1. The number of trademark applications filed by foreigners continues to increase
The total number of Korean trademark applications filed by foreign applicants including foreign companies and individuals has continued to increase.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), foreign applicants filed 223,779 trademark applications for the last ten (10) years (2010~March 2019). This represents 14.7% of the Korean trademark applications, numbering 1,517,626, which were filed during the same period.
By years, the number of the Korean trademark applications filed by foreign applicants was 18,270 in 2010 but greatly increased to 29,795 in 2018, showing a continuous increase in the number of the relevant applications filed by foreign applicants.
By nations, many trademark applications were filed by TM5 (Trade Mark 5) nations which are the five (5) nations advanced in the trademark fields (the Republic of Korea, USA, Europe, Japan and China).
2. KIPO took action to stop the sale of about 54,000 online counterfeit products over three (3) months, resulting in the prevention of consumer damages totaling about 418.9 billion Korea Won
- The brands having most counterfeit product distribution is first, Gucci and second, Louis Vuitton.
For the last three (3) months (April through June 2019), KIPO deployed 110 people into a ‘homework group to monitor online counterfeit products’ to prevent the distribution of online counterfeit products, picking up 54,084 suspicious cases of counterfeit product posts and stopping the sale thereof.
KIPO announced that the effect of preventing consumer damages by deleting the suspicious posts of counterfeit products reached a minimum of 418.9 billion Korea Won. This amount was based on the estimation that at least five counterfeit products were on sale per each post, considering the number of daily average online transaction cases and the number of online sellers.
As a result of monitoring, the brands which have many online distributions of counterfeit products were Gucci, Louis Vuitton and Chanel in that order. These brands were well-known brands of which many counterfeit products were traditionally distributed offline as well as online.
By products, 17,421 bags, 12,098 pieces of clothing, 11,882 shoes, etc. were 76.5% of the total of products, indicating that the supply of counterfeit products was most in the items which were necessary in our daily life and could attract an onlooker’s eyes.
3. Filing international patent applications is active
- Analysis on the trends of the international patent applications filed with KIPO over the last five (5) years (2014~2018).
According to KIPO, the number of the PCT international patent applications filed with KIPO for the last five (5) years was 13,138 in 2014, showed an annual average increase of 6.6% and greatly increased to 16,991 in 2018.
The rapid increase in the number of the international patent applications is considered as a result of the heightened interest of Korean big companies, small and medium companies and universities, etc. in filing applications in foreign nations since intellectual property rights have been gradually important in global markets.
By the type of applicants, the number of the relevant applications filed by big companies increased by an annual average of 8.6% over the last five (5) years. This was 40.3% of the total of the relevant applications, indicating that big companies lead in filing the relevant applications.
The number of the applications filed by small and medium companies was 24.0% of the total relevant applications, showing an annual average increase of 6.0%, and the number of the applications filed by individuals was 13.4%, showing an annual average increase of 1.2%.
The number of the applications filed by universities was only 8.4% but increased by an annual average of 9.3%, showing that the interest of universities in filing applications in foreign countries has rapidly increased.
4. KIPTAB sends a written judgment and substance (gist) of a major case by e-mail
According to Korea Intellectual Property Trial and Appeal Board (KIPTAB), a written judgment of a major trial case and a gist of the relevant case are published as prompt reports at the homepage (www.kipo.go.kr/ipt) of KIPTAB and by e-mail.
KIPTAB will provide a service by selecting a case which has new legal and/or technical issues or which is worthy of the interest of people, among about 10,000 trial cases being processed per year.
Although it takes a long time for a result of a trial to be decided through a court, since the interest of people in the trial has increased, KIPTAB has introduced a service of the prompt reporting of a trial. But, caution is needed since the relevant holding may be appealed to the court and a result may change.
Mr. Sung-Joon PARK, the president of KIPTAB, said, “when a trial case has new legal and/or technical issues, it needs to promptly inform people of the case” and “KIPTAB will make more efforts to promptly provide people with various and valuable information of trials as a part of government transformation, together with the prompt and accurate handling of a trial case.”