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Annual Technical Report 2006 on Trademark Information Activities submitted by Republic of Korea (SCIT/ATR/TM/2006/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.


I. Evolution of registration activities

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

In 2006, the number of trademark applications was 122,384, a 5.6 percent increase over the previous year, while the number of trademarks registered climbed to 65,825, an increase of 13.7 percent.

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

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, and distribution of secondary sources of trademark information, i.e., trademark gazettes

Publishing, printing, copying techniques

Gazette publication
Beginning July 2001, KIPO began posting daily PDF gazettes for registered trademarks on its website. This online version enabled us to offer trademark information to the public quickly without charge. Anyone can access relevant information on requesting gazettes through the Internet gazettes mailing service.
Additionally, CD-ROM gazettes are distributed to 32 domestic and foreign organizations twice a month, as well as master CD-ROMs of each publication is archived after the Internet gazette publication. In February 2005, however, we changed the format of the CD-ROM version to XML format from SGML with relevant forms.
We published gazettes on 81,746 registered trademarks for the year 2006.

Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of trademark information

KIPO’s Website
On KIPO’s website, applicants can find the following:
• Announcements of undelivered notifications due to an applicant’s change of address.
• Advance notice of trademark 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 website 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, applicants can find information on granted and laid open applications from the Korea Institute of Patent Information (KIPI) website . Since May 2003, applicants can see the full text of the corrected applications on KIPO’s website. They are also notified about their interests through a push-mail service and Short Message System (SMS).

Word processing and office automation

KIPO automated all administrative processes including applications, examination, and gazette publishing. In 2001, we at KIPO enabled communication of examination results to applicants via the Internet or mobile telecommunication service, published official gazettes on the Internet, and handled most registration and opposition procedures on-line. By starting development of the On-line Trial System in 2002, KIPO computerized most IPR administration.
From 2003 to 2004, in order to implement KIPOnet II, the next version of KIPOnet, we collected approximately 740 customer opinions through Customer Service Requests (CSRs), suggestions from external users groups, KIPOnet supporters, and other users. Based on the results, we analyzed 1800 existing tasks to make detailed measurements in 2003. Consequently, with the launch of KIPOnet II in 2005, KIPO provided nonstop service, a work-at-home examination environment, and real-time notification service.
In 2006, KIPO began public service to let applicants know when their applications will be examined as well as continue to increase the quality of the KIPOnet II.

Techniques used for the generation of trademark information (printing, recording, photocomposing, etc.)

Digitalization Center (Data Conversion Center)
In January 2001, KIPO began operating the Digitalization Center (or Data Conversion Center) to digitize paper-based applications for trademarks as well as patents, utility models, 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 Center automatically handles receiving, formality checking and data converting in the same process and prevents delays or errors during the conversion process by applying state-of-the-art technology such as Multi OCR, dual key-inputs, automated verification of electronic data, and color-scanning technology.
In 2006, the Center digitized 193,961 documents, which used a combination of 647 different kinds of paper-based documents, including 13,233 trademark applications.

Data Management Center
Since May 2002, KIPO has managed the Data Management Center. The Center provides high-quality data services through systematic analysis; it generates and processes data, and fixes data errors. In 2006, data analysis was conducted on the following:
• Data generation: digitalization of 42,000 trademark applications plus four rejected marks
• Data verification: titles of word marks and images from 75,000 trademark applications
• Data transfer: In order to improve public data availability and accuracy, KIPO provided KIPI with the 1593 thousands raw data pieces for trademarks. KIPI serves the public by packaging raw data as well making such raw data available through a free trademark information search service on the Internet called the KIPRIS.
• Media management system: In 2005, the Center also established a system for managing information on media collected from foreign offices. It gave an individual ID number to 1652 media each and entered relevant information into the system in 2006.

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

III. Matters concerning classifying, reclassifying and indexing of trademark information

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 (please indicate whether goods and services for the registration of marks and whether the figurative elements of marks are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification(s) is (are) used)

Classification of goods and services
For the classification of goods and services, KIPO started to use the Nice Classification System in March 1998, and officially became a party to the Nice Agreement in January 1999. In the pursuit of greater fairness and objectivity, we continue to revise the examination guidelines and published a directory for classifying similar goods and services. Beginning 2007, we are going to adopt the 9th Nice classification system.
We organized a study group to investigate classification of trade and service marks within KIPO staff in order to share information on classification systems and improve examiner’s skills in December 2004. In 2006, we also elaborated database of goods and service marks by fixing some errors.

