Burberry's checkered pattern


Founded in 1856 by Thomas Burberry, Burberry, a British luxury brand, developed gabardine in 1879, a lightweight, breathable fabric that contained windproof and waterproof properties. This fabric has developed Burberry into a global luxury brand. The trench coat, which was made as a raincoat for British military officers, was so popular that it was nicknamed 'Burberry coat' and imprinted the brand 'Burberry' in people all over the world. In the 1920s, Burberry combined a coat lining made of gabardine with a distinctive checkered pattern to create the look we know of the Burberry coat. Since then, the distinctive check pattern has been recognized as a symbol representing Burberry.

▲ flickr.com@kooljaek

Burberry sues Korean school uniform maker,

Burberry filed a lawsuit against a school uniform manufacturer in 2019, claiming that the check pattern used in Korean middle and high school uniforms infringed on the company's checkered trademark rights. It is known that there are about 270 schools in South Korea, including 50 in Seoul alone and 15 in Jeju, that Burberry claimed to be infringing on checkered school uniforms. Schools that used this checkered pattern only on the collar or sleeves of school uniforms were also included.


Burberry protects the trademark of the checkered pattern,

Burberry registered its checkered pattern as a trademark with establishing a Korean corporation in 2002. At that time, the company has been very active in protecting trademark rights by advertising that they will respond immediately if its logo and checkered pattern are used without permission. A checkered design cannot claim its right because 20 years have passed since it was published, but in the case of a trademark, they can claim the right through it because it’s renewed every 10 years. Burberry has been involved in trademark disputes with Korean companies such as SBW Inc. and LG Fashion. Not only large companies, but also small businesses as well as self-employed people such as Burberry Karaoke and Andong Burberry Rice Cake, Burberry have taken a thorough response to protect their rights, such as filing infringement lawsuits.

  intomark.com (Burberry's trademark)

(WIPS online trademark database)

Korea School Uniform Industry Association (translated name) reached an agreement with Burberry,

Following Burberry's continued complaints, the Korea School Uniform Industry Association began negotiations on behalf of school uniform manufacturers. The Korea School Uniform Industry Association announced that, after consulting with Burberry's domestic legal representative, they agreed to maintain the original design until this year, but to change the design of the checkered pattern from 2023. An official notice about the change of school uniform was sent out. As a result, current students who purchased school uniforms are not included, but from the school uniforms of next year's freshmen, the checkered pattern that Burberry claims to be infringing will no longer be available. The association said that it went through a consultation process to avoid as much damage to the school and uniform companies as possible. It is known that school uniform companies are struggling with inventory handling of school uniforms they have already produced.

                                                    ▲ jje.go.kr (Jeju Provincial Office of Education)

 (Discussion for School Uniform Design Change)

Awareness of trademark first,

At some point, Burberry patterns became readily available everywhere around us. Many items such as umbrellas and handkerchiefs use Burberry's unique checkered pattern. In fact, most of these things are used without Burberry’s permission. Not only Burberry, but also the fashion industry has suffered from theft of trademarks and designs for a long time. The deterioration of the brand image due to unauthorized theft has been a big problem. As such, it seems that not only individuals but also domestic companies are unaware of the potential disputes with foreign companies or have complacency. Now, I think that companies themselves should recognize the importance of intellectual property rights and take the lead in protecting rights and preventing theft.


Apple Car recognized by patent


Have you heard of the Apple Car, a car made by Apple?

The Apple Car, which is expected to be launched as a fully autonomous vehicle, has almost everything under the veil. It is known that development began in 2014, but first official mention was made in 2021. As Apple has been leading the trend, many people wondered what the car would look like. Let's predict what the Apple Car will look like through the patents that Apple has applied for.

▲ apple.com

A technology patent that can control the transparency of a glass window,

As Apple showed its own sensibility and design innovation for each product, many people are looking forward to cars as well. Numerous images searched for ‘apple car design’ are all projected images, so each one shows a different look. But among the different elements, there is one thing in common. That is, it adopts a panoramic sunroof. The reason why the panoramic sunroof was applied to all the projected images is thought to be due to the movable panel assembly patent (US11235701 B1) registered by Apple in February. Looking at this patent, not only it can be opened and closed, but also the amount of light can be adjusted by changing the glass transparency of the sunroof according to the driver's operation.


US11235701 B1, 'Movable panel assenblies'

Smart key patent for vehicle control,

Looking at the mobile key user interface (US 17/222568) patent filed by Apple in April of last year, it seems that a smart key that can even control the vehicle will be applied to the Apple car, unlike the existing car key. The drawings in the patent include information on how to control a vehicle with an iPhone. It is expected that the iPhone will be used as the key to the Apple Car as it is compatible with Apple products such as iPhone, iPad, and MacBook. This patent not only controls the vehicle, but also includes a technology that activates the vehicle's lock when the driver drinks alcohol.


