Annual Technical Report 2013 on Trademark Information Activities submitted by Republic of Korea (CWS/ATR/TM/2013/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.



Outline of main policies and plans aimed at development of trademark information activities and expected time frames for their realization

Implementation of the 3rd Generation KIPOnet (KIPOnet III)
KIPOnet III aims to cope with the international environmental changes in the IP area and increase business efficiency and applicants’ convenience based on state-of-the art IT technologies. The previous system, therefore, needs to be redesigned in order to overcome its complexity and scalability through modularization by function and business process based on cloud-computing technologies. The detailed schedule for implementing KIPOnet III is as follows:

- 2010: system analysis and design
- 2011: development of 11 sub-systems including examination system, transfer to standardized DB and construction of cloud-computing infrastructure
- 2012-2013: system development and optimization to 1) stabilize and apply e-government standards to IT systems, including the trial system and 2) enhance public services by enhancing the public authentication system

New projects launched or resumed this year in the context of the policies and plans mentioned above, short description: aims, partners, tasks

2nd phase development project of the KIPOnet III (April 2012 – May 2013)
This project aims to cope with the international environmental changes in the IP area, to increase applicants’ convenience, and to reengineer the system architecture. Detailed tasks are 1) to develop examination systems for Madrid protocol, and 2) to develop systems for trial businesses, and 3) to improve cloud-computing environments.

Main areas of trademark information activities and related information and communication technology (ICT) practices which were in the focus of attention last year

- Server-Based Computing (SBC): to allow users to continue their work regardless of time and place; to fundamentally prevent information leak not disrupting information sharing by managing business programs and materials on a server rather than an individual PC

Statistics: changes in terms of application filings and registrations with respect to previous year; trends or areas experiencing rapid changes

In 2013, compared with 2012 (when measured on a multiple class basis), the number of trademark applications filed at KIPO was 177,685, representing a 10.7% increase; while the number of registered trademarks was 125,846, representing a 23.9% increase.

Other matters and useful links (URLs): annual report of the Office, news page, statistics, etc.

- Annual report:

- Statistics information:


Information and support provided by the Office to applicants regarding filing on paper and/or e-filing (instructions, seminars, etc.) – URLs

To integrate scattered counseling resources and promptly provide technical advice, the Customer Service Center was established in March 2002. Its main services are on the following issues:

- Procedural and technical advice on (electronic) filing, examination, grant, trial, search and use of trademark information, as well as on international trademark applications
- Informing the progress after consultation with additional guidance
- Use of the Expert System (e-filing support system) and remote consultation
- Consultation through mobile web/app or Twitter
- Angel Call service, informing applicants in advance that their applications would be closed along with suggesting reasonable solutions

e-Filing Portal (
At this web page, applicants can file their applications online and pay relevant fees via Internet banking. They can also request and receive a variety of certificates via the Internet and check the progress of their request, as well as be informed of the administrative progress of their applications via e-mail and/or SMS. This is also linked to the WEB-PASS, which is a web-based, e-filing system used for receiving intermediate documents and grant/trial-related documents, as well as all types of IPR applications.

Availability of the application dossier in electronic form

Approximately 94.2 percent of the total trademark applications (i.e., 139,073 applications) filed to KIPO in 2013 have made available in electronic form from being filed by applicants via electronic media such as disc, CD, USB, or online via the e-filing portal mentioned above. The rest of such applications which were filed in paper are also digitalized in electronic format, along with all the other application-related documents including amendments and intermediate documents. This digitalization process employs multi-OCR, dual key input, automatic verification and color scanning. In 2013, 8569 trademark applications and 158,525 letter marks were digitalized.

Matters concerning classifying
(i) Classification and reclassification activities; classification systems used, e.g., International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification), International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks (Vienna Classification), other classification
(ii) Use of electronic classification systems and pre-defined terms of the classification applied

Classification of goods and services
For the classification of goods and services, KIPO started using the Nice Classification System in March 1998, and officially became a party to the Nice Agreement in January 1999. In pursuit of greater consistency and transparency, KIPO also continues to revise its examination guidelines and publish a directory for acceptable identification of goods and services as well as their classification. In December 2004, an internal study group was organized to investigate the classification of trade and service marks, share information on classification systems and improve our examiners’ abilities. Further, for better quality, the database of goods and services were reorganized on a full scale two times both in 2006 and 2011. The 10th edition of the Nice Classification was put into use in 2012.

Classification of the figurative elements of marks
KIPO started using the Vienna Classification in October 1999, without joining the Vienna Agreement. In 2002, KIPO developed an examination system that could handle the classification and examination of figurative elements of marks based on the Vienna Classification. In the same year, a separate team for classifying figures was formed with the aim to improve the quality and consistency of classifications. The sixth edition of the Vienna Classification has been used since January 2008. Following its joining of the Vienna Agreement in April 2011, KIPO began to use the seventh edition in 2013.

