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Newsletter/March 30, 1998 No.38

Revised Trademark Law and Design Law to be Put into Practice

The KIPO announced that the revised trademark law and design law, which includes the non-examination system of design and the cubical shape trademark system, will be implemented this month.
Accordingly, a part of the plane design, such as textile design, can be registered without examination.
Therefore the examination duration required for design registration is expected to be sharply reduced from 10 months to three months .
In addition to the multi-design application system, a multi-class trademark application system will be adopted to provide convenience for the applicants.
Futhermore the associated trademark system will be abrogated so that the trademark, which is not used in commerce will be prohibited from the registration.
The fine for the infringement of trademark rights and design rights will be raised to less than 50 million won from 20 million won, respectively.

The Revised Examination Regulations of Computer Software Patents will be Put into Effect from this Coming August

Computer software recorded in storing media, such as CD-ROMs, and floppy disks will be protected by patents from this August.
The KIPO has announced that it will bring into effect the examination regulations to protect computer software by giving patent rights from August, 1998.
The KIPO expects that the examination regulations for computer software patents will be helpful for the development of the domestic software industry, while patent disputes related to computer programs will be reduced.

The Patent Court was Inaugurated on March 2, 1998

The Patent Court, the first specialized court in Korea, opened on March 2. With the inauguration of the Patent Court, patent disputes will be brought to the Patent Court after passing the patent trial board at the KIPO.
An appeal against the decision of the Patent Court may be processed through the Supreme Court.
The Patent Court will handle the cases with respect to trials against the examiner's refusal of applications, nullification of IP rights, confirmation of the scope of the patent rights and permission for correction, etc.
According to patent attorney's law, the Supreme Court can authorize the patent attorneys to plead at the Patent Court.
From March patent attorneys started to handle the patent suits against decision of the KIPO in the Patent Courts.
The Patent Court is sincerely considering to handle the patent infringement suits against the decisions currently made by local court.

Increase in PCT Applications by Domestic Applicants

Recently, applications using the PCT route by domestic applicants have increased.
According to the KIPO, PCT route applications by native applicants last year increased by 16.9 percent(304 applications) in comparison with 1996.
Taking into account that PCT application has the effect of concurrent applications in multi-nations, the number of PCT application has actually reached approximately 8000 applications.

Korean Applicants Ranked 7th for the Largest Number of Patent Registrations in the USPTO

Korean companies and inventors have registered 1,965 patent applications in the USPTO last year.
This number ranked 7th amongst foreign countries except the US.
In respect to private companies, Samsung Electronics ranked 16th with 556 patents, followed by Daewoo Electronics, ranked 46th, with 213 patents.
 
 
 
 
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