US 17/222568, 'Mobile key user interfaces'

  A patent setting destination using intelligent assistant, Siri,

Siri is a personal assistant application that works on Apple's smart devices. The biggest advantage is understanding the core of the command by grasping the entire context. Looking at the patent (us 17/576790) for guiding autonomous vehicles around destinations using intention signals published last May, it seems that it will provide a navigation function using Siri. You can set the destination through voice command, and you can get off by specifying the point where the driver wants to get off. This patent was first filed in 2019, but it appears that it has since been applied again with updated technology.


US 17/576790, 'Guidance of automonous vehicles in 

destination vicinities using intent signals'

Driving with gesture,

Ultimately, Apple is aiming to develop a fully autonomous vehicle that has no controls such as steering wheel and pedals. So, we came up with a way to steer the vehicle with just hand gestures. If you look at the patented gesture-based autonomous driving vehicle (US 10913463 B) registered in February of last year, you can change the driving direction of the vehicle with just a gesture. However, since only basic commands such as changing lanes or parking directions are available, it is thought that it will take time for the actual technology to be applied. It's unclear whether the technology will be implemented in Apple's cars, which are targeted for launch in 2025.


US 10913463, 'Gesture based control of autonomous vehicles'


Apple car raises expectations,

Last year, Apple had negotiated with several automakers around the world on vehicle production, but news broke that they had failed. In addition, a large number of key personnel left, such as Doug Field, who led the Apple Car project, moved to Ford, and Joe Bass, who was in charge of autonomous driving system engineering, resigned. However, Apple is not only continuously applying for and automobile-related patents, but also decided to cooperate with a Korean company to develop the sensor part of the DCU (integrated control unit) that controls all functions of an autonomous vehicle with a single OS. As rumors that the companies Foxconn and Luxshare are preparing to produce cars, consumers' expectations are increasing. How innovative the Apple Car, which is being developed with the aim of launching in 2025, will stand in front of us, as everything is still in the veil, I think we will have to wait a little longer.


[International IP Briefing] US, AU



U.S. Department of Energy Announces $3.16 billion to build battery manufacturing and supply chain for Electric Vehicles (EV)

On May 2, 2022, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $3.16 billion in funding to build battery manufacturing and supply chains for electric vehicles (EVs) in the U.S. based on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

On Nov. 8, 2021, the Biden government signed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a large-scale investment bill worth $1 trillion for social reform and economic growth. The bill specifies more than $7 billion in aid to strengthen the battery supply chain, including investments to produce and recycle minerals without new mining or purchase of key minerals for battery manufacturing in the United States.

 The main contents of this presentation are as follows.

DOE's Infrastructure Investment Act provides $3.1 billion in funding to produce more batteries and components in the U.S., strengthen domestic supply chains, create decent jobs and cut costs. Infrastructure investment is supported for the construction of new, modified and expanded facilities, prototyping and battery recycling. DOE provides a separate $60 million to support processes related to power supply and recycling of electric vehicles.

This funding is a key component of the government's goal to strengthen the US' energy independence by reducing reliance on its battery supply chains on competing countries, and to have electric vehicles account for half of all vehicles sold in the US by 2030.

As the global lithium-ion battery market is expected to grow rapidly over the next 10 years, DOE will continue to prepare related infrastructure and cooperate with the industry in response to the growing market demand.

The ‘Infrastructure Investment Act’ includes investments in electric vehicle chargers (US$7.5 billion), electric transportation buses (US$5 billion), and clean school buses (US$5 billion) in addition to battery manufacturing and supply chain construction.


< Original Source >





Federal Court of Australia granted an appeal from IP Australia on the judgment recognizing artificial intelligence as an inventor

 On 13 April 2022, the Federal court of Australia granted an appeal from the Commissioner of IP Australia on a ruling that artificial intelligence (AI) could be regarded as an inventor.

Dr. Stephen Thaler, an artificial intelligence developer, developed 'DABUS', an AI creativity machine that creates new ideas by connecting and expanding neural networks on their own.

 A research team led by Ryan Abbott of the University of Surrey in the UK applied for a patent invented by DABUS, an artificial intelligence (AI), to various patent offices around the world in 2018 with the inventor DABUS.

Patent offices in major countries such as the UK, US, Europe, and Korea decided to reject the patent on the grounds that artificial intelligence could not be recognized as the inventor of the DABUS invention.

IP Australia also rejected the registration, stating that Article 15 of the Patent Act 1990 stipulates that ‘a patent right is granted only to a person’, so that a non-human inventor cannot become a patentee.

  On 30 July 2021, the Federal Court of Australia ruled that "an inventor … can be an artificial intelligence system or device," stating that there is no definition of 'inventor' in the Australian Patent Act.

Accordingly, the commissioner of IP Australia appealed the above decision, on February 9, 2022, the Full Court of the Federal Court heard the appeal. On April 13, 2016, it was unanimously announced that they would grant an appeal of the director.

According to the IP Australia, the decision confirms the commissioner's view that, for the purposes of Australian patent law, an inventor named in a patent application must be a natural person.


Original source