2011년 12월 19일 월요일

Korea and China to Expand Cooperation on Intellectual Property

Korea and China to open a Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) -

□ In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the first Korea-China intellectual property (IP) heads meeting in November 1992, cooperation on IP between the two countries will be largely expanded.

o (Patent Prosecution Highway)
Commissioner Lee Soo-won of the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Commissioner TIAN Lipu of the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO) at the 17th Korea-China heads meeting held in Beijing on November 2 (Wed) to open a Korea-China Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) and Patent Cooperation Treaty - Patent Prosecution Highway (PCT-PPH) starting 1 March 2012.

- Commissioner Lee said, “There were 390,000 patent applications filed in China in 2010 (about 340,000 more than Japan) ranking it second in the world among patent filing countries. As such, the Chinese market has become increasingly important in terms of IP rights. The PPH established between the two countries will make it easier and quicker for Korean companies to register patents in China.”

o (Expanded cooperation between the IP offices of Korea and China)
At the heads meeting, both sides agreed to continue to manage a consultative body of experts on patent examination, informatization, training and designs in order to harmonize the IP systems of both countries. Both sides also agreed to expand and enhance cooperation and exchanges between the two countries such as mutually dispatching IP experts.

- In particular, both IP offices agreed to pursue joint research in order to practice the “civil cooperation of national IP strategies” agreed upon during the summit meeting in May 2010 for the effective implementation of national IP strategies.

o (Fostering IP personnel with Renmin University of China)
During his visit to China, Commissioner Lee also signed an MOU on November 3 (Thurs) with President Ji Baocheng of Renmin University, which is leading the amendment of Chinese laws related to IP rights, to commence exchanges between the academia and governments of Korea and China, perform joint research on IP rights between the two organizations and increase cooperation on education and training.

o Commissioner Lee also gave a special lecture on “Korea’s IP rights systems and economic development” to students of law at Renmin University leading the legalization and development of Chinese IP rights.

- During the lecture, Commissioner Lee introduced Korea’s IP systems and policies and emphasized how policies valuing IP rights have largely contributed to Korea’s economic development. He emphasized in particular that IP rights are critical to driving national economic development and raising corporate competitiveness in today’s global knowledge-based economy. Furthermore, he stated the necessity for the two countries to enhance exchanges and cooperation of IP rights to advance the sustainable economic development of Korea and China.

o (Cooperation with China’s judiciary body)
To expand exchanges and cooperation with the Chinese judiciary body, Commissioner Lee met with Vice-President Xi Xiaoming responsible for IP rights at the Supreme People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China, China’s highest court, and exchanged views on the protection trends of foreign IP companies in China and difficulties faced by Korean companies.

by KIPO

2011년 8월 7일 일요일

Patent regarding medical procedure in Korea

In Korea, medical procedure can not be patented.

One of the requirements of patentability is industiral applicability.

Medical procedures can't be patented in Korea because they are deemed to lack industrial applicability. Only medical instruments and supplies pertaining to surgery, treatment and diagnosis are patentable.

2011년 8월 4일 목요일

2011 Second Quarterly IPR Trends in Korea

- Trademark applications increased by 11.9 percent year-on-year -

□ Application Trends

 A total of 91,225 IP applications were submitted during the second quarter of 2011, recording an increase of 4.8 percent year-on-year.
- By type of rights, patents increased by 4.5 percent and trademarks by 11.9 percent, while designs decreased by 4.2 percent.
※ Utility models are continuously decreasing due to the pre-registration system and the discontinuation of the dual application system (▽ 9.6 percent).

 By nationality, Korean and foreign applicants rose by 4.9 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.
- As for patents, Korean and foreign applicants rose by 4.4 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively.
- By region, Ulsan recorded the highest rate of increase at 72.2 percent followed by Chungnam at 19.2 percent.
- By countries of origin, Sweden increased by 24.6 percent and China recorded an increase of 19.4 percent.

 By applicant, conglomerates and SMEs (small and medium enterprises) recorded an increase of 1.6 percent and 6.0 percent, respectively, while universities increased by 76.0 percent.
- Looking at applicants with a significant rate of increase in the second quarter, Hyundai Heavy Industries stood out in patents and utility models, while Busan Bank and Woongjin Coway recorded a high rate of increase in trademarks, and Wooil Fence in designs.

□ Registration Trends

 The total number of IPR registrations in the second quarter of 2011 reached 47,267, recording an increase of 21.9 percent year-on-year.
- By type of rights, patents increased by 19.8 percent, utility models by 36.2 percent, trademarks by 27.4 percent, and designs by 15.6 percent.

