Annual Technical Report 2009 on Industrial Design Information Activities submitted by Republic of Korea (CWS/ATR/ID/2009/KR)

Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.

The expression "industrial designs" covers industrial designs and models. Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in this series of Annual Technical Reports.

I. Evolution of registration activities

Changes experienced in terms of application filings and grants (registrations) with respect to the previous year

In 2009, the number of applications for industrial designs was 59,537, a 1.1% increase over the number for the previous year (when measured on a multiple class basis). While the number of registered industrial designs was 32,091, representing a 19.5% decrease below the number for the previous year.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide statistics related to industrial designs

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, and distribution of industrial design documents and of secondary sources of industrial design information, i.e., official gazettes

Publishing, including printing, copying techniques and electronic printing

Gazette publication
Since July 2001, gazettes of registered industrial designs in PDF format have been uploaded daily onto KIPO’s website. In addition, XML-formatted gazettes on DVDs are distributed to 29 domestic and foreign organizations twice a month. The master copies of the DVDs are archived after the publications have been uploaded onto the website. In 2009, a combined total of 33,613 industrial design applications and registered industrial designs were disclosed in official gazettes.

Digitization Center (Data Conversion Center)
In January 2001, KIPO began operating a Digitization / Data Conversion Center for digitizing paper-based applications and intermediate documents such as amendments, written opinions, objections, registrations, trials and paper-based gazettes at both its Daejeon headquarters and its Seoul branch office.

The Center automatically receives applications, performs formality checks and data conversions on them. Delays and errors during the conversion process are avoided through the use of state-of-the-art technologies, such as, Multi OCR, dual key-inputs, automated verification of electronic data, and color-scanning technology for documents attached to applications.

In 2009, the Center digitized 83,652 documents, which were a combination of 777 different kinds of paper-based documents, including 3,882 applications for industrial designs.

Data Management Center
Since May 2002, KIPO has been operating a Data Management Center to provide high-quality data services. The Center is responsible for generating data, processing it and fixing any errors found in it. In 2009, data analysis was conducted on the following:

• Database building: 1,339,000 domestic data and 808,000 foreign data
• Data transfer: In order to improve on the availability and accuracy of public data, KIPO provided KIPI with 766,000 raw data on industrial designs in 2008. These are available to the public through a free online industrial design information search service – KIPRIS.
• Media management system: In 2009, 5,425 media collected from foreign offices were assigned individual ID numbers and recorded in the Media Management System.

Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of industrial design information

Industrial design-related information intended for the public (including applicants) from KIPO is usually announced on KIPO’s website. Other announcements include:

• Announcements about notifications that couldn’t be delivered due, for example, to an applicant changing his or her postal address without informing KIPO
•Advance notice on industrial designs expiring due to the non-payment of fees
• Other notices, such as, changes in laws or fees

Internet gazette search service
Since July 2001, KIPO has had an Internet gazette search service, which is available through its website . At the website, customers can refer to publications from the year 2006 to date in PDF format. In addition, they can register to receive notifications about their topics of interests through a push-mail service.

Databases and office automation

With the launch of the KIPOnet system in 1999, almost all IPR administrative processes were computerized including the receiving, examining, and granting of applications as well as the publication of gazettes. In addition, the system facilitated the sending of examination results to applicants via email and SMS, publishing of official gazettes on the Internet, and handling most registration and opposition procedures online. And then due to the KIPOnet II system (an upgrade to the original KIPOnet system), which was completed in 2005, KIPO started offering nonstop services, a work-at-home examination system, a real-time notification service as well as a public service for notifying applicants of when their applications would be examined. Through the WEB-PASS, which was launched in November 2007, all types of IPR applications including industrial designs can now be filed on the web through KIPO’s homepage. Moreover, in 2008, for the convenience of users, the WEB-PASS was configured to enable applicants to submit documents related to registration, trial or other intermediate processes online.
In 2009, the filing and receiving system for 3D applications for industrial designs was developed. In addition, a commercial MS-WORD-based editor, so-called G-editor was developed to replace existing filing editors. In addition, the existing fee payment system was enhanced.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide access to online industrial design gazettes and to other sources of industrial design information, including download of bulk industrial design data

III. Matters concerning classifying, reclassifying and indexing of industrial design information according to the classification systems applied

Classification and reclassification activities; Classification system used, e.g., International Classification for Industrial Designs (Locarno Classification), other classification (please indicate whether industrial designs are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification is used)

KIPO uses the Korean Article Classification System for Industrial Designs, a unique system comprising of 13 categories and 75 main classes. Although KIPO is yet to adopt the Locarno Classification for examination activities, it cross-references the 9th revised Locarno Classification on official gazettes. For indexing containing industrial design information, criteria such as design classification, applicant, application number/date, publication number/date and registration number/date are used.

