Annual Technical Report 2007 on Trademark Information Activities submitted by Republic of Korea (SCIT/ATR/TM/2007/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 2007, the number of trademark applications was 132,228, an 8.1% increase over the number for the previous year. While the number of registered trademarks was 60,361, representing an 8.3% decrease when compared with the number for the previous year.

Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year

In 2007, the number of trial petitions on trademarks rose by 16.9% to 7,081 over the number for 2006.

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
In July 2001, KIPO began daily-posting PDF gazettes on registered trademarks on its website. In addition, XML DVD-ROM gazettes are distributed to 29 domestic and foreign organizations twice a month. The master DVD-ROMs of the publications are archived after the publications are uploaded to the Internet. In 2007, we published gazettes on 75,574 registered trademarks.

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 about notifications that couldn’t be delivered due to applicants changing their addresses.
• Advance notice on trademarks expiring due to the non-payment of fees.
• Other notices, such as, changes in laws, fees etc.

Internet gazette search service
Since 2001, KIPO has had an Internet gazette search service, which is available through its website . At this website, customers can refer to publications from the year 2002 to date in PDF format. In addition, they can be sent notifications about their areas of interests through a push-mail service or a Short Message Service (SMS).

Word processing and office automation

With the launch of the KIPOnet system in 1999, KIPO automated almost all its administrative processes, including the receiving of applications, examination of applications, granting and publishing of gazettes. In addition, KIPO enabled the communication of examination results to applicants via the Internet or SMS, published official gazettes on the Internet, and handled most of the registration and opposition procedures online.

Due to the KIPOnet II system, which was developed in 2005 as an upgraded version of the KIPOnet system, KIPO now offers nonstop services, a work-at-home examination service, a real-time notification service as well as a public service for notifying applicants of when their applications will be examined.

In November 2007, KIPO started supporting applicants e-filing using the WEB-PASS system. The WEB-PASS system is a web-based e-filing system for all types of IPR applications, including trademarks.

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

Digitalization Center (Data Conversion Center)
In January 2001, KIPO began operating a Digitalization / Data Conversion Center for digitizing paper-based applications for trademarks 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 conversion on them. Delays and/or errors during the conversion process is avoided through applying state-of-the-art technology, such as, Multi OCR, dual key-inputs, automated verification of electronic data, and color-scanning technology.

In 2007, the Center digitized 166,233 documents, which were a combination of 777 different kinds of paper-based documents, including 12,489 trademark applications.

Data Management Center
Since May 2002, KIPO has been managing a Data Management Center. The Center provides high-quality data services; generates and processes data, and fixes data errors. In 2007, data analysis was conducted on the following:

• Data generation: digitalization of 1,130,000 data on trademarks.
• Data verification: 1,000 bibliographic and sample data on trademarks.
• Data transfer: In order to improve on the availability and accuracy of public data, KIPO provided KIPI with 1,901,000 raw data on trademarks. These are available to the public through a free online trademark information search service - KIPRIS.
• Media management system: Individual ID numbers were given to 1,737 media collected from foreign offices to be entered into the system in 2007.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide access to online trademark gazettes and to 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 using the Nice Classification System in March 1998, and officially became a party to the Nice Agreement in January 1999. In pursuit of greater fairness and objectivity, we continue to revise the examination guidelines and published a directory for classifying similar goods and services. In December 2004, we organized an internal study group to investigate the classification of trade and service marks, share information on classification systems, and improve on examiners’ skills. Since 2007, we have been using the 9th edition of the Nice classification system.

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

Bibliographic data and processing

KIPO uses the searchable SGML and XML formats for its search system. Our examiners can perform full text searches of registered trademarks published as far back as 1950, including those rejected since 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 and rejected applications. The system also contains referral information such as international pharmaceuticals, international place of origin, foreign trademarks, public marks, and geographical indicators.

All these data are 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 periodically updated in a batch file for easier text and image searches.
As at the end of 2007, we held 4,853,000 data on trademarks.

Storage, including mass storage media

Depending on the importance and use of data, KIPOnet’s storage configuration is divided into two sections; the section for the IP administration system and the section for the search system. The IP administration system applies RAID 1 using 50% of the discs, while the search system applies RAID 5 using 75% of the discs. The rest of the discs are used for mirroring and parity.

V. Activities in the field of computerized trademark search systems

In-house systems (online/offline)

Trademark Search System
The Trademark Search System enables KIPO’s examiners to search for domestic and international trademark information from designated offices under the Madrid Protocol. It provides bibliographic data, images, and SGML/XML data. The online searches can be conducted by the mark name, application number/date, or by the applicant’s name.

Without inputting a keyword, our examiners can view similar marks by the basic name of the mark through the intelligent search function of this system. They can also conduct step-by-step searches ranging from full-match searches to partial-match searches, as well as figurative and Japanese cross-match searches.

The major improvements to the Trademark Search System in 2007 were:

• For word marks, the sorting function of the search results was improved to reflect the status of applications, such as, ‘registered’, ‘on examination’, and ‘rejected.’ Hangul queries are automatically translated into English and then the relevant data are retrieved.
• On the viewing of search results, designated goods defined by similar group code can be checked.
• It was adapted to reflect recent legal changes including the introduction of motion marks.
• The search functions for figurative marks were improved.

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

In 2007, the KIPOnet system integrated approximately 39 subsystems. Each subsystem plays a role in managing the data produced during the various phases of the procedure; such as, 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 generates a variety of statistical and policy data related to trademarks, 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 to end-users.