 By nationality, Korean applicants increased by 22.6 percent and foreign applicants increased by 18.9 percent.
- By region, Gyeongnam recorded the highest rate of increase at 50.1 percent followed by Ulsan at 47.3 percent.
- By country, Canada increased by 20.3 percent and Japan increased by 11.3 percent.

 By IP rights holders, conglomerates rose by 30.3 percent and SMEs by 12.5 percent. Korean individuals recorded a striking rate of increase of 90.5 percent followed by foreign individuals at 82.7 percent.
- IP rights holders with a significant rate of increase in the second quarter were Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics in patents and utility models, Gunwi-gun (Gyeongbuk) in trademarks, and Sung Sin Art Collection in designs.


□ Examination and Trial Trends

 A total of 39,390 requests for examination were submitted in the quarter, recording a 0.8 percent decrease year-on-year.
- Requests for patent examinations totaled 36,570, a 0.9 percent increase year-on-year, while utility models decreased by 18.2 percent with 2,820 cases.
- Number of requests for PCT international searches stood at 6,245, a 14.9 increase year-on-year, and those processed totaled 5,643 cases, recording a 1.0 percent increase.

 The number of requests for trials totaled 2,718, a 23.6 percent drop year-on-year, while trial disposals totaled 3,713 cases, a 3.1 percent increase.
- By type of rights, the requests for trials of patents and utility models grew by 34.6 percent with 1,689 cases, and trademarks by 31.0 percent with 941 cases. On the other hand, designs dropped by 50.0 percent with 88 cases as compared to the same period of the previous year.


◎ This trend data is based on intellectual property rights statistics collected from the second quarter of 2011 up to July 2, 2011 (based on date of pending, tentative value).
- Actual values may differ from the statistics at the point of acceptance due to causes such as withdrawals and renunciations.
◎ Only new Trademark applications have been summed up.
◎ The rate of increase is based on the same period from the previous year.

by KIPO

2011년 8월 1일 월요일

Request for reexamination (reexamination before a trial) in Korea

Whenever an examiner refuses an application, the applicant can simply request a reexamination after amending the description or drawing(s) . This process is permitted under the revised Patent Act.
Previously, if an application was refused after examination, an applicant had to appeal the examiner's decision of refusal and amend the description or drawing(s) for examination before a trial. On the other hand, according to the revised Patent Act, an applicant does not need to appeal but simply request reexamination with amendment.

Flow chart of a request for reexamination (application filed after July 1, 2009)
①Reasons for refusal from before the date of giving notice of the first refusal, but were not mentioned
②Reasons for refusal which were created by the amendments made after giving notice of refusal, but were not mentioned
③Reasons for refusal mentioned in previous notice of refusal
Flow chart of a request for reexamination
Flow chart of a reexamination before a trial (for applications filed before June 30, 2009, and after July 1, 2001)
①Reasons for refusal from before the date of giving notice of the first refusal, but were not mentioned
②Reasons for refusal which were created by the amendments made after giving notice of refusal, but were not mentioned
③Reasons for refusal mentioned in previous notice of refusal
Flow chart of a reexamination before a trial

Accelerated examination system in Korea

Flow chart of an accelerated examination
Flow chart of an accelerated examination
According to Article 61 of the Patent Act, the Commissioner of KIPO may have a particular category of patent applications examined ahead of the others. KIPO's regulation concerning the procedure for handling requests for accelerated examination provides that applications eligible for such expedited examination are limited to the following categories:
(1) in case it is considered that an invention has been commercially worked by a person who is not the applicant, after his application has been laid-open;
(2) in case the application is one of the kinds of applications stipulated in the Presidential decree and regarded as urgent
(i) it relates to goods for defense industry and processes for the preparation thereof, as defined in the Special Measures Act Relating to Defense Industry
(ii) it relates to facilities for the prevention of environmental pollution or a process thereof
(iii) it is directly involved in the promotion of export as evidenced by export records, a letter of credit, a request for validating patent rights from the buyer of expected goods, or documents related to the adoption of international standards
(iv) it is made officially by an employee of the central government, a local government(including application filed by exclusive organizations for technology transfer and commercialization, which were established in national and public school)
(v) patent applications that the KIPO Commissioner and the heads of patent offices in other countries agreed to examine on a priority basis
(vi) applications about which anyone requests one of the KIPO-approved agencies(namely the Korea Institute of Patent Information/WIPS Co., Ltd./the Korea IP Protection Technology Institute Co., Ltd./and the IP Solution Co., Ltd.) to conduct the prior art search and asks the agency to forward the search results to the KIPO commissioner
(vii) and so forth
A person who desires an accelerated examination of his application must submit a written request together with a statement explaining the necessity thereof in detail and any evidence supporting the statement