Bibliographic data and processing

With regard to prior application and registration, bibliographic data and images of industrial design applications dating back to 1960 are loaded into the Industrial Design Search System, including gazette data of registered industrial designs. Besides, the Industrial Design Search System includes foreign data collected from the design gazettes of the JPO, WIPO and OHIM.

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

File building

Regarding the searchable database for KIPO's examiners, please refer to the table attached below. We have continued building and updating files necessary for improving the quality of examinations with data acquired from domestic and foreign offices and organizations. As at the end of 2009, we had built a database of 30.7 million data comprising 19.7 million data on domestic designs and 11 million data on foreign designs.


Storage, including mass storage media

Industrial design data are stored on disks either in Text, TIFF or SGML/XML format.

Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file

In addition to the searchable data introduced under the file building and updating section above, for easy public access, the official gazettes of the GB, CA, CN, TW, RU and TH are also available at KIPO’s IP Digital Library on microfilm, roll film and tape cartridge.

V. Activities in the field of computerized search systems for industrial designs

In-house systems (online/offline)

Industrial Design Search System
The Industrial Design Search System enables KIPO’s examiners to electronically retrieve and display domestic and foreign databases, including gazettes, design catalogues, and typefaces from Korea, Japan and WIPO. It provides bibliographic data, images, and SGML/XML data.

The system features an electronic folding screen system that compares examination results with reference searches on two monitors. Due to its convenient interface, examiners can easily move to the Examination System to prepare a notification and send it to an applicant in real time soon after the examiner finishes retrieving relevant designs etc.

Trial and Court Decision Documents Search System
With the launch of the KIPOnet system in 1999, KIPO established the Trial and Court Decision Documents Search System for its examiners. Due to this system, examiners can easily access detailed information on trial and court decisions on industrial designs and relevant texts.
Its main functions and features are as follows:

• Full text (or keyword) search
• Individual user interface option on first screen, search items, and search results
• User interface that shows Grid style search results
• Search function by classification code for figures, similar groups, and trials
• A function for checking whether an application is on trial or not
• Check and view function for trials on controversial issues

Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics and administrative support)

As at the end of 2009, KIPOnet had about 43 subsystems, some of which are listed below. Each subsystem plays an important role in managing data produced during the various phases of the IPR administrative processes, such as, dealing with issues that originate in the transfer of data from one phase to another, and streamlining search-related administration.

General Information Management Subsystem
The General Information Management Subsystem generates a variety of statistical and policy data on industrial designs as well as trademarks, patents and utility models by using a variety of information retained by KIPO’s databases. The system efficiently manages large volumes of data and provides end-users with various functions and tools.

Electronic Approval and Routing Subsystem
The Electronic Approval and Routing Subsystem enables electronic approval of IPR and general administration processes. The system comprises of two major parts: an approval system for IPR examinations, introduced with the KIPOnet system in 1999; and an approval system for general administration, launched in June 2000. The approval system for general administration was upgraded in January 2004 and replaced with the Onnara System in January 2007. The Electronic Approval and Routing Subsystem is used for the following:

• Electronic approval: preparation, approval, dispatch, and receipt of electronic documents, management of a document box, and circulation of documents.
• Electronic mail: preparation, transmission, receipt, and management of emails.
• Electronic bulletin board: for the submission of posts and reviews
• Management and preservation of records.

The system has a pop-up window feature, which shows messages on the approval status of documents and could be used for managing individual schedules. The electronic approval system was used for 99.4% of all the documents approved in 2009.

Knowledge Oasis
In 2006, the Knowledge Management System that was launched in 2001, was renamed Knowledge Oasis (KOASIS). The KOASIS does not only represent a change in name, but also represents a significant upgrade to the previous version of the system. The system is dedicated to the efficient management of a variety of knowledge and information created by KIPO staff. It is for assisting them in their work, and enables them to discuss and share knowledge through the bulletin board of the KOASIS website. Furthermore, it offers a keyword search function for gleaning details of approved documents and allows them to utilize various management tools, such as, knowledge maps, knowledge warehouses, personalized portals, and cyber knowledge communities.