Electronic Approval and Routing System
The Electronic Approval and Routing System enable the electronic approval of IPR and general administration. 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 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.

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 99.9% of all the documents approved in 2007.

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 our staff. It’s 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 our staff to utilize various management tools, such as, knowledge maps, knowledge warehouses, personalized portals, and cyber knowledge communities.

In addition, 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 among government agencies.

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

As at the end of 2007, KIPOnet had 57 UNIX Enterprise servers, 57 NT servers, and 15 Linux servers. For greater availability, we constructed a clustering system between the Receiving and the Sending Severs; 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, Search Engine 1 and 2. In other words, in case of system failure, the paired servers temporarily substitute for each 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 even when server failures occur.

The storage capacity is 290 terabytes. RAID 1, 5, 0 are used according to the method of data protection. For security, we also keep 43 pieces of equipment, such as, VPNs and IDSs. The peripherals consist of 6 backup devices, 5 jukeboxes and 207 sets of network equipment.

In 2007, we improved the performance of our hardware by introducing more IT resources, such as, 18 servers, 29TB disc, and 46 copies of commercial software to enhance the IT infrastructure. We also analyzed the availability of server resources; adjusted them; optimized the storage and backup devices; and installed duplicate network cards.

In 2007, KIPO increased its communication line from 20Mbps to 40Mbps for improved services at the Call Center, targeting applicants and the public. We also replaced 13 old communication devices with new ones.

In November 2007, in order to create an e-Government infrastructure that can cope with future IT environment and to facilitate the sharing of informational resources among government offices, KIPO’s IT resources were incorporated into the National Computing & Information Agency (NCIA), which has two branch offices. The relocation of KIPO’s IT resources and network equipment were as follows:

• KIPO’s headquarters is connected to the 2nd NCIA office on 622Mbps and 2 lines.
• KIPO’s IT Center was relocated to the 2nd NCIA office.
• The Disaster Recovery Center, which has always been in Seoul, was relocated to the 1st NCIA office.
• In case of disaster at the 2nd NCIA, the 1st NCIA will execute online public services via a DWDM link of 2.5Gbps.

For databases, we regularly conducted performance tests with support from Oracle. We continued upgrading the backup tools, middleware, and web servers to improve the KIPOnet system’s performance and functionality. As at the end of 2007, we were using approximately 154 sorts of commercial software. The software can be grouped into three groups and they are mostly related to database and middleware. The groups are:

• 143 sorts of perpetual license software including DBMS and web servers
• four sorts of subscription license software including V3
• Seven sorts of package software for KOASIS, web mail, messenger, performance management, electronic approval, six sigma, and etc.

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 services for the public by managing the IP Digital Library and the e-Patent Portal System, while other departments support customers according to their duties and responsibilities.

e-Patent Portal System
Since 2001, for the convenience of applicants, KIPO has served the public through the e-Patent Portal System implemented at KIPO’s website.

This portal helps applicants to file all kinds of intellectual 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, they can request and receive certificates, download electronic dossiers, such as, priority certificates via the Internet, and check the status of their requests.

Moreover, since 2005, KIPO has provided applicants with a web-based e-filing service, which enables them to file their trademark applications without a form editor―KEAPS. In November 2007, this service was incorporated into the WEB-PASS, which covers all types of applications, including trademark applications.

Call Center
To integrate scattered counseling resources and promptly provide technical advice, KIPO established a Call Center 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 trademark 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 customers’ satisfaction survey 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; dispatching a troubleshooter to help applicants with e-filing, on-line meetings between an examiner and an applicant through the local IP information center and the Multimedia Center in KIPO.

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

Collection management, preservation

IP Digital Library
The IP Digital Library archives trademark 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 8,067 volumes of journals, magazines and books donated by and/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)

Korea Industrial Property Rights Information Service (KIPRIS)
Since January 2001, we have offered domestic trademark information free-of-charge through KIPRIS, which is available at The service covers up-to-date information on the legal status of trademark applications, bibliographic data, and TIFF images dating back to 1950; and full text of CD-ROM gazettes since 1998. In 2005, we started offering diverse image viewers such as thumbnail, JPG, and PDF and in 2006, started giving registered members access to download and/or print documents viewed.

In 2007, we launched a web service, KIPRISPlus, which enables users to modify databases retrieved from the website to suite their needs and requirements; and we started offering a search function that is based on similar group codes for trademarks.

URLs of web pages of the Office's website for electronic filing of trademark 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 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) and trademark databases), 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 regularly offer on DVD-ROMs, official gazettes on trademarks to 18 trademark offices, including the AT, CA, DE, FR, IT, JP, RU, US and the OHIM.

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.)

2007 Trademark-Design Exhibition (August 2007)
To raise public awareness of the importance of trademarks and designs as an intellectual property right, KIPO has been holding an annual trademark and design exhibition since 2006. The event for 2007 focused on successful management strategies for individual trademarks and designs to strengthen the competitiveness of interested enterprises. It also featured the exhibition of diverse results from KIPO’s activities of over the past 30 years. The exhibition covered issues like the promotion of the creation and use of related IP rights. It was done in seven exhibition booths: KIPO, New trends of trademarks and designs, Best practices of Enterprises, Original/Counterfeit Experience, Contest Awards for University Students, Trademark and 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 UNDP.

As at 2007, out of a total of 71 courses, the IIPTI offered eight to foreign trainees. Notably, customized courses were offered to the officials and examiners of the Vietnamese and Malaysian governments on the special request of their governments.

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

contain trademark-related news regarding the Office

X. Other relevant matters