Classification of the figurative elements of marks
We started to use the Vienna Classification in October 1999, but did not join the Vienna Agreement. In 2002, we developed an examination system that could handle the classification and examination of the figurative elements of marks. In 2002, to upgrade the quality and consistency of the classification, we organized a separate team for classifying figures and began to apply the 5th Vienna classification in January 2003.

Bibliographic data and processing

KIPO has used the searchable SGML and XML format for its search system. KIPO’s examiners can search full text searches of registered trademarks published as far back as 1950 and rejected trademarks from 1989.

IV. Trademark manual search file establishment and upkeep

File Building

Trademark Database
KIPO constructed the Trademark Search System based on a database of bibliographical data, examined trademark images, registered applications and rejected applications. The system also contains referral information such as international pharmaceuticals, international place of origin, foreign trademarks, public marks, and geographical indications.
All this data is classified according to the Nice Classification, the Vienna Classification, and the Similar Group Code depending on the type of trademark, letters, figures, and designated products. The data is updated in a batch file periodically for easier text and image searches.
For the enforcement of Madrid Protocol, KIPO established an English database of those designated goods in order to make a system that can automatically gives a similar group code to further applications filed in English.
As of the end of 2006, we held 3.723 million data for trademarks.

Storage, including mass storage media

Depending on the importance and usage of data, KIPOnet’s storage configuration is divided into two sections; the IP administration system and the search system. IP administration systems apply RAID 1 using 50 percent of relating discs, while search systems apply RAID 5 using 75 percent of relating discs. The rest of those discs are used for mirroring and parity.

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


V. Activities in the field of computerized trademark search systems

In-house systems (online/offline)

Trademark Search System
Our Trademark Search System features an intelligent search system that automatically optimizes inquiries for similar scope such as similar names and English-Korean replacement and shows search results quickly. It can classify the search results by similarity fast and accurately.
Our examiners could search international trademarks only: They can search by name for international trademarks filed under the Madrid Protocol and preferentially give the classification code of figurative elements to already filed applications with a priority or those international trademarks.
In 2006, we developed application programs depending on the upgrading of search engine and the change of classification for adopting the 9th edition of Nice Classification and improved screen function showing search results by mark name, or keyword or mixed type by adopting extended Internet technology. Additionally, due to extended Internet technology, our examiners can request correction of information errors founded by them while doing their examination.

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

KIPOnet incorporated approximately 48 subsystems in 2006. 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 search administration.

General Information Management System
The General Information Management System outputs a variety of statistical and policy data related to trademarks as well as patents, utility models, 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.

Electronic Approval and Routing System
The Electronic Approval and Routing System enabled electronic approval for IPR and general administration. 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.
This system also offers a pop-up window showing messages on the approval status of documents and for managing individual schedules. The electronic approval system covered 99.86 percent of all documents approved in 2006.

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 a variety of knowledge and information created by KIPO staff while they complete their work. 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.
In 2006, we made high quality information posted on KMS to the public through private search portals such as Naver.

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

As of the end of 2006, KIPOnet uses 37 UNIX Enterprise servers, 44 NT servers, and 8 Linux servers. For greater availability, we constructed a clustering system between the Receiving and the Sending Servers, the Documents Management and the Publication Servers, the Homepage Server and the Portal Server, Document Management Server and Gazettes Server, and the Administration Automation and the General Information Management Servers, including Search DB1 and DB2, and Search Engine 1 and 2. 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 occurs in the servers.
The storage capacity is 193 terabytes. RAID 1, 5, 0 are used according to the method of data protection. For security, we also keep 34 pieces of equipment such as VPN and IDS. The peripherals consist of four backup devices, 5 jukeboxes and 418 sets of network equipment.
In 2006, we improved the performance of that hardware by improving the disc performance for input and output of the Administration Automation System and Search System. We also incorporated storage for the Search System and strengthened security with dualizing network cards. All these activities aim to keep optimized management of KIPOnet to cope with the rapid changes of information technology by increasing and improving relating servers and system resources. Compared with 2005, the CPU capacity increased 23 percent, memory capacity 15 percent, and logic capacity of disc 73 percent.

Together with the upgrades of KIPOnet to KIPOnet II in 2005, we integrated its network architecture, which was divided into three sections: extranet (or Internet) to enable electronic filing by applicants; IP network to handle internal IPR administration; and intranet to connect to other government offices.
Based on four backbones, the integrated network is protected by firewall and information protection systems such as the Intrusion Detection System, and Enterprise Security Management. Its network topology is Giga Ethernet and the bandwidth is different depending on the layer: Core layer - 2Gbps; Distribution layer - 1Gbps; Edge layer - 100Mbps. Each layer has a Fail-Over function (Active & Stand-By).
In 2006, we linked our network to the network of the Supreme Court so that information on judicial precedents and applications for trademarks could be viewed and shared mutually through a 2 megabyte line between both organizations. Besides, we replaced old 104 communication network equipments with the new ones to improve the performance of KIPOnet II and extended sharing administrative business information with other government agencies.