In addition, the system enables KIPO to share ideas and knowledge with 18 external R&D institutes including the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) through an online Q&A communication corner. Some high quality information posted on the KOASIS is available to the public through KIPO’s homepage and private search portals like Naver. Since November 2007, it has been linked to the Government’s Knowledge Management System for more extended information sharing between government agencies.

Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), data carriers used

As at the end of 2009, KIPOnet had 50 UNIX Enterprise servers, 66 NT servers, and 20 Linux servers. For higher availability, individual servers are clustered for the e-filing system, IP administration system, and search system and particularly between the Homepage Server and the Portal Server. In case of system failures, the cluster paired systems temporarily substitute for each other. The total storage capacity of the 26 servers including 18 SANs is 359 terabytes. The peripherals consist of 7 backup devices, 5 jukeboxes and 349 sets of network equipment. The improvements made in terms of hardware performance in 2009 are as follows:

• Increased and adjusted the servers, storage equipment, and SAN switch
• Replaced old (outdated) legacy equipment including backup equipment
• Performed a thorough check-up on IT resources to prevent disaster and carried out availability tests on cluster paired servers
• Conducted disaster recovery tests for the e-filing system and the search system
• Installed a security patch for server resources for the general administration system and the search system
• Set up a quality verification environment for the general administration system

In 2009, to enhance the KIPOnet system and related security, we separated the IP administration network from the government network and replaced old network equipment. We also dualized communication lines and devices for the International Intellectual Property Training Institute (IIPTI) and increased the communication lines between KIPO and the Korea Post. For fee payment service, we established an exclusive communication line with our bank and installed intrusion detection systems to prevent computer hacking. Additional communication lines were introduced as follows:

• 2Mbps * 1 line between KIPO Headquarters and the IIPTI
• 2Mbps * 1 line between KIPO Headquarters and the National Computing & Information Agency (NCIA)
• 10Mbps * 1 line between KIPO’s Seoul Branch Office and the Central Government Complex

For databases, performance tests are regularly conducted with support from Oracle. In addition, we continuously upgrade the backup tools, middleware, and web servers to improve the KIPOnet system’s performance and functionality.

As at the end of 2009, about 199 commercial software applications were in use. The software applications can be grouped into three major groups and are mostly related to database and middleware. The major groups are:

• 184 perpetual licensed software including DBMS and web servers
• 7 subscription licensed software including V3
• 8 packaged software for KOASIS, web mail, messenger, performance management, electronic approval, six sigma, and etc.

VI. Administration of industrial design information products and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, registering designs, assisting clients with search procedures, obtaining official publications and registry extracts)

Planning, administration, automation, security

The Information Policy Bureau organizes comprehensive services for the public by managing the IP Digital Library and the e-Filing Portal System, while other departments support customers according to their duties and responsibilities.

e-Filing Portal System
Since 2001, for the convenience of applicants, KIPO has served the public through the e-Filing Portal System implemented at KIPO’s website. This portal helps applicants to file all kinds of industrial property applications online with the applicant code and digital signature authorized by KIPO via the Internet. In addition, they can change their personal information on the website, pay their fees via Internet banking, and are informed of the legal status of their applications. They are also informed in advance, of when their applications will be examined by e-mail and/or SMS. Furthermore, applicants can request and receive certificates, download electronic dossiers, such as, priority certificates via the Internet, and check the status of their requests.

Besides, individual applicants can check the status of their applications through an HTML-based service titled “How is my application going?” and enterprises, universities, institutes and IP law firms through a SOAP-based web service. This e-Filing Portal System is linked to the WEB-PASS, which is a web-based e-filing system used for receiving all kinds of IPR applications including industrial designs. In 2008, the WEB-PASS service was extended to include intermediate, registration and trial documents. In 2009, its functions were enhanced so as to enable it to serve as an individual information management portal that enables users to have their own information boxes. It enables enterprise management of information and allows users to share knowledge through blogs.

IP Digital Library
The IP Digital Library located at KIPO’s headquarters supports its customers by enabling them to search for industrial design information in a variety of formats including online, microfilm, and paper, as well as of journals and magazines the Library has. They could also order copies of published applications for industrial designs as filed.

