Annual Technical Report 2004 on Industrial Design Information Activities submitted by Republic of Korea (SCIT/ATR/ID/2004/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 2004, the number of industrial design applications climbed to 41,184, an increase of 9.5 percent over the previous year. The number of registered trademarks also climbed to 31,021, an increase of 9.3 percent.

By industrial enterprises, Samsung Electronics filed the largest number of applications (1067) and was granted the highest number of registrations (1043). Of foreign companies, Toyota Motors ranked first in applications with a total of 153, while Shimano Inc. ranked first in registrations with a total of 113.

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
Beginning July 2001, on its web site, KIPO began posting daily PDF gazettes, which includes granted and laid open applications of industrial designs. This online version replaced the previous CD-ROM gazettes that were published in PDF format with SGML data until June 2001 for distribution inside and outside the country. The CD-ROM gazettes included a Korean language font for foreign users and supported English installation when using an English operating system. The Korean language compliant version of Adobe Acrobat Reader had to be installed however for making gazette inquiries.

A master CD-ROM of each publication is archived even after the Internet gazette publication. With this innovation, KIPO expeditiously and inexpensively provided easy access to information via the Internet to its customers while cutting publication expenses.

Data Conversion Center
In January 2001, KIPO began operating the Data Conversion Center for digitizing paper-based applications for patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial designs, and intermediate documents such as amendments, written opinions, objections, registrations, trials and paper-based gazettes at its Daejeon headquarters and the Seoul branch office. The Seoul office receives 70 percent of all applications.

By redesigning the conversion methodology in 2003, the Center automatically handles receiving, formality checking and data converting in the same process. By applying state-of-the-art technology such as Multi OCR, dual key-inputs, and automated verification of electronic data, the Center prevents delays or errors during the conversion process.

The data conversion process is outsourced to the Korea Institute of Patent Information (KIPI), which is a specialized intellectual property rights (IPRs) information service agent founded by KIPO in 1995.

In January 2004, we introduced color-scanning technology for documents attached to applications. In 2004, the Center digitized totaling 364,202 documents, which used a combination of 469 different kinds of paper-based documents, including 6177 industrial design applications.

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

KIPO’s Web site
On KIPO’s Web site, applicants can find the following:

·Announcements of undelivered notifications due to an applicant’s change of address
·Advance notice of patent expiry due to non-payment of fees
·Other notices such as changes in laws or fees

Internet gazette search service
KIPO provided an Internet gazette search service at its web site beginning July 2001. After the publication date, applicants can freely refer to PDF documents via the Internet at any time during the opposition request period. After the opposition request period, they can find information on granted and laid open applications from the KIPI website . Since May 2003, they can see the full text of the corrected applications on KIPO’s web site. They are also notified about their interests through a push-mail service and Short Message System (SMS).

Databases and office automation

Since its launch, the KIPOnet system has been continually improved through development and improvement of subordinate systems. Electronic approval and electronic application-receipt systems have streamlined KIPO’s internal administrative processes and enhanced the transparency of KIPO’s approval process.

KIPO communicates examination results to applicants via the Internet or mobile telecommunication service, publishes official gazettes on the Internet, and handles most registration and opposition procedures on-line. By starting development of the On-line Trial System in 2002, KIPO computerized all IPR administrative procedures except for the parts that require human judgment. In 2004, with the development of KIPOnet II, KIPO made an environment for non-stop service which enables e-filing 24 hours a day, and real-time notification.

On-line Trial System
The On-line Trial System, launched in July 2002, transfers trial dossiers through the E-Dossier Management System, enabling electronic preparation and receiving of the decisive trial documents and the party-concerned trial documents. The system also manages various time limits such as the deadline for filing a written correction or reply, thus shortens the trial period by utilizing trial decisions and a database of cases.

In April 2003, the system included a program for sharing trial decisions with the Patent Court and the Supreme Court. If the Intellectual Property Tribunal informs the Patent Court, or the Supreme Court of a withdrawal of a trial request, those organizations halt the relevant trial.

Online Registration System
The Online Registration System handles all matters from creation to lapse of registration for patents, utility models, industrial designs, and semiconductor layout designs. It maintains semi- permanently all registration-related data, and allows users inside and outside KIPO to have online access to information relating to registration.

Since the launch of KIPOnet in 1999, online payment of initial fees, registration fees, and annual registration fees have been possible through Internet banking and with the completion of the On-line Registration Request System in July 2002, other official fees can be paid on-line, such as fees related to the changes in the register, the transfer of rights, and recordal of exclusive or non-exclusive licenses.

