특허법인 남앤남

Practice Notes Design law amendment to cover “projected” image designs

Introduction

From October 21, 2021 an amendment to the Korean Design Protection Act allowing for protection of functional “projected” image designs such as holograms, augmented reality, projected displays etc. will come into effect.

With the advancement of technology, projected displays are becoming more and more commonplace and other leading IP jurisdictions are already expanding the scope of protection available for such new developments in order to accommodate this trend.

Existing legislation

To date, image designs (including graphical user interfaces, icons etc.) have only been protectable in Korea when displayed within a defined screen/panel of a physical article, and designs which are realized in an undefined space outside of a physical design article or projected onto any other external surface have fallen outside the scope of available protection. The current Korean IP Office (KIPO) Design Examination Guidelines provide the following two examples of non-protectable designs, in both of which the projected display is located outside the physical design article:

<Source: KIPO Design Examination Guidelines>

Specifics of amendment

A recent KIPO press release contained the following examples of designs which will potentially be protectable in future:

       
Virtual keyboards <Source: www.brookstone.com> Smart bracelets <Source: www.cicret.com> Projected piano keyboard <Source: www.sony.com> Smart car headlights <Source: www.daimler.com>

Comment

Following the revision, which will apply to design applications filed on or after October 21, 2021, a new category of design protection will be available in Korea. It is expected that there will be widespread interest in this development from applicants in various technology fields.

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    2021-06-03 10:12:31

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