Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO) Concludes Business Agreement for Protection of Intellectual Property with 10 Online Marketplace operators
- Promise of Prevention and Restriction of Distribution of Counterfeit Goods and False Indication in relation to Patents, etc. -
- Preparation of Turning Point for Online Intellectual Property Protection Cooperation -
With priority now given to online means as distribution structures have been changing, the market size of online shopping malls has dramatically increased.
* Online Shopping Mall Turnover (National Statistical Office): (’16) 65 trillion won → (’17) 94 trillion won → (’18) 113 trillion won
As a result, the scale of counterfeit goods being distributed via online means has been constantly increasing. Especially, since approximately 98% of the civil complaints related to counterfeit goods that were received by KIPO last year were complaints related to online matters, it can be seen that distribution channels for counterfeit goods have changed to online means. It is considered that this is caused by features unique to online means in that there are no restrictions as to time and place and that it is comparatively easy to avoid the regulatory net.
* Civil complaint ratio in relation to online means of counterfeit goods (KIPO): (’11) 72% → (’14) 95% → (’18) 98%
According to such trends, although investigative agencies such as KIPO, etc. have reinforced crackdowns with priority being given to online means, it is the current situation that distributors of counterfeit goods have been moving to venues under lower watch such as internet cafes or internet social media (SNS).
* Exposed cases of selling counterfeit goods via online means (KIPO)
- Social media internet café: (’16) 2,881 cases → (’17) 3,461 cases → (’18) 4,164 cases
Accordingly, KIPO (Commissioner, PARK, Wonju) has concluded a business agreement for protection of intellectual property with 10 domesitic main online marketplace operators such as NAVER, KAKAO, COUPANG, etc.* at the KIPO Seoul office (Kangnam gu, Seoul) on September 19, 2019.
*Naver Corporation, QUICKET, Eleven Street Co., Ltd., WEMAKEPRICE INC., eBay Korea Co., Ltd., Interpark Corporation, KAKAO CORP., Coupang Corp., TMON Inc., and Hellomarket Inc.
Through this agreement, KIPO and the online marketplace operators promise mutual cooperation for extermination of counterfeit goods distribution via online means and prevention of false indications of intellectual property in relation to patents, utility models, trademarks and designs, etc.
Specifically, the following contents are included in the agreement: planning to exterminate counterfeit goods distribution via online means by the sharing of information among the parties to the agreement, jointly conducting training and activities for guidance in relation to online sellers, taking action by providing online marketplace operators with materials that KIPO secures in the course of investigating or monitoring counterfeit goods distribution via online means, and cracking down by providing KIPO with information in the case that online marketplace operators discover counterfeit goods distribution actions via online means against the public interest such as in relation to national health and safety, etc.
Commissioner PARK, Wonju explained “KIPO and the online marketplace operators mutually perceived that active cooperation is required in order to respond to counterfeit goods sellers that disturb healthy business transactions by illegally using platforms of online marketplace operators, and have now concluded a business agreement”, and stated “Through this agreement, online marketplace operators will take further strong actions such as restriction and suspension of using services or deletion of sellers’ accounts such that counterfeit goods cannot be easily distributed on their platforms, and will mutually cooperate so as to report habitual sellers to KIPO intellectual property special jurisdiction officers and so enable such sellers to be charged with a crime”.
Naver vice president GONG, Kijung who participated in this agreement stated “Desiring that online distribution of counterfeit goods is forever exterminated, we decided to cooperate with KIPO and other business marketplace operators”, and he emphasized “Taking this opportunity, we will actively cooperate with investigative agencies and take actions against habitual sellers of counterfeit goods”.
Also, Eleven Street vice president. AN, Jeongyeol, stated, “There was a case of cracking down by sharing habitual sellers’ information with KIPO even prior to this agreement, and we will reinforce cooperation so as to completely exterminate counterfeit goods distribution in the Eleven Street platform in the future”.
KIPO and the online marketplace operators will actively carry forward the cooperation plan by organizing a committee in order to raise online intellectual property protection effectiveness through this agreement, and stated that in order to prevent damages to intellectual property right holders and consumers in the future, they will continuously reinforce this public-private partnership system through government innovation for national communications.