KIPOnet enables anybody to submit an opposition to an application after being laid open for public review. Furthermore, KIPO examiners use the Online Registration System to confirm and give a final decision on proceedings involving oppositions and cancellation petitions. This system helps reduce the examination period and minimizes the risk of misplacing or overlooking physical documents.

In May 2003, KIPO developed a system that notifies an applicant of a deficiency of registration fees or annuities. It gives an applicant an informal time extension for payment, which is about to become due. Even after due date, if applicants pay their shortage within a short grace period, they can keep their IPRs alive.

Electronic Approval and Routing System
The Electronic Approval and Routing System enabled electronic approval for IPR and general administration. The electronic approval system covered 98.6 percent of all documents approved in 2004. The system comprises two major parts: an approval system for IPR examinations, introduced with the KIPOnet system in 1999; and an approval system for general administration, launched June 2000. The system 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.
·Electronic bulletin board: posting and review
·Management and preservation of records.

In 2004, the system added a pop-up window showing messages on approval status of documents and for managing individual schedules.

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 Industrial Design Classification System, a unique system comprising 73 main classes. Although KIPO has not yet adopted the Locarno Classification, it reverences the Locarno Classification on official gazettes that have a search index containing information such as classification, applicant, application number/date, publication number/date and registration number/date. Additionally, in 2003, KIPO included a screen image with icons and relevant classification.

Industrial Design Classification Guidelines
In 2004, we kept publishing guidelines for classifying industrial designs to maintain objectivity in classifications, indicating a variety of practical cases. We completed 52 sub-classes, which are included in15 classes from E group to G group of 73 classes.

Bibliographic data and processing for search purposes

With regard to prior application and prior registration, KIPO loaded bibliographic data and images dating back to 1999 into the Industrial Design Search System. It also loaded national designs as well as bibliographic data and full images extracted from Japanese and WIPO CD-ROM gazettes.

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

File building

Design database
In 2004, we built a database of 71,000 applications collected from design gazettes published by the OHIM. As the applications of typefaces have increased due to the extension of the range of protection under the amendment of the Industrial Design Act, we also needed to establish the reference database of approximately 18,000 applications for typefaces.

Data Management Center
Since May 2002, KIPO has managed the Data Management Center to generate and process high-quality data and to fix data errors by professional data analysis. In 2004, data analysis was conducted on the following:

1) Data generation: one rejected application in 1993, 224 registered applications from 1966 to 1998, 359,000 digitalized applications converted from utility models, 198,567 applications collected fro Japanese design gazettes, 143,786 design catalog arranged by classification symbol from 2001 to 2003.

2) Data analysis
To understand the cause of data errors and to prevent delays or further errors, KIPO analyzes the data of industrial designs in the KIPOnet database and fixes errors using SQL.

3) Data Transfer
In order to improve public data availability and accuracy, KIPO provided KIPI with the 635,522 raw data items of industrial designs in 2004. KIPI serves the general public by packaging raw data as well making such raw data available through a free information search service on the Internet called the KIPRIS .

Storage, including mass storage media

By the end of 2004, KIPO had stored 12.070 million data items for designs, including 10.43 million of domestic data items and 1.638 million foreign data items, in TIFF or SGML format on a Design Search System disk.

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

For easy public access, the official gazettes of the GB, CA, CN, TW, RU and TH are available at KIPO’s IP Library on microform, roll film or tape cartridge. The searchable data in the Design Search System comprises 1.474 million data from the Japanese design gazettes since 1997 and 164,000 data from WIPO design gazettes since 1999.

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

In-house systems (online/offline)

Intelligent Industrial Design Search System
In January 2004, we launched an intelligent system for searching designs. With this launch, we have completely automated examination of design applications, search of tremendous design data, and transmission of notifications, thereby significantly shortening the examination period and enhancing the quality of examinations.

The system can search tens of thousands of designs per minute, not only reducing the examination time by one-third compared with a manual searching but also improving the accuracy of examinations.

It also has a function that enables an examiner to accurately detect and mark any error in the design drawings and notify the applicants of the error. The editing device can also be used for revision or correction, thus expediting the return of the corrected designs.

We also enabled our examiners to prepare and transmit a notification for applicants with Hangul and to search a variety of images with a single viewer. We allow them to confirm the approval status of their reports and the evaluation results of their examination in real time. For their examination report, we improved the memo function that could collectively handle drawing search, ex search, notification preparation, and electronic approval.

To implement KIPOnet II, which will provide nonstop service and a work-at-home examination environment, we collected approximately 740 customers’ opinions through Customer Service Request (CSR), suggestions from external users groups, KIPOnet supporters, and other users. According to the results, we analyzed 1800 existing tasks to make detailed measurements in 2003.