For databases, we regularly conducted performance tests with support from Oracle. We continued upgrading backup tools, middleware, and web servers to improve the KIPOnet system in performance and functionality.
As of the end of 2006, we used approximately 116 types of commercial software, which are mostly related to database or middleware.

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

Planning, administration, automation, security

The Information Policy Bureau organizes comprehensive service for the public by managing the Intellectual Property Digital Library (IPDL), while each department supports its external customers. Since the launch of the KIPOnet system, almost all of public services are also available online. Examples are filing an application, notifications by email and SMS, trial requests, and copy of certificates orders. Public services are offered online and offline through the facilities below.

IP Digital Library & Local IP Information Center
KIPO has supported its customers through the Intellectual Property Digital Library (IPDL) located at KIPO’s headquarter so visitors can search IPR information in a variety of formats including on-line, microfilm, and paper. They also can order copies of published trademark applications as filed.
To publicize the IPR system and disseminate IPR information on a national scale, KIPO designated local IP information centers in 2000. These centers disseminate IPR information in areas where IT inexperience is widespread, such as industrial complexes, and SME-concentrated areas.

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 trademark 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.
• Outreach service: previously informs applicants that their applications would be extinguished and suggested reasonable solutions.
• 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 IP information centers and the Multimedia Center in KIPO.

For security, we accept digital signature for electronic documents based on the public key infrastructure for encryption and decoding. To protect our customers’ computers from external attack, we operate IDS, firewall, and VPN with equipments and servers of ESM 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We also have a key logger security and hacking-diagnosing system to protect PCs from other risks like spyware and we have applied a single sign-on system for tighter security in accordance with the standardized Directory Access Protocol.
In 2006, we continue upgrading our security level by attaining ISO 27001 for better security of web services for applicants as well as Secure OS for servers’ security and individual information protection mark and secure site mark.

Collection management, preservation

IP Digital Library
The IP Digital Library archives trademark documents such as bibliographic data, abstracts and full texts in a variety of media such as paper, microform and CD-ROM, which are collected from seven countries and one international organization. The library also possesses 6790 volumes of journals, magazines and books 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 trademark information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web)

e-Patent Portal System
KIPO serves the cyber community through the e-Patent Portal System implemented at KIPO’s website.
With the applicant code and digital signature authorized by KIPO via the Internet, applicants can file all kinds of intellectual property online. Also, they can change their own personal information on KIPO’s website. They can pay their fees through Internet banking and are informed of the legal status of their applications by e-mail and SMS (Short Message Service). 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. KIPO allowed them to file a trademark application without e-filing software at our website after an initial demonstration.
Beginning October 2006, we also began public service to let applicants know when their applications will be examined in advance.

Korea Industrial Property Rights Information Service
Since January 2001, we have offered domestic trademark information free of charge through the Korea Industrial Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS), which is a specialized IPR information service provided by KIPI. The service also covers up-to-date information on the legal status of trademark applications, as well as bibliographic data and TIFF images back to 1950 and full text of CD-ROM gazettes from 1998. We also started to offer diverse image viewers such as thumbnail, JPG, and PDF in 2005.
In 2006, we changed service rules so that users had to have a membership to download or print documents viewed by them. We also reduced data-loading period to just within one day after to increase the service quality. Consequently, the search hits of this service reached over 10 million only in 2006.

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 trademarks; opposition and appeal procedures related to trademarks; 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., trademark search service(s), trademark databases, etc.), as well as information on how to access and utilize them

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of trademark documentation and information

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

We have exchanged Official Gazette of Trademarks on CD-ROM with 22 countries and five international organizations, including the AU, CA, DE, ES, FR, GR, IR, IT, JP, PH, RU, SE, SG, TR, US and the EP.

Exchange of machine-readable information


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)

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 a KIPO affiliated organization. It initially offered 11 IPR training courses and moved to the Daedeok Science Valley in Daejeon with the support of WIPO and the UNDP in February 1991. As of 2006, of the total 77 courses, IIPTI offers six courses for foreign trainees.
IIPTI also gave an opportunity to Least Developed Countries (LDCs) by holding a workshop on formulation and implementation of IP outreach strategies and supported consultation on an establishment of IP training center for Azerbaijan in cooperation with WIPO.

Main trademark and industrial property information magazines/journals published in the country or region of the Office


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 trademarks

contain the Annual Report of the Office

X. Other relevant matters