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Preferential examination of a trademark application is now in operation. (168)



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1. Preferential examination of a trademark application is now in operation.

An applicant of a trademark application can receive the examination results by about 4~5 months, maximum, earlier than the general examination period.

The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO; Commissioner: Jung-sik KOH) announced that from April 2009, they would operate a system for requesting preferential examination of a trademark application which needs to be promptly granted as a right.

Accordingly, unless the trademark application with a request for preferential examination has any additional matters to be provided, the applicant can receive a preliminary examination result within about 2 months or so. Considering that it takes usually now about 6~7 months until a preliminary examination result issues, the request for preferential examination significantly shortens the examination period.

Anyone (an individual, a company or the like) who files an application for a trademark being used at present can request the preferential examination of the application. To request preferential examination of a trademark application, the applicant will need to pay the fees for requesting preferential examination (160,000 Korea Won per goods class) when (s)he files a request for preferential examination and an explanation document for the preferential examination.

2. The Korean Intellectual Property Tribunal (KIPT) improves the Judgment Division System.

KIPO announced that from May 2009, a new Design/Utility Model Judgment Division would be established in KIPT and the Fusion/Convergence Technology Judgment Division system taking care of the fusion/convergence technology cases in line with the trends of technological fusion/convergence would be improved, enhancing the expertise.

KIPO decided to reorganize one of the current eleven (11) Judgment Divisions in KIPT to form and operate the Design/Utility Model Judgment Division which has 4 judges specialized in design cases and 4 judges specialized in utility model cases.

The design judges will be filled with those having design degrees.

Meantime, trademark judges would handle design cases and patent judges would handle utility model cases.

KIPO also decided to organize the system for arranging cases in the Judgment Divisions. That is, through this system organization, the Fusion/Convergence Technology Judgment Division of KIPT will be responsible for the trials filed in connection with the cases examined in three Convergence Technology Examination Divisions which were newly established in KIPO in September 2008.

Prior to the system organization of the Fusion/Convergence Technology Judgment Division, KIPO has been operating a Customized Agreement Body from March 2009, to enhance the expertise judging the fusion/convergence technologies.

The Customized Agreement Body is to flexibly operate the judgment agreement body by selecting sub-judges from the entire judge-pool, to positively cope with the fusion/convergence technology cases.

3. The Korean Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) developed the next-generation display core technology.

The ‘world in a movie’ is expected to be realized…where a glass window is changed to a TV or the front glass window of a car is used for a navigation… where a show window is touched to display product information so that a consumer can select a desired design.

On May 15, 2009, ETRI announced that they developed the core original technology which is capable of significantly improving the performance of active matrix organic light emitting diodes (AM OLED) known as the next-generation display.

The ETRI research team developed an oxide transistor which is transparent and stable against light, instead of an opaque transistor based on silicon. The research team also developed the AM OLED which greatly improves an exposure rate by using the oxide transistor as a driving device.

Through this technology, ETRI significantly improved the operational stability of a device, which had been indicated as one of the biggest problems in industrially applying an oxide thin film transistor.

An oxide transistor can be inexpensively manufactured by using existing display equipment while retaining excellent performance. Therefore, ETRI expects that the oxide transistor can substitute for the existing silicon-based thin film transistor in the fields of not only a transparent display but also a TFT-LCD, and the like, which exhibits technical restrictions at present.

In this connection, in October 2008, ETRI has secured the core original technology related to the transparent oxide semiconductor new material, the ‘transparent smart window’. This is a transparent terminal device, such as a transparent electrode and the like which is well charged with electricity like a metal.

ETRI filed a total of 51 patent applications for this technology in the Republic of Korea and foreign countries. ETRI is contacting with other companies to transfer the core technology related to the core materials, processes and equipment, among others, which ETRI has secured through this research and development.

4. Samsung Electronics is the foreign company which filed the most patent applications in China in 2008.

It is reported that Samsung Electronics is the foreign company which filed the most patent applications in China last year.

Referring to the 2008 patent application data which is provided by the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China, the Embassy of the Republic of Korea in China announced that Samsung Electronics ranked first with 2,799 cases, followed by Panasonic with 2,222 cases and Philips with 1,764 cases, among others.

LG Electronics with 1,214 cases was ranked as 5th. The Republic of Korea which listed two (2) companies in the top ten companies ranked 3rd, following Japan with four (4) companies and the USA with three (3) companies.

The four (4) Japanese companies listed are Panasonic(raking 2nd), Sony (4th), Toshiba (6th) and Toyota (8th). The three (3) US companies listed are IBM (7th), GM (9th) and Qualcomm (10th).

The number of applications which has been announced includes all patent, utility model, trademark and design applications.

By countries, the Republic of Korea was 4th with 9,320 cases, following Japan, the U.S.A, and Germany.

The total number of the applications filed in China in 2008 was 828,328. Among these applications, the number of the applications filed by the foreign applicants was 13.4%.



The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO; Commissioner: Jung-sik KOH) holds a traveling presentation meeting regarding the changes in the patent system. (169)


The number of registration of Korean trademarks passed 1,000,000 (167)