Korean domestic companies take up 91 percent of the top 100 Korean trademark registrations

-18 companies in cosmetics, 15 in pharmaceuticals, and 12 in baked products as well as clothing and shoes-

KIPO analyzed the top 100 holders of trademark rights over the past five years. The analysis included 91 domestic companies, 7 foreign companies, and 2 domestic individuals. The results showed that while trademark registrations by domestic companies (77) largely increased compared to five years earlier, those by foreign companies (19) and domestic individuals (4) dropped.

Of the registration by residents of foreign countries, the United States led the results followed by Japan, Germany, France and China. Except for France, whose main products were cosmetics, the rest mainly had products in electricity and electronics.

An analysis of the top 100 holders of trademark rights for products for five years from 2006 to 2010, except for the service mark, showed that the rights holders with the most registered trademarks (over 1,000 trademarks) were Amore Pacific (3,608), followed by LG Household and Health Care (1,953), LG Electronics (1,896), Orion (1,392), and Lotte Confectionery (1,215). Among foreign companies, Japan’s Sanrio topped the list (422), followed by Johnson & Johnson of the United States (337) and Unilever of the Netherlands (314).

Of the 234,000 trademarks registered in the last five years, registrations by the top 100 companies and individuals amounted to 36,000, taking up 15 percent of the total.

Among top trademark rights holders, The Face Shop took up 99 percent of registrations in the field of cosmetics, Lotte Confectionery took up 90 percent in baked goods, followed by Coreana Cosmetics with 91 percent, LG Household and Health Care with 79 percent, and Amore Pacific with 77 percent in cosmetics.

Among the top 100 trademark rights holders in the field of registrations, 18 companies were in the field of cosmetics and detergents; followed by 15 companies in pharmaceutical and medical products; 12 companies in baked goods, shoes and clothing products; and 9 companies in electricity and electronics.

Given the current trend of trademark registrations, a KIPO officer explained that many companies look to diversify their business, but they still focus on their main products and pursue specialization of their main products.
-by KIPO

<Appendix>
State of top trademark registrations by companies’ main products
 and registration field

1.          State of top trademark registrations by companies’ main products
(as of January 2006 ~ December 2010)
Applicants
Number of registrations
Main products
Number of registrations for their main product
Share of main product (%)
Amore Pacific
3,608
Cosmetics, detergents
2,787
77.2
LG Household and Health Care
1,953
Cosmetics, detergents
1,539
78.8
LG Electronics
1,896
Electricity, electronics, communication
984
51.9
Orion
1,392
Cookies, grains
932
67.0
Lotte Confectionery
1,215
Cookies, grains
1,090
89.7
Nongshim
743
Cookies, grains
567
76.3
Dong-A Pharm.
661
Pharmaceutical and medical equipment
455
67.8
Samsung Electronics
602
Electricity, electronics, communication
406
67.4
The Face Shop
592
Cosmetics, detergents
586
99.0
Haitai Confectionery
559
Cookies, grains
323
57.8
Coreanan Cosmetics
540
Cosmetics, detergents
492
91.1
Pacific
437
Cosmetics, detergents
333
76.2
Lotte Samkang
436
Cookies, grains
315
72.2
Boryung Pharm.
333
Pharmaceutical and medical equipment
212
63.7
Il-Yang Pharm.
307
Pharmaceutical and medical equipment
254
82.7

  Of the top 100 holders of trademark rights, the share of main products amounted to over 50 percent for which companies had over 300 trademark registrations

2.          State of registration of companies with top trademark registrations by field
(as of January 2006 ~ December 2010)
Rank
Product type
Number of top companies
Number of companies with over 50 percent registration for their main products
Comment
1
Cosmetics, detergents
18 (15)
12 (10)
( ) is the number of companies five years earlier
2
Pharmaceutical and medical equipment
15 (13)
11 (10)
3
Baked goods, grains
12 (16)
6 (7)
4
Clothes, shoes
12 (11)
1 (2)
5
Electricity, electronics and communication
9 (13)
2 (3)
6
Other
34 (32)
4 (5)




Total
100
36 (37)