1. Many suspected cases of preoccupying Korean companies’ trademarks abroad have been found
-A total of 1,140 cases are suspected of preoccupying 279 trademarks in 62 foreign countries.
KIPO conducted an actual condition survey of the cases where Korean companies’ trademarks were suspected of being preoccupied without notice in foreign countries. As a result, 1,140 suspected cases involving the trademarkswere found in a total of 62 countries.
Using a global trademark DB (WIPO-GBD, TMview), this survey was conducted by a method of comprehending whether 906 English trademarks, which had been already suspected of being preoccupied without notice in China, Vietnam, etc., were also preoccupied in 56 countries within the global trademark DB.
As a result, the number of the trademarks found in the suspected cases totaled 279 and 1,140 cases were found in 62 countries. By countries, 204 cases (17.9%) were in Indonesia, 116 (10.2%) in Thailand and 83 (7.3%) in Singapore, showing the most cases were found in the ASEAN countries (594 cases, 52.1% in 8 countries). A number of the cases suspecting that the Korean companies’ trademarks were preoccupied without notice were found in European countries (189 cases, 16.6% in 22 countries).
Further, by types of businesses, 361 cases (31.7%) were in electronics and electrics, 121 (10.6%) in cosmetics, 103 (9.0%) in food, 100 (8.8%) in franchise and 82 (7.2%) in clothing. As for individuals’ trademarks, many suspected cases were in Korean famous cosmetics and bakery business trademarks.
2. KIPO sharply improves the reduction system of patent official fees for small and medium companies
- When an applicant is a small/medium company, the official fees are reduced without any request for reduction or any evidence document.
KIPO announced to sharply improve and immediately operate the reduction system of official fees for small and medium companies, so that small and medium companies can easily get the reduction with respect to the official fees for filing applications for a patent, utility model and design and the registration fees, etc.
At present, KIPO provides small and medium companies with a reduction benefit of 70% with respect to the official fees for filing an application and a request for examination and the official fees for the first threeyear patent (registration) fees and a reduction benefit of 50% with respect to the fourth and following patent (registration) fees.
Previously, to get the reduction of the official fees, small and medium companies had to file a request for the reduction at each step of paying the official fees such as the fees for filing an application, the registration fees, etc. and had to submit a document proving that an applicant is a small or medium company, to be issued by the Ministry of SMEs and Startups (MSS).
To solve the above-mentioned inconveniences of small and medium companies, KIPO discussed with MSS about a plan to share information of small and medium companies and as a result, KIPO is able to get information on those companies.
KIPO built a system to confirm the information of small and medium companies on this basis, so that KIPO staff can directly confirm whether an applicant is a small or medium company from the system, to apply the official fee reduction.
3. File a trial for invalidation of a patent registered by technology extortion
-Korean Intellectual Property Trial & Appeal Board (KIPTAB) takes the initiative in protecting a true property right-owner.
When one extorts technology invented by another, files an application for the technology and registers a patent thereof in his/her name, the patent can be saved through a trial for invalidation on the ground that an untitled person was granted the patent, based on Article 33 (1) of the Korean Patent Act.
KIPTAB published a result of analyzing 96 trials for invalidation, which were filed on the ground that an untitled person was granted the patent since 2010.
The demandants were small and medium companies in 52 cases, individuals in 32, foreign corporations in 3 and big companies in 2. The defendants (patentees) were small and medium companies in 60, individuals in 28 and big companies in 3. In most cases, the concerned parties were individuals or small and medium companies.
By disputes, most cases were between individuals or small and medium companies. By technological fields, 29 cases were in electronics and electrics, 27 were in mechanics, 22 were in common complex, 18 were in chemicals.
4. No touch, communicate with a computer
-Focused on the current status of patent applications for multimodal interfaces, such as voice, gesture, etc.
A multimodal interface is a user-friendly technology enabling natural communication between a human and a computer, by converging many input methods such as voices, gestures, one’s eyes, expressions, bio signals, etc. in addition to traditional text, changing from the machine-oriented input in the past to the human-focused natural input at present.
According to KIPO, a total of 149 patent applications were filed in relation to the multimodal interfaces during the last ten (10) years (2009~2018).
The number of the multimodal interface-related patent applications from 2009 to 2015 was insignificant but it was 12 in 2016, 20 in 2017 and 39 in 2018, showing that the number of the relevant applications has increased.
In the relevant applications during the last five (5) years (2014~2018), about 2 inputs were mainly used by 2016, however, since 2017 gestures, faces and bio signals were converged and the number of the applications using 3 or more input methods has gradually increased.
Upon comparing 2014 and 2018, the number of the applications related to the bio signal parts (pulse, heart rate, iris, fingerprint) increased from 2 to 11, showing the greatest increase of 5.5 times and the number of the applications related to the sound parts (voice, music, sound) increased from 7 to 28 with an increase of 4 times.