1. KIPO will carry forward the introduction of a 24-hour non-face-to-face unmanned reception system
- It will be easy to submit patent documents after the close of working hours.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), a 24-hour non-face-to-face unmanned reception system will be introduced within the first half of the year, to provide a service so that an applicant can easily submit patent documents, regardless of the working hours.
Through the operation of the unmanned reception system, KIPO will preemptively block any misunderstanding or abnormal reception that might happen when a document with an impending deadline is submitted in writing to one working the shift and it will provide a service such that an applicant in the circumstance where an online interruption occurs or an applicant who cannot use an online system can submit patent documents in writing for 24 hours for 365 days, to enhance the transparency and efficiency of the administration.
KIPO has a plan to install the unmanned reception system in two public service centers of the main office and the Seoul office of KIPO and to operate the system by simplifying the receiving procedures of the system so that an applicant who is not familiar with using the system, such as the old and the weak, does not have any difficulties.
2. Guide for using patent big data for technological innovation
- A linkage table between ‘technology·article classification’ and ‘International Patent Classification (IPC)’ is provided
It is not easy to find desired information these days when new technologies have poured out everyday. To effectively manage a huge amount of technological information, the national science and technologies (2,898), industrial technologies (654) and item codes (HSK codes, 12,232) are individually operated based on purposes and features.
Among them, IPC which is most subdivided and formed of more than 70,000 classification codes is internationally unified and strictly managed. IPC has played the role of a guide such that researchers can easily access the huge patent big data and conduct effective research and development.
According to Mr. Won-joo PARK, the commissioner of KIPO, the linkage table between the IPC and each of the other classifications is prepared as a part of the technology innovation measures related to materials·components·equipment and published at the KIPO website (www.kipo.go.kr)
Linkage table between national science and technology and IPC
Linkage table between industrial technology and IPC
Linkage table between industrial item and IPC
These linkage tables have a great significance of preparing the links between different classification systems and being the basis of using patent big data.
3. The increase in the number of design applications with 3D drawings has been rapid over the last ten (10) years
According to KIPO, as a result of analyzing the increase in the number of design applications using the 3D drawing filing system, the increase is very high as 22.3% over the last ten (10) years. This is higher by 20.7% compared to 1.6% which is an increase in the total of design applications during the same period.
Filing of a design application using the 3D drawing filing system started in 2010 in Korea for the first time in the world. The number of these design applications was 794 in 2010 and 3,483 in 2019, showing a steady increase.
At present, EUIPO also allows the 3D drawing filing system (enforced since September 28, 2015).
Since a design application by using the 3D drawing filing system makes it easy for a designer to directly file the application, time and cost for appointing an agent are reduced and therefore it is convenient for an applicant. Further, since a design application by using the 3D drawing filing system helps an examiner to easily understand a complicate figure, it has a merit enabling an efficient examination.
4. It is possible to settle an act of pirating an unregistered famous trademark and an act of extorting an idea through an IP Dispute Mediation Committee
KIPO announced that on February 4, 2020, the revision to the Invention Promotion Act was proclaimed, improving the IP dispute mediation system by expanding the subject of IP dispute mediation to a trade secret in management, an act of unfair competition under the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, etc.
The IP Dispute Mediation Committee operated from 1995 has rapidly and economically settled disputes relating to IP rights (including patents, utility models, trademarks and designs), employee inventions, trade secrets in technology, etc. IP dispute mediation system has been used by many companies to settle IP-related disputes since there is no fee for requesting dispute mediation, the procedures finish within three (3) months and a secret is strictly kept. The IP Dispute Mediation Committee handled about 50 cases per year for the last four (4) years and achieved a mediation success rate of 34%.
Notwithstanding the foregoing merits, since the subject of dispute mediation was limited to the disputes relating to patents, utility models, trademarks, designs, employee inventions, trade secrets (technical information), it was impossible to settle, through the IP Dispute Mediation Committee, disputes relating to the unfair competition acts (such as an act of pirating an unregistered famous trademark, an act of copying the shape of a product, an act of stealing idea, etc.) and disputes related to infringements of trade secrets in management. Further, since the member pool is limited to 40, it was difficult to settle disputes by technical fields.
As the revision of the Act becomes effective, it will be possible to mediate the disputes related to the unfair competition acts and the infringements to trade secrets in management which are regulated as the subject of dispute mediation in the ‘Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act’. Further, as the member pool of the IP Dispute Mediation Committee expands to a maximum of 100, the dispute mediation work, which was previously conducted by a mediation part formed of three (3) mediators, can be more efficiently performed by forming the mediation part with one (1) or two (2) mediators.