For the sake of efficient classification for goods and services, KIPO has established databases of official names and similar names. Approximately 15,000 official names are legally announced to help applicants and examiners identify or distinguish goods and services, while permissible similar names, from those which have been used by applicants when filing an application, have also been selectively extracted.

Matters concerning processing of different types of non-traditional marks (e.g., three-dimensional, motion, hologram, color mark, etc.)

In the cases of three-dimensional, motion, hologram or color marks, applicants are required to attach drawings or pictures (of Resolution 300-400dpi, in JPEG) along with the explanatory notes when filing an application for such mark applications. Sample video in motion or hologram marks should be made in a widely-used format such as WAV, MP3 and MPEG, with a maximum size of 10Mbytes. Audio files attached to sound mark applications (with a maximum 3Mbytes size in MP3, WAV, WMA, etc.) can be played by the PDF gazette viewer.


Main types of publications in the field of trademark information, outline of the content and medium (on paper, on CDs, online – URLs)

Trademark applications are published on KIPO’s website in PDF on a daily basis in official gazettes, as explained in the next section.

Official Gazettes: main types of announcements, frequency of publication, medium (on paper, on CDs, online, URL), etc.

PDF gazettes of trademark applications and registrations can be seen for three months on KIPO’s website ( for two months after being first posted on the website, since July 2001 for quick and easy access by the public. The gazettes are also offered by email to people who have subscribed to the mailing service. Furthermore, DVD-ROM gazettes are produced in XML/PDF format, to be distributed to 10 domestic and 23 foreign offices, twice a month. The gazettes on trademarks published in 2013 contained 122,957 trademark applications.

Information products (coverage, medium, etc.) available to examiners, including external documentation and databases

KIPO has built a trademark database based on applications filed as far back as 1950. The database also includes International Non-proprietary Names (INNs) for Pharmaceutical substances, Geographical indications protected by FTA, Regional Collective Mark protected in Japan, and flag, armorial bearings and hallmark, etc. protected by Paris Convention.

Information products (coverage, medium, etc.) and services available to external users; conditions of access (e.g., free of charge, subscription, etc.)

Korea Industrial Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS)
Korean domestic trademark information has been made available free-of-charge on the KIPRIS website ( since January 2001. The service covers up-to-date information on the administrative progress of trademark applications, bibliographic data and TIFF images dating back to 1950, as well as full text gazettes in XML/PDF back to 1998. It also provides foreign trademark data from AU, CA, JP and US. Registered members are allowed to download and print documents of interest. The KIPRISMobile service, which was put into full operation in 2009, is an authentication-free web service for trademark searches via mobile devices. In terms of its functions, the KIPRIS service offers a Korean to English (and vice versa) translation service, sorting function on search results and popular search queries. In 2013, the following functions were added to KIPRIS in order to improve the service quality:

- Searches and retrieval of three-dimensional, color, motion and hologram marks
- Searches by applicants’ addresses
- Improvement of image errors occurred in the process of being converted

Legal status information (kind of information, coverage, medium, etc.)

Legal status information is made available at KIRPISPlus, a fee-based search service via an Open API targeting web service users launched in September 2012. Such information can be identified with 63 kinds of legal status codes and 199 types of event codes and updated every two weeks. Legal status codes represent the administrative progress of an application, while the event codes represent the ground for such legal statuses, for example, receipt and dispatch of documents. Some examples of such legal status codes are ‘extinguishment of trademark right in absence of successor,’ ‘decision to reject trademark registration,’ ‘trial for invalidation of trademark registration,’ ‘trial for invalidation of renewal registration of term of trademark right,’ ‘trial for revocation of trademark registration,’ ‘trial for revocation of trademark license registration.’


Specific software tools supporting business procedures within the Office: general description, characteristics, advantages, possible improvements

There are a total of 3853 software applications to support KIPO’s business procedures such as search, examination, registration, and trial in 161 types of the four groups, as below:

- System software: 11 types (i.e., DBMS, web server, middleware)
- Package software: 37 types (including PMS, BPM, electronic approval system, Call Center, DW, messenger, career development management system, Homepage portal, DQM)
- Security software: 43 types (firewall, invasion detection or protection, DRM, integrated certificates, DB security, personal information protection tool, etc.)
- Management software: 15 types (back-up tool, performance management tool, batch scheduler, etc.)
- Others: 55 types (search engine, drawing viewer, OCR, PDF converter)

Maintenance for system software mentioned above is conducted by a separate governmentally-integrated center, while the other software is managed by KIPO headquarters.
For databases, performance tests and recovery practice tests are regularly conducted with support from Oracle. In addition, introduction and upgrades of system software such as DBMS, web servers and middleware help the KIPOnet system’s performance and functionality to be continuously improved. In order to protect personal information and prevent unpublished information, state-of-the-art security patches are applied to such software.