Customer Service Center
To integrate scattered counseling resources and promptly provide technical advice, the Customer Service Center was established in March 2002. Its roles can be summarized as follows:

• Counseling: procedural and technical advice on (electronic) filing, examination, registration, trial, search and use of industrial design information, and on the evaluation of disputes, such as IPR infringement
• Customer Relationship Management: customized information based on the record of past phone requests and opinions collected through customer satisfaction surveys for better policies and promotional events
• Outreach service: informs applicants in advance that their applications would be extinguished and suggests reasonable solutions
• Others: managing a quick response system that is available on the Internet

In terms of security, the digital signature of electronic documents is used based on a public key infrastructure for encryption and decoding. To protect customers’ computers from external attack, a lot of security equipment such as IDS, firewall, and VPN have been deployed.

Unauthorized access to the main database is prohibited via database security tools. 24-7 Enterprise Security Management has been introduced for security equipments and servers. Also, a key logger security and a hacking-diagnostic system are used for protecting PCs against other risks, such as spy wares; and a single sign-on system has been implemented for tighter security in accordance with the standardized Directory Access Protocol.

The KIPOnet system won the ISO 27001 certification in 2006 in recognition of its highly secure web services for applicants, secure OS for servers, individual information protection marks, and secure site mark. As a result, among government agencies, KIPO consecutively won first prize in security assessment (from 2007 to 2009) and in private information protection (from 2008 to 2009).

Collection management, preservation

IP Library
The IP Digital Library archives industrial design documents, such as, bibliographic data, abstracts and full texts collected from seven countries and one international organization in a variety of media such as, paper, microform, and CD-ROM. The library also possesses 8,138 volumes of journals, six kinds of catalogues including Elegance and Spiegel.

Information services available to the public (including computerized services and search files contained in libraries remote from your Office and industrial design information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web)

Korea Industrial Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS)
Since January 2001, domestic industrial design information has been made available free-of-charge through KIPRIS at bibliographic data (in text format from 1948), images (in JPG format from 1948), and gazette data (in TIFF format from 1964 to 1997 and in PDF/XML from 1998 onwards). This service also covers up-to-date information on the legal status of applications for industrial designs and statistical information. In terms of its functions, the service offers a view function for hexagonal drawings, a Korean to English (and English to Korean) translation service, sorting function for search results, and popular search queries.

URLs of web pages of the Office's website for electronic filing of industrial design applications

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide information on business procedures such as: filing, publication, examination and registration procedures related to industrial designs; opposition and appeal procedures related to industrial designs; etc.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide a description of information products and services offered by the Office (e.g., industrial design search service(s) and industrial design databases), as well as information on how to access and utilize them

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of industrial design documentation and information

International or regional cooperation in the exchange of industrial design information, e.g., in the form of official gazettes

KIPO distributes its official gazettes on industrial designs via DVDs to 19 IPOs including the AU, CA, DE, FR, IT, JP, PH, SE, SG, and US. And we receive official gazettes on CDs from IPOs, such as, the JP, RO, RU, and WIPO.

VIII. Matters concerning education and training, including technical assistance to developing countries (please indicate URLs of web pages of the Office’s website wherever appropriate)

Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)

2009 Trademark-Design Exhibition (September 2009)
To raise public awareness of the importance of trademarks and industrial designs as intellectual property rights, KIPO has been holding an annual trademark and design exhibition since 2006. The event for 2009 focused on successful management strategies for individual trademarks and industrial designs to strengthen the competitiveness of interested enterprises. The exhibition covered the history of Korean brands and designs on display, by theme, at the 13 different exhibition rooms. There were rooms for the Best Brand Contest Awards, New trends of trademarks and industrial designs, Original/Counterfeit Experience, Hit Brand, Major Brand/Design Rights Conflict Cases, Design Counselor, and the Brand and Design Seminar.

Training courses for national and foreign participants

International Intellectual Property Training Institute
In 1987, the International Intellectual Property Training Institute (IIPTI) was established in Seoul as an organization affiliated with KIPO. It initially offered 11 IPR training courses and then moved in February 1991, to the Daedeok Science Valley in Daejeon with the support of WIPO and the United Nations Development Programme.

In 2009, the IIPTI conducted 69 different courses in a total of 288 sessions in an endeavor to cultivate IP professionals, especially examiners and trial examiners of KIPO, new patent attorneys, IP managers of enterprise, and researchers at universities and research institutes. In addition, customized training courses at the request of other countries, namely Malaysia and Vietnam, were delivered. Also, international seminars and training courses in conjunction with the World Intellectual Property Organization and the Korea International Cooperation Agency were also administered.

IX.Other general information related to the Office that is available on the Internet -- URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that:

provide information on legislation related to industrial designs

contain the Annual Report of the Office

contain industrial design-related news regarding the Office

X. Other relevant matters