South Korea Tries To Patent Military Uniforms To Prevent North Korean's Dressing Like Them

from the that'll-stop-them dept

Two years ago, we wrote about how the Finnish military was accusing the Russians of infringing on their camouflage intellectual property. The Finns had apparently registered the camouflage as a design right, and the Russians were copying it. Perhaps building on that idea, it appears that the South Korean military is now trying to patent the camouflage design of its new uniforms, with the idea being (again) to prevent others (the North Koreans, for example) from copying the uniforms in order to confuse South Korean soldiers. I’m not quite sure how South Korean patent law works, or how it’s even possible to patent such a thing there, but if the goal really is to prevent nefarious enemy soldiers from dressing up in South Korean uniforms, you’d have to imagine it’s not going to be effective. After all, if we’re talking about an army invading or infiltrating, one imagines that they wouldn’t have much concern about how they’re also infringing on the patent. In the meantime, I’m curious if anyone can explain the “incentive” provided to the South Korean military by this potential patent. Is anyone really suggesting that such a uniform would not have been designed without the protection of a patent?

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Comments on “South Korea Tries To Patent Military Uniforms To Prevent North Korean's Dressing Like Them”

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39 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

“Is anyone really suggesting that such a uniform would not have been designed without the protection of a patent?”

Yes, because governments don’t care about the lives of their solders and designing stuff costs money. Do you think a govt will design this if its only purpose was to help save the lives of its solders?

kyle clements (profile) says:

add on

this might make sense as an add-on charge.

For example, when entering the US, a friend of mine who was an international student had to fill out a form with such questions as:

Are you affiliated with any terrorist groups?
___yes
___no

Were you a member of the Nazi party between 1932 – 1945?
___yes
___no

Have you ever illegally smuggled an infant across international boarders?
___yes
___no

These questions might seem insanely stupid at first; but if it turns out that they are in the states for some nefarious purpose, they can tack on an “entered the country illegally” charge.

So, while the law itself might be useless, if the South catches a North Korean on their side, they might not have enough to get him for spying, but they can get him for infringement.

Bruce Ediger (profile) says:

Re: add on

I wondered if this sort of thing wasn’t the purpose of copyrighting/patenting uniforms: “Those evil, sub-human X.Y’s! Not only have they performed Evil Act X, but they’ve also downloaded child porn *and* stolen our ideas!”

Sort of like how every high profile criminal now has a “19 Images of Child Pornography” charge in addition to the drugs, drug paraphenalia, illegal firearms, contraband cigarettes and armor piercing bullets changes.

Eugene (profile) says:

This is hilarious logic. I’d love to see the kind of country that this would actually trip up.

Enemy Brass: Okay, the plan is to infiltrate their base by dressing our soldiers in similar uniforms.
Enemy Lawyer: I’m afraid we can’t do that. They have a patent on their uniform design.
Enemy Brass: Damn! Back to the drawing board then. Unless…perhaps we could license it for a couple days? What’s the procedure for that?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Welcome to Warner Bros...East

The patenting of a uniform might seem unusual or ridiculous right now, but one just needs to look at the example of the Japanese Coast Guard and their ultimate camouflage to understand why it is necessary. If only someone had patented the uniforms they were wearing in this video, it might have been prevented.

Anonymous Coward says:

Well, obviously! (or not.....)

Surely patenting cammo wouldn’t pass the obviousness test for patent either? It’s not like there aren’t already 1200 similar designs or something. Unless they’ve come up with a new zany DPM (dispersed pattern material) pattern that actually hypnotises the viewer or something.. now THAT would be cool!

Hmm Helmetism? Is that “Jedi” for the teens?

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