Hardware used to supporting business processes of the Office

- Server: 54 UNIX Enterprise servers, 110 NT servers, and 40 Linux servers
- Storage equipment: 29 Storage(1714 terabytes), 19 SANs
- Peripherals: 7 backup devices, 2 jukeboxes

In 2013, the following activities were conducted for the sake of stabilization and improvement of hardware performance:

- Eight times of configuration check for cluster-paired servers for e-filing, homepage, IPR administration, and search systems, etc.
- Firmware upgrading for 13 devices
- Shift of search index and thumbnail image data to memory disk
- Replacement of 5 memory servers for IPR administration
- Version upgrade of event-monitoring tool (i.e., OVO)
- 3rd DNS configuration to support internet services

Internal databases: coverage, updates, interlinks with external sources

The internal database is built based applications and has been continuously updated and refined for search purposes. It can be identified with bibliographic data (1950-, Text), sample images from applications (1950-, JPEG), dossier of rejected applications (1989-1998, TIFF), dossier of registered marks (1974-1999, JPEG/TIFF) and registry (1952-1991, JPEG/TIFF).

Establishment and maintenance of electronic search file: file building, updating, storage, documents from other offices included in the search file

File building and updating
To be incorporated into the search database, trademark data is parsed for the sake of classification and refinement and then uploaded after error verification. As part of an effort to keep or improve the quality of such data, data architecture and data value are prioritized.
Data architecture administers naming rules for logic and physical names, data type and length so that they can prevent confusion of terminology usage and improve data reusability and system efficiency. From the perspective of data value, business rules are continuously created and along with the regular measurements of data value. Finally, data with errors which occur in the process of administrative or business procedures are corrected after consultation with the departments involved.

Foreign data included in the search system
Documents from other offices included in the search file are the same with the referral information mentioned in the section, “Information products (coverage, medium, etc.) available to examiners, including external documentation and databases” above.


Office’s library (if deals with trademark information): equipment, collection management, network of libraries in the country, cooperation with foreign libraries

IP Digital Library
The IP Digital Library archives trademark documents from seven countries and one international organization, which are published on CD-ROM or DVD-ROM. The library also possesses 10,126 volumes of trademark-related journals, magazines and books that were either donated or purchased. The general public is allowed to access to this collection for search and copy services.

Publications related to different business procedures and trademark information sources available to users, for example, books, brochures, Internet publications, etc.

- Business procedures (e.g., filing, publication, examination, registration, appeal, etc.):
- Searches for trademarks:
- Legal system on trademark:


International exchange of trademark information in machine-readable form (e.g., Official Gazettes)

KIPO has provided its official gazettes for trademarks to 19 offices including AT, CA, DE and FR, on DVD-ROM and to EPO, JPO, INPIT and SIPO via FTP.
In addition, KIPO has been provided with trademark data from JP, KG, RU, TW, and VN on CD-ROM and from AU, OHIM and US via FTP.

Participation in international or regional activities and projects related to trademark information

Concerning classification for goods and services, KIPO has participated in international activities as below:

- ID List project: It has been led by the USPTO and aims to establish and exchange goods and services names commonly recognizable among the TM5 offices (i.e., JPO, KIPO, OHIM, SAIC and USPTO). KIPO joined this project in 2012.
- TMclass project: It aims to integrate and share goods databases of participating offices and has been led by OHIM. KIPO’s database of goods names was incorporated into TMclass in May 2013 and Korean language service has been made available since then.
- MGS (Madrid Goods & Services Manager) project: It aims to approve WIPO-acknowledged names of goods, amounting to 10,000, and provide related translations among participating offices. For a limited number of those goods names, Korean searches and translations will be made available beginning in June 2014.
- Exchange of translations and similar code mapping tables for goods names between JPO and KIPO: The JPO and KIPO have completed the mutual exchange of such information according to the Nice Classification (Oct. 2014 version).
- Exchange of ID List translations and similar codes between JPO and KIPO: The two offices completed the 2nd mutual exchange of translations of ID List names (cumulatively amounting to 4,000) and mapping tables of similar codes.

KIPO’s participation in international activities concerning trademark information is as follows:

- TMview: It aims to integrate and share participating offices’ trademark databases, led by OHIM. KIPO’s trademark data was incorporated into TMview in March 2014 and Korean language service has been made available since then.
- Exchange of lists of geographical indications between JPO and KIPO: Both offices exchanged related information. (As of the end of 2013, the number of data items JPO provided to KIPO is 551 and the number of data items KIPO provided to JPO is 346.)