In 2004, we completed fundamental infrastructure for online work-at-home examinations, real time PDF notification, 24 hours a day e-filing service, administration systems for international trademark applications under the Madrid Protocol.

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

KIPOnet contained approximately 34 subsystems in 2004. This was achieved after integrating the legacy systems from 46 subsystems used in the 2003 version. Such systems play a role in managing the data produced in each phase of the procedure, dealing with matters that originate in the transfer of data to the next phase, and streamlining the administration of searches. According to a survey in 2004, approximately 87 percent of our internal users have been satisfied with the service provided by the KIPOnet system.

General Information Management System
The General Information Management System outputs a variety of statistical and policy data related to various types of industrial property such as patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs. It does this by using a variety of information retained by KIPO’s databases. The system’s tools efficiently manage large-volumes of data and provide various features for end-users.

Model Office System
Since December 2000, KIPO operated the Model Office System; a testing interface for newly developed systems. KIPO greatly increased the stability and efficiency of the KIPOnet System by testing modified or newly developed programs under the Model Office System before deployment.

Data Management System
The Data Management System simplifies the procedure for correcting users’ input errors and for changing data in the old systems. It maintains a history of data changes, and guarantees correct changes that promptly meet the requests of applicants and KIPO departments.

Applied Process Monitoring System
The Applied Process Monitoring System aims to prevent problems caused by delays in work processing. It also provides information on problem-management according to application type and application form. The system analyzes the cause of problems and establishes measures to handle them.

Quality Management System
In December 2000, KIPO constructed the Quality Management System to facilitate the management of output, data map preparation, error status analysis, computerized data change and so on. The system enhances work productivity by establishing standardized processes; it systematic process management; and balances the coordinates departmental and individual workloads. Moreover, it facilitates efficient quality management and process improvement through continual inspection of the system and improvements in customer satisfaction. Moreover, the Integrated Management System was established to carry out real-time monitoring and manage performance, error recovery, and security of the internal administration systems. In November 2001, KIPO was granted an ISO9001 Certificate by the Korean Foundation for Quality for its development, management, and servicing of the KIPOnet system.

Knowledge Management System
The demand for organized management of knowledge inspired KIPO to introduce the Knowledge Management System (KMS), in October 2001. It is dedicated to the efficient management of the knowledge through the integrated management of a variety of information and intellectual property retained by KIPO. It facilitates the sharing of information among staff members. It allows KIPO staff to utilize various management tools such as knowledge maps, knowledge warehouses, personalized portals, and cyber knowledge communities. It also provides this information optionally through personalized portals. It helps activate knowledge management by improving the productivity of the IP administrative processes through the Knowledge-Portal system for knowledge-based activities.

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

KIPOnet uses 32 UNIX servers (Enterprise), and 31 NT servers. For greater availability, we constructed a clustering system between the Receiving and the Sending Severs, the Documents Management and the Publication Servers, and the Administration Automation and the General Information Management Servers. The Receiving Server, for example, has a set of programs that enables the administration to cope with the unexpected problems with the Sending Server. In other words, in case of system failure, the partnered server temporarily substitutes for the other. The interoperability of clustering allows time to address the problem. Since servers based on the clustering structure use the same database when applying the Oracle Parallel System, the accuracy and suitability of data is maintained if any failure is isolated in the servers.

The storage capacity is 84 terabytes. RAID 1, 5, S and Auto RAID are used according to the method of data protection. The peripherals consist of four backup devices, 17 jukeboxes and 319 items of network equipment. For security, we also keep 32 pieces of equipment such as VPN and IDS.

In 2004, to improve the performance of that hardware, we dualized our homepage system, upgraded the medium-capacity disks, and as well as implemented a real time backup system between the Headquarter and the Seoul Branch.

For performance improvement, we integrated our internal network into the General Government Network in September 2004. Furthermore, we integrated once physically divided networks into an internal network for IPR administration and an external network for public access, in order to access to the two networks simultaneously. The integrated network has a bandwidth of 100 Mbps. We also completed Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing network between the Headquarter and the Seoul Branch Office.

