1. KIPO strengthens a cooperative patent examination system
-The number ofconsultation examination cases has increased based on an increase in the number of patent examiners.
According to the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO), the number of the cases that patent applications are examined through consultation with colleague examinersin the patent examination process has gradually increased from 18,296 in 2016 to 19,194 in 2017, 21,863 in 2018, 11,643 in June 2019 and 23,286 in 2019 (estimated).
When an application needs an intensive review with respect to convergence technology, advanced technology, reexamination, etc., examiners with diverse majors conduct a consultation examination by communicating with one another and reviewing the applicationfrom many viewpoints. The consultation examination has an effect of complementing the limitation of a previous examination by a single examiner and providing a more consistent examination service.
A consultation examination is divided into theconsultation examination at an original examination stage and the consultation examination in a reexamination stage.
The consultation examination at an original examination stage is a system where a third examiner who is an expert in another major cooperatively examines an application with an examiner in charge from the beginning stage of examination. This examination proceeds in the form of 멼ntensive verification?that the third examiner overall and additionally reviewsthe entire examination of an invention or in the form of 멲dditional search?to additionally search documents of different prior art from the technical field of the examiner in charge.
The consultation examination at a reexamination stage is a system where three people including a leader of a patent team, an examiner in charge and an assistant examiner consult to make a final decision at the final examination stage of reexamining an invention by an applicant뭩 request after the invention is first rejected.
2. KIPO and ten (10) online businessmen concluded a work agreement for intellectual property (IP) protection, promising to make an effort to prevent and control the distribution of counterfeit products and the false indication of patent, etc. and preparing a turning point in cooperation for online IP protection
As the distribution structure has changed around online shopping, the market size of online shopping malls has rapidly expanded.
Accordingly, the scale of counterfeited products which are distributed online has increased day by day. The distribution routes of counterfeit products have mostly changed to online such that about 98% of civil complaintsregarding counterfeited products, received in KIPO based on 2018, were related to online shopping. This is considered as being caused by the features of online shopping that has no restriction in time and space and is relatively easy to avoid a regulatory net.
According to the foregoing trend, the investigation agencies including KIPO, etc. have strengthened the control focused on online sellers. However, the situation is that counterfeit product sellers have moved the stage to internet caf? or internet social media (SNS) which have been less monitored and thus their ways have become elusive everyday.
The number of arresting the online sales of counterfeit products through social media and internet cafes(by KIPO) was 2,881 in 2016, 3,461 in 2017 and 4,164 in 2018.
Through this agreement, KIPO and online businessmen promised to make an effort to eradicate the distribution of online counterfeit products and to cooperate to prevent the false indication/misrepresentation of IP rights such as patent, utility model, trademark and design.
3. It has been easy to submit a drawing(s) for a design application
-An amendment to the Enforcement Rule of the Korean Design Act is effective from October 1, 2019
KIPO announced to simplify a drawing(s) from a basic drawing, an additional drawing and a reference drawing to a basic drawing and a reference drawing, for the convenience of an applicant of a design application.
뷓asic drawing: a perspective view, a front view and a rear view, a right view, a left view, a plane view, and a bottom view to illustrate the overall/whole shape of a design
뷒dditional drawing: a cut-sectional view, an enlarged view and a planar view, etc. to illustrate the detailed shape of a design
뷧eference view: a drawing(s) to illustrate for understanding and use of a design
Previously, when drawing names were often wrongly described because it was difficult for an applicant to clearly distinguish the type of drawings, the applicant would have the inconvenience to amend or supplement the drawing names according to an opinion for rejection made by an examiner.
From now, since an 멲dditional drawing(s)?is incorporated into a 멳asic drawing(s)? an applicant may submit the 멳asic drawing(s)?additionally including the 멲dditional drawing(s)? without filing a partially enlarged view, a sectional view, a planar view, etc. as the 멲dditional drawing(s)? when filing a design application.
4. A patent publication is easily searched by using a quick response (QR) code
- A search service of patent information through a QR code has expanded
KIPO announced to start the service that a user can easily confirm a patent publication content by using a QR code scanner beginning September 27, 2019.
Previously, to view the content of an IP publication, a user should access to the homepage of KIPO or KIPRIS (www.kipris.or.kr) to input special search terms.
In the case of using the QR code service, it is possible to view a publication, diverse administration information and a change after the publication, which are provided by KIPO, by once scanning a QR code.
Further, to solve the problem of disconnection when the homepage address linked to a QR code is changed, an address system of a digital object identifier (DOI), which is not disconnected, is also introduced with the cooperation from KISTI.
In April 2018, KIPO started the QR code service, step by step, in a registration certificate and a publication issued by KIPO. A QR code described in a registration certificate enables one to view the information described in an original register and a QR code described in a publication is connected to an original text file.