The Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) is expecting legislative amendments with the implementation on April 1 of the amended bill of the Industrial Design Act for the early acquisition of design rights by expanding the scope of the products for non-substantive examination system (NSES) of industrial designs from 10 categories (2,460 or 22.6 percent) to 18 categories (4,231 or 32.8 percent) for highly fashionable goods with a short life cycle.
▪ Expanded articles which are applicable to NSES: B3(Personal goods), B4(Bags or wallets, etc.), B9 (Clothes and personal goods, goods and parts of wide use), C4(Hygiene household goods), C7(Goods for festivities), D1(Small indoor goods for organization), F5(Advertisement goods, goods for marking and for product display), H5(Electronics, calculators, etc.)
The expansion of articles which are applied to the NSES of industrial designs follows global trends such as the deliberation in the United States Congress of the bill for Innovative Design Protection and Piracy Prevention and the early endowment of rights through non-substantial examination of goods related to fashion. In addition, there has also been an announcement of a plan in Europe to cut short the examination period for designs to two days.
As such, KIPO is expanding the articles for NSES and will introduce an examination system fully in charge of such articles in order to drastically cut short the period. When applications have satisfied the fundamental requirements, for design registrations what previously took 10 months will now take less than a month. Thus, when in comparison with the substantive examination system (SES), the acquisition of design rights will take about nine months lesser through NSES.
Furthermore, KIPO will allow design applications to submit 3D illustrations in IGES format and support over 90 percent of file formats used by companies. KIPO will also allow for the submission of video files for reference in order to grasp the traces of the motion screen icon designs for clearer scope of rights and the improved convenience of applicants.
▪ Applicable video format: SWF(Small Web Format), MPEG(Moving Picture Experts Group), WMV(Window Media Video), Animated GIF(Graphics Interchange Format)
In addition, KIPO will introduce a system of document transmittal to enable certified copies of adjudication to be sent through e-mail for the convenience of applicants.
Lee Young-dae, director general of the trademark and design bureau of KIPO said, “We have organized the design system at the right time in line with global trends. It will now be possible to promptly acquire design rights for goods with a short life cycle, thus enhancing the business stability of the relevant industry."
When related organizations or companies would have requests on the expanded list of articles for NSES of industrial designs, KIPO plans to swiftly communicate them so as to ensure the early acquisition of rights for the relevant goods