In 2004, we enhanced the KIPOnet system by upgrading its software as follows:

·Weblog of homepage server: from version 3.0 to 7.0
·Oracle Web server (iAS) of homepage server: from version 9.0.3 to version 9.0.4
·Application Vantage: from version 9.0.1 to version 9.3
·Model Office Server: TestDirector 8.0 sp2
·Web Application Server for the E-filing System (Weblogic): from version 6.1 to version 8.0
·Model Office Server Oracle: from version to version
·FileNET engine: from version 3.6 to version 4.0
·Performance Measurement Tool: LoadRunner from version 7.8 to version 8.0

Even though one server may encounter an obstacle such as a system failure, we can offer nonstop service for our customer by the other server due to the Oracle Webserver (iAS) and individual commercial software clustering. We also rearranged our database in electronic dossier organized by year and improved storage methods for more stable operation. For public service, we improved a function for downloading notifications on our website so that our customers can restart a halted downloading just after hindered on the website. They can also easily get a fast response to their queries from our website due to the 25 categorized SQL queries, which correspond to their queries in natural language.

VI. Administration of industrial design 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

Operation of the KIPOnet system
Since the launch of the KIPOnet System, KIPO provides 24-hour emergency services aimed at stabilizing the server and network. KIPO instituted a System Management Team, which regularly monitors the system and immediately recovers from system failure. To raise the efficiency of the KIPOnet system, and for the convenience of applicants and clients, KIPO operates online filing from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

For the full operation of the KIPOnet system, KIPO strengthened its accident-prevention activities, constructed an around-the-clock monitoring system, and continued to improve system performance. An outsourced system integration company is assigned to the operation of application software and hardware. In particular, the company is operating 34 sub-systems, including e-filing, internal administration and search system, and maintain the main server, storage media and network equipment.

To publicize and elaborate the KIPOnet system, we continue to stabilize the system with the operation of a User Help Desk and an On-site Trouble-shooting Team. Lectures on how to use e-filing system and online services at the International IP Training Institute (IIPTI) are also given.

In addition, to efficiently manage its clients and promote various online services to the general public, KIPO introduced the patent-CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and began the operation of Call Center. Both provide a single window for guidance or professional counseling on IPR protection. As a result, KIPO can accumulate client feedback for better policies and IT strategies for the future.

Our security system is based on the public key infrastructure for the encryption and decoding of applications. In addition, we have applied a single sign-on system for tighter security in accordance with the standardized Directory Access Protocol.

Quality Improvement of Public Service
In December 2004, we established a disaster recovery system for e-filing and planned to extend this to examination, trial, and registration within 2005 and to the search system within 2006. As measurements for better performance of the KIPOnet system, we upgraded e-filing software so that an applicant can perform formality check of his or her application before filing with KIPO. We simplified relevant procedures for applicants by reducing to 267 kinds of documentary forms from 459. We also offer customized service through homepage reorganization. Finally we created the infrastructure for non-stop e-filing services.

Collection management, preservation

IP Library
The IP Library archives industrial design documents such as bibliographic data, abstracts and full texts in a variety of media such as paper, microform and CD-ROM. The documents are collected from four countries and one international organization, including 165 CD-ROMs and DVDs. The library also possesses 172 kinds of industrial design journals and catalogs such as Elecgance and Spiegel donated by or purchased from other sources.

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).

e-Patent Portal System
KIPO established the e-Patent Portal System to transform KIPO's Web site into an on-line service for the cyber community.

For online registration and e-filing, applicants can make requests for applicant codes each and the use of electronic documents at once in order to get digital signatures and codes via the Internet. At this time, KIPO encourages the widespread use of digital signatures by authorized organizations. With the applicant code and digital signature, they can file all kinds of intellectual property online with the ease of sending e-mail. Also, they can change their own personal information on KIPO’s web site.

They can pay their fees through Internet banking, and they are informed of the legal status of their applications by e-mail and SMS (Short Message Service).

At KIPO’s web site, they can also request and receive seven kinds of certificates, download eight kinds of electronic dossiers such as priority certificates via the Internet, and check how far their requests have been processed. Moreover, “by one call or by one click” customers can get answers to most questions concerning intellectual property rights. This interactive process has overcome the limitation of the one-way notification system.

Korea Industrial Property Rights Information Service
Since KIPI’s independence in December 2001, the Korea Industrial Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS) provided specialized IPR information services.

In 2004, free online access was provided to approximately 884,000 data of industrial design information records. The number of users increased to 4.2 million from 4.1 million in 2003.

Local Patent Information Center
To publicize the IPR system and disseminate IPR information on a national scale, KIPO designated local patent information centers in 2000. These centers disseminate IPR information in areas where IT inexperience is widespread, industrial complexes, and in SME-concentrated areas.

In 2004, approximately 78,393 people used these centers for acquiring IP information, or receiving consultation via a visit or on the telephone. Also, 17,572 participants received free IPR education through special local programs.

