1. KIPO held a ‘Design Protection Forum’ on a tour of Seoul, Busan, Daegu and Gwangju
The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) held a ‘Design Protection Forum’ while going around districts, jointly with Seoul Design Foundation, Busan Design Center, Daegu Gyeongbuk Design Center, Gwangju Design Center and Kim Dae Joong Convention Center.
Cooperating with Seoul Design Foundation and each district Design Center, KIPO has held a tour called Design Protection Forum every year since 2014.
This forum was well received by local companies since it was helpful to improve the recognition of design right protection of the local small and medium companies, venture companies and starting founders and to provide any necessary design right information.
This year, the Design Protection Forum selected customer-focused subjects related to the demand in each local Design Center and the regional special industry. This event introduced vivid actual cases of design development and business start-up, design protection strategies classified by industries and products, the effective design protection plans that a design creator should know , and prior design searches through a design map, etc.
2. PATINEX 2018 (14th International patent Information Expo) was held
KIPO held the PATINEX (PATent Information Expo) 2018 in the Imperial Palace Hotel on September 6 and 7, to share innovative companies’ patent information using strategies and to develop the intellectual property (IP) information service industry.
PATINEX, which was the 14th this year, was the biggest Korean patent information event, including the conferences with presentations and discussions by world patent information experts and exhibits to experience a diversity of products of patent information service companies.
In this event held on the subject of ‘IP strategies to take lead the future’, the discusses were intensively focused on IP creation, protection and usage strategies using the future new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), big-data, etc.
On the first day, September 6th, the first day of the event, lectures and panel discussions were progressed regarding the IP usage strategies in the area of new technologies of Bosch, a front-runner of self-driving related patent applications, and Oracle expanding the business area with block chain and AI.
On the second day, September 8th, the strategies of applications applying new technologies, such as AI, etc., and examination thereof from Tencent, the Chinese largest IT company, Korea Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) and World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) were introduced. Further, a diversity of in-depth lectures was provided on dispute trends, cases, etc. regarding big-data, AI creation.
Separately from the lectures, the participants could directly experience various IP information services from about 20 Korean and foreign patent information service companies including WIPS, LexisNexis, Wert Intelligence, Ltube, biane.com, etc. which were prepared in the exhibition stand and check the KIPO’s major IP usage policies through the exhibition stand and workshop operated by IP5 (the advanced countries in the IP field, i.e., Korea, US, Europe, Japan, and China) and WIPO.
3. A trend of filing a patent application for “beauty appliances”
According to KIPO, the number of Korea patent applications in the field of hair beauty appliances was about 120 in 2008 but steadily increased to about 200 in 2017. Such an increase is considered to be related to the growth of the hair beauty industry increasing in sales by an average of 5% or more per year over the same year.
Hair beauty appliances include the three (3) groups of representative products: an iron appliance to reshape hair by applying heat to the hair, a perm appliance to reshape hair by using a perm solution, and a hair dryer to dry hair. The number of the applications related to the three product groups was about 50~60% of the total of the patent applications related to the beauty appliances.
By the types of applicants, Korean applicants filed more than 90% of the total of the relevant applications over the last ten (10) years (2008~2017), including individuals with 70% and small and medium companies with 15%. Considering that the percentage of individuals and small and medium companies filing patent applications was usually about 40%, it is a feature that the percentage of individuals and small and medium companies filing the applications in the field of hair beauty appliances was comparatively high.
4. A trend of filing a patent application in the field of shipbuilding
KIPO counted the number of patent applications in the shipbuilding field (based on IPC B63), which were filed over the last five (5) years (2013~2017). As a result, the number of the relevant applications was recorded as 1,833 in 2017, with a peak of 3,692 in 2014, decreasing by a half compared to 2014.
The number of the relevant patent applications filed by the three (3) largest Korean shipbuilding companies dropped from 2,558 in 2014 to 961 in 2017 with a decrease by one thirds compared to 2014 and was recorded as 287 in the first half of this year, showing a continuous decrease.
In this regard, the staff in charge of patents in the three (3) largest shipbuilding companies mentioned, as the major reasons for decrease, the cuts in research & development (R&D) and patent management budgets by the shipbuilding economic downturn, the reduction in the number of inventors (manpower) by restructuring, and the choice and concentration in exercising rights and preparing disputes.
In fact, Hyundai Heavy Industries and Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine respectively filed 252 and 251 patent applications in the shipbuilding field, which was respectively only 27% and 34% compared to 2014.