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A computer-generated graphic design can be protected as a right when it has high creativity(News Letter No. 391)



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1. A computer-generated graphic design can be protected as a right when it has high creativity

Among the number of trials filed for computer-generated graphic designs which are used for smart devices, such as smart phones, low creativity is the reason to dismiss the trials in most of the cases.

According to the Korea Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board (KIPTAB), 64 were processed (terminated) of 70 computer-regenerated graphic design-related trials which were filed over the last five years.

Of 42 dismissed trials, 41 cases were dismissed based on the decision that the computer-generated graphic designs could be created by one employed in the field to which the designs belonged, and 1 case was dismissed since it was similar to a previous design.

However, 15 cases were returned to the examination bureau since the creativity of the designs were acknowledged.
A trial judge of the design board of KIPTAB emphasized, “Although the change speed of computer-generated graphic designs is fast and tends to be gradually simplified for the users’ convenience, it is important to make an effort to enhance the creativity by advancing the graphical user interface (GUI) method on a display screen of a smart device, to be registered as a computer-generated graphic design.

2. The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) and the Patent Court of Korea jointly held the 5th contest for a patent trial defense

KIPO and the Patent Court held the 5th contest for a patent trial defense, in which Korean Law School students competed in showing their ability through a mock trial.

The contest, which was jointly hosted by KIPO and the Patent Court, sponsored by the Korean Association of Law Schools and supervised by the Korea Invention Promotion Association, was to foster future intellectual property professional lawyers by providing 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 made and submitted documents for a preliminary pleading with respect to a case issue of each of the patent and trademark trials, which was set by the judges of the Patent Court and the judges of KIPTAB. On the day of the contest finals which was set as the date for pleading, the participant competed to persuasively deliver their arguments to a judge panel and to effectively refute the other party’s argument, based on the documents for a preliminary pleading as already submitted.

KIPO and the Patent Court expected that this contest would contribute to the training of lawyers having practical capability in the intellectual property area and further be the basis to provide people and companies with high level intellectual property protection services in the future.

3. KIPO exposed a manufacturer and a distributor of fake processed and packaged meat

According to the special police squad for trademarks under KIPO, “A” (age: 35) who manufactured a fake marinated and packaged meat and deceived it like a Korean famous big company product and “B” (age: 52) who distributed it were arrested on suspicion of violating the Korean Trademark Law.

Watching that the consumption of processed meats have increased as the home meal replacements to be easily cooked have been popular, “A” and “B” are suspected of conspiring to manufacture and distribute the marinated packaged meat using a Korean famous big company’s trademark illegally and carrying out such a plot.

Their crime was caught by a report of the big company’s detailer who thought that the trademark attached to the marinated packaged meat was strange during a promotional event at a small and middle mart in the Kwangwon-do area where many camping grounds are located. Then, the owner of the relevant trademark right legally brought a case to the special police squad for trademarks under KIPO, to start an investigation.

Based on the reported information, the special police squad for trademarks under KIPO verified the fact that the fake packaged meat was sold in Seoul, Gyunggi-do and Kwangwon-do areas and seized about 3,000 fake packaged meats (corresponding to about 45,000,000 Korea Won) and about 40,000 subsidiary materials, such as the wrapping paper, mold tools to produce the wrapping paper, etc., through the search and seizure of the packaged meat manufacturing factory (located in Chilgok, Gyeongsangbuk-do) and the distribution storage (located in Ansan, Gyunggi-do).

4. The number of the foldable display-related patent application has increased

According to KIPO, the number of the patent applications related to a foldable display which is able to fold and unfold a display panel has remarkably increased among the patent applications related to a display apparatus.

The number of the foldable display-related patent applications totaled 276 for the last six years (2012~2017), specifically, the number of these applications filed during the last three years (2015~2017) increased by about 3.2 times compared to the number of the applications filed during the previous three years (2012~2014) (from 66 to 210 applications).

This increase is considered as resulting from the fact that companies have focused on research and development of the foldable display-related technology and accordingly vigorously filed the applications, to dominate a new market in advance, based on the prospect that a differentiated foldable smart phone will be a new breakthrough as the development of smart phone hardware has reached its limit.

By applicants, LG Display filed 94 applications (34.1%), Samsung Display 80 (29.0%), Samsung Electronics 23 (8.3%) and LG Electronics 17 (6.2%), showing that the most of the relevant patent applications were filed by the domestic display manufacturers and smart phone manufactures.

Although some companies including Lenovo have unveiled test products of a foldable smart phone, they have not yet reached a mass production stage because of a durability issue, etc. of the display part. However, many companies have competitively speeded up to launch a foldable smart phone, including the news that Samsung Electronics will publish a foldable smart phone, Galaxy X, early next year.


The number of trademark disputes related to the imitation of foreign brand trademarks has decreased(News Letter No. 392)


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