The type of the existing foods in relation with their design patent applications is getting extended to
Sushi, weed, ramen, pizza, Kimchi and etc.
(the possibility of the monopoly on the design patent rights
of the existing foods)
According to KIPO (Korean Intellectual Property Office) on September 27th, 2010, the number of the filed design applications for a variety of the manufactured foods such as bread, sushi, weed, pizza, chocolate and etc. is 1770 cases since 2000 consisting of confectionary with 1195 cases; weed, Kimchi, skewered food and etc. with 179 cases; and meat products such as bacon, sausage, ham with 60 cases.
It is expected that the design development for the manufactured foods will become active and the cases to secure the design rights for them will increase.
KIPO explained that only the person who files the design patent application first can be granted for his design patent application and therefore, when the person, who does not have any design patent right for his manufactured goods, produce and sells the foods, it is necessary for him to check the possibility of the design patent infringement.
To grant the patent right quickly to a design patent application of the manufactured foods which tends to follow the trend strongly, KIPO has examined a design patent application for its registration by using only a partial of the examination procedure since 2008. Further, starting this year, KIPO help finish the examination for a design patent application within 3 months from its filling date.
The person concerned at KIPO warned that it is highly likely for the people to be embroiled in the design patent infringement lawsuit when they copy the shape of the manufactured foods which they are easily exposed to and sell them.