1. An early warning system expansively operates to cope with an illegal preoccupancy by a foreign trademark broker
While operating the early warning system of a foreign trademark broker, the Korea Intellectual Property Protection Agency (KIPPA) found that a trademark of a small/medium company, “A”, which is specialized in clothing and accessories, was preoccupied and filed by a foreign trademark broker and informed the relevant company of the fact.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the early warning system, which has been in operation since last year, is more expansively operated to cope with the illegal preoccupancy of a trademark of a Korean company by a foreign trademark broker.
The countries to be under the early warning monitoring includes Hong Kong in the Chinese region and the Southeast Asian countries, such as Vietnam, Thailand, etc. will be gradually included. Further, the language(s) to be under the early warning was previously limited to a Korean trademark but is expanded to include Chinese and English trademarks, to improve the reliability and accuracy of the current status information of illegal preoccupancy.
It is noted that 588 trademarks of 251 companies were illegally preoccupied and filed during one year, 2017, since the early warning system was introduced. A possibility rate of an opposition request, which is possible within three (3) months after a trademark application is published in China, increased from 36.5% to 98.2%, enabling the rapid action of a company.
2. KIPO and the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Startups support the joint R&D of small and medium enterprises
- A joint R&D plan task through a patent analysis is newly established.
The Ministry of SMEs and Startups and KIPO cooperate to support the promising joint R&D task. Both announced to newly establish the ‘task for a patent analysis plan for a SMEs network technical development project’ (hereinafter, referred to as the ‘patent analysis plan task’) this year.
The SMEs network technical development project is formed of a ‘R&D plan’ to provide consultation and a ‘joint R&D’ to provide a development fund.
Unlike in the past, the ‘patent analysis plan task’ to be newly established is to support the R&D task needing joint R&D and to seek participants in a joint participation enterprise, by analyzing patent big data from the start time of the R&D plan.
The innovative small and medium enterprises are eligible for ① the R&D plan service by the patent analysis (IP-R&D) and ② the joint R&D fund support, which are of maximum 7.1 hundred million Korea Won, based on one time request and evaluation.
3. KIPO carries forward systems to prevent the illegal distribution of a 3D printing file and to prevent the infringement of an intellectual property (IP) right in AR and VR
KIPO plans to take a preemptive move to the 4th industrial revolution, by fully carrying forward the IP policies of preventing an act of illegal distribution of 3D printing files, big data, etc., preventing an IP infringement in virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) and using the IP area of Blockchain technology.
KIPO held the 3rd forum of the IP future strategy committee to discuss an amendment to the IP laws and systems and the political subjects to react to the development of new technology of the 4th industrial revolution.
The IP future strategy committee is a policy consultative group which consists of private experts in the various fields of IP legislative system, IT, bio, to seek and draw IP political tasks which are to be preemptively carried forward, by focusing and predicting the future of IP in the flow of overwhelming changes unleashed by the 4th industrial revolution of “super-connectivity, super-fusion”.
In this 3rd forum, the system improvement tasks according to the new technology development of the 4th industrial revolution, such as big data, 3D printing, etc., were arranged, the progress plan was discussed. Further, the current state of the Blockchain technology having become an issue and the cases to which the Blockchain technology is applied in the IP areas were discussed as new subjects.
4. The number of patent applications related to artificial intelligence (AI) semiconductors has rapidly increased
According to KIPO, the number of patent applications related to an AI semiconductor, which is one of the core technologies of the 4th industrial revolution that have become the issue, has rapidly increased.
The number of the patent applications for the AI semiconductor, which was 77 in 2015, increased to 391 in 2017 by more than five (5) times. Specifically, the increasing trend in the number of the patent applications for a ‘non-memory semiconductor for machine learning’ and a ‘neuromorphic non-memory semiconductor’ is noticeable.
The aforementioned increasing trend is considered as a result of reflecting the relevant industries’ high interest and vigorous research activities since a high performance and high capacity semiconductor is required in algorithm driving for machine learning in the ‘non-memory semiconductor for machine learning’ and the next-generation AI semiconductor structure imitating the human cerebral nerves hardware-wise is needed in the ‘neuromorphic non-memory semiconductor’.
By the nationalities of applicants, the Republic of Korea filed 590 applications (71.3%) and US filed 182 (22.0%), the applicants of the two countries occupying more than 90%, followed by Japan with 17 (2.1%), France with 9 (1.1%), etc.
As the major applicants, Samsung Electronics filed the most applications, 199 (24.0%), followed by Qualcomm with 59 (7.1%), ETRI with 36 (4.3%), KAIST with 23 (2.8%), etc.