Call Center
To integrate scattered counseling resources and promptly provide technical advice, KIPO established its Call Center in March 2002. Its roles can be divided as follows:

·Counseling: procedural and technical advice for (electronic) filing, examination, registration, and trial, search and use of industrial design information, and evaluations for disputes such as IPR infringement

·Customer Relationship Management: customized information offerings based on the consultation records of past phone requests and opinions collected through customers’ satisfaction survey for better policies and promotional events

·Other: managing a quick response system on the Internet, dispatching a troubleshooter to help applicants with e-filing, on-line meetings between an examiner and an applicant through the local patent information centers and the Multimedia Center in KIPO.

In 2004, the total 30 staff of the Center fielded 450,000 inquiries

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 disseminates its Official Gazette of Designs on CD-ROM to 23 countries and two international organizations, including the AU, CA, DE, ES, FR, GR, IR, IT, JP, PH, RU, SE, SG, TR, US and the EP. KIPO receives official gazettes on CD-ROM from such IPOs as the JPO, ROSPATENT, and WIPO.

VIII. Matters concerning education and training including technical assistance to developing countries

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

Presentation of the KIPOnet system at international events
KIPO reiterated the efficiency of the KIPOnet system at the following events:

·Presenting the KIPOnet system as a model case for e-government at the International Innovation Exhibition held in Seoul in July 2004, amid participants from 70 countries sponsored by the International Institute of Administrative Sciences and the International Association of Schools and Institutes of Administration.
·Published the Innovation Inventor, Your KIPOnet in June 2004 and distributed to foreign IPOs and visitors to KIPO
·Participated in EPIDOS Annual Conference 2004 in Luxembourg and 2004 Patent Information Fair & Conference in Tokyo in October 2004
·Participated in Far East meets West in Vienna - Forum on patent information from Japan and the Far East in November 2004.

Training courses for national and foreign participants

Cyber International Patent Academy
The Cyber International Patent Academy opened in May 2002. It trains a diverse group of people interested in IPRs and inventions in general from elementary students to senior citizens. In the courses, experts in industry, law, administration, and education present relevant IP information, including basic knowledge of IPRs.

In 2004, the academy extended to 85 courses from 57 courses in 2003 and hosted approximately 63,000 users. In particular, the Academy had agreements with 16 universities for promotion and use. Of those universities, seven universities granted class credit to the 2700 students who finished the Cyber IP Academy courses with the help of individual tutor.

KIPO is also developing interactive multimedia content on intellectual property (IP) for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) under an agreement with WIPO in November 2004. KIPO agreed with the WIPO Worldwide Academy to jointly launch courses such as DL-101 (covering the main areas of IPR in English) and KL-101 (covering science technologies in IP in Korean) for students of domestic universities affiliated with KIPO.

International Intellectual Property Training Institute
In 1987, the International Intellectual Property Training Institute (IIPTI) was established in Seoul as a KIPO affiliated organization. It initially offered 11 IPR training courses and moved to Daedeok Science Valley in Daejeon with the support of WIPO and the UNDP in February 1991. As of 2004, of the total 80 courses, IIPTI offers three courses for foreign trainees as follows:

·WWA Seminar on IPR: 3-day Seminar for people who have completed Distance Learning (DL-101) provided by WIPO/WWA to discuss international intellectual property rights trend and its development

·Introduction of Korean IPR (Sponsored by KOICA): 14-day course for public officials working on IP related area from developing countries and LCD countries to introduce Korean policies of promoting invention, techniques in invention and other education, and the exchange of information related to invention education with participating countries

·WIPO Asia Region Seminar: 3-day seminar to discuss the latest issues and trends in the areas of domestic and international intellectual property rights with Asia and Pacific region developing countries’ government officials and IP experts

The Institute also jointly launched a distance-learning course with the WIPO Worldwide Academy in the spring and autumn of 2004. The course is three-month distance learning course (DL101 of WIPO/WWA) about patent, trademark and copyrights for the general public, while The Cyber International Patent Academy run the same course for college students.

Assistance to developing countries (sending consultants and experts, receiving trainees from developing countries, etc.)

Technical Cooperation Project for developing countries
Succeeding in ISP consulting for Thailand in 2003, we conducted further ISP consulting service for Vietnam in May 2004. According to the Technical Cooperation Project of IP Automation in APEC Region, by matching APEC’s funds with an equivalent sum, we have successfully conducted technical consultations on automation for those IPOs.

We analyzed the IP procedures and IT status of each Office, and established an ISP to give direction to its policies on IP automation. The results and KIPO's experience acquired during the development of KIPOnet show that a universal automation vision could be applied to all IPOs with the help of efforts to harmonize IPR administration. Most problems that IPOs face during system development can be prevented by common strategies since problems stem from similar causes.

IX. Other relevant matters