1. Analysis of patent big data accomplishes technology independence and overcomes the export restrictions of Japan
Regarding the action to the export restrictions of Japan including exclusion of the Republic of Korea from the white list, the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) held a meeting for an on-the-spot communication to listen to the difficulties of small and medium companies relating to materials, parts and equipment.
This meeting was arranged to carry forward the optimum IP support policies by understanding difficulties that the small and medium companies relating to materials, parts and equipment recently experienced on the spot after the export restrictions of Japan were imposed and by listening suggestions.
In the meeting, Mr. Wonjoo Park, the Commissioner of KIPO, emphasized that KIPO would actively support the relevant small and medium companies in securing the alternate technology relating to core items by analyzing the patent big data in the materials, parts and equipment fields which has a high level of foreign dependence. He also published that KIPO would positively carry forward a plan to support establishment of counterstrategy of core patents and to accelerate the materials, parts and equipment-related commercialization, so that the relevant companies in these fields might accomplish technology independence by strengthening the technological competitiveness based on IP.
2. Korean patents will be recognized in Cambodia
-A cooperative basis between Korea and Cambodia is built to protect ‘Korea brands’.
A first cooperation program, under which the effect of a patent registered in the Republic of Korea is recognized as it is, will be operated in Cambodia.
This program to open a new field of cooperation in an international patent examination will be operated on November 1, 2019. After a patent is registered in the Republic of Korea, if only simple procedures (i.e., requesting for approval of the effect of the relevant patent and submitting evidence documents, etc.) proceed in Cambodia, the patent will be patented in Cambodia within 3 months.
Although Korean applicants filed about 30 patent applications in Cambodia during 2010~2018, nothing has yet to be registered since examination has been delayed for the reason of lack of local patent examination infrastructure. Under these conditions, the operation of the cooperation program to recognize the effect of a patent is expected to make it possible for the Korean companies entering Cambodia to rapidly secure patents and to greatly improve the predictability of the local business environments.
3. Idol wave in trademark applications
- Influence of Hallyu (Korean Wave) stars’ popularity
As K-POP fever has been sweeping throughout the world, the number of idol-related trademark applications has greatly increased.
According to KIPO, album entertainment agencies’ move to secure a business right hit their stride by filing applications for trademarks relating to an ‘idol’ brand. The applications for trademarks for the idol group names, such as EXO, BTS, Twice, etc., have been actively filed by big entertainment agencies including SM, Big Hit, JYP, etc.
The remarkable thing is that the fields, in which trademark applications were filed by the album entertainment agencies, were limited to record and entertainment business but recently have been diversified as cosmetics, clothing, accessories, stationery, food, etc. due to the so-called ‘idol goods’. The musical success of an idol group is interpreted as continuing with the sales of various goods.
‘Idol goods’ are, for example, cups, photo albums, postcards, luminous sticks, etc. made by utilizing the images of idol singers by the relevant entertainment companies. These idol goods have the value as goods and the value to symbolize idol stars and the fandom of the stars.
4. Core of a future car, artificial intelligence (AI) camera technology
- The number of patent applications in the field of image recognition for cars has rapidly increased.
According to KIPO, the number of the patent applications related to the image recognition technology for cars has steadily increased and especially, the number of the relevant applications filed by small and medium companies has rapidly increased from 2016.
The number of these patent applications was only 79 in 2010 but greatly increased to 276 in 2013 by more than 3 times. Since 2014, an average of 215 applications was filed every year, keeping the steady filing of the relevant applications. The number of the relevant applications filed by small and medium companies was 35 in 2014 and increased to 98 in 2018, showing an annual average of about a 29% increase.
Since the image recognition technology for cars is the field which develops by the continuous growth of the self-driving market and the deep learning technology together, it is relatively easy for small and medium companies to enter the market and this tendency of these applications is expected to continue in the future.
The trends of these applications filed over the ten years (2010~June 2019) by applicants are as follows: 534 applications (30%) were filed by big companies, 404 (22%) by small and medium companies, 332 (18%) by universities and 138 (8%) by research institutes. However, upon narrowing to the last five year period, 266 (28%) applications were filed by big companies, 252 (26%) by small and medium companies, 184 (19%) by universities and 68 (7%) by research institutes. Here, it is noted that the percentage of the applications filed by small and medium companies recently increased more than that by big companies. This is considered that in early days, big companies led the development of the image recognition technology for cars, however, the small and medium companies increased the filing of applications, together with the technology development as the number of small and medium companies entering the relevant market recently increased.