, showing an increase of 2.6 times.
Based on the status of the design applications by ice cream types, the number of the design applications for cone-type ice cream was 16 for the previous 3 years (2011~2013) but increased to 41 for the last 3 years (2014~2016) by 2.6 times. The number of the design applications for cake-type ice cream increased from 9 to 30 during the same period by 3.3 times, and the number of the design applications for bread-type ice cream was increased from 6 to 17 by 2.8 times, leading the increase in filing the ice cream-related design applications.
Based on the status of the design applications by ice cream articles, the number of the design applications for an ice cream container was 54.4%, an ice cream wrapping paper 18.4%, an ice cream manufacturing machine 11.2% and an ice cream forming machine 3.9%.
4. The filing of trademark applications for companion animals, another family, has been active
- The number of trademark applications in the well-being and luxury fields including a pet hotel business, etc., increased by 29%.
According to KIPO, the number of trademark applications in the well-being and luxury service business for companion animals, which were filed over the last 4 years increased from a total of 1,274 in 2013 to 1,644 in 2016 by 29% and totaled 1,007 as of the end of July this year, showing an increase of about 12% compared with 960 for the same period of the previous year.
The increase rates in the number of the trademark applications in the well-being and luxury service business for companion animals were an increase of about 45% from 399 in 2013 to 580 in 2016 in the beauty care and makeup for pets and an increase of about 35% from 556 to 753 in the accommodation and hotel business for pets. These increase rates are considered as reflecting the demands that people want their companion animals to look well groomed to others or want to stay with their companion animals upon vacation.
In view of the share of the number of the trademark applications in the well-being and luxury service business for companion animals to the total number of the trademark applications filed for the last 4 years, the most relevant trademark applications, about 46%, were filed in the accommodation and hotel businesses, followed by about 32% in the beauty care and makeup businesses and about 11% in the funeral and funeral event service business and about 11% in the pet-walk and pet-care businesses.