The 2019 Taiwan Innotech Expo opens on September 26-28The Taiwan Innotech Expo will take place at the Exhibition Hall 1 of the Taipei World Trade Center on September 26-28 this year, with 822 booths run by companies, technological institutions, and inventors from 29 countries, exhibiting more than 1,180 technologies or patented inventions.There will be two exhibition areas for this year’s exposition: the Invention Contest area and the Three Major Themed Topics area. In the Invention Contest area, a total of over 668 inventions will be put on exhibition by individual inventors, as well as members from industry and academia home and abroad. By hosting this invention contest, TIPO aims to pick out some of the most innovative inventions with great market potential, and rewards them for their achievement. In addition, there will be also a sub-exhibition, entitled Excellent Invention Collections, where works by Taiwanese gold medal winners at National Invention and Creation Award in 2018 will be displayed, thereby demonstrating the innovative strengths of the people of Taiwan.In the Three Major Themed Topics area, a joint-exhibition held by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the Ministry of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of National Defense, the Council of Agriculture of the Executive Yuan, the Environmental Protection Administration of the Executive Yuan, and the National Development Council, is categorized in accordance with three major themes: technologies of the future, innovative inventions, and sustainable development. A total of 513 scientific research results will be put on display this year, showing interdisciplinary research results and innovative technologies made by different government agencies. In addition, there will be three sub-areas, dedicated to each theme, demonstrating the trading of international technologies under each of the three themes. A total of 91 state-of-the-art technologies will be presented by organizations around the world in these spots, providing industry, academia, and research institutions home and abroad an opportunity to meet up and explore possibilities for cooperation.Moreover, two forums on global IP strategies will be held during the exhibition, with foreign IP experts invited to share their knowledge about technology introduction and cooperation strategies, in the hope of further improving real-term economic benefits brought about by technology transfer. Also, seven seminars on technology trading and investment opportunities will be held, allowing people to exchange views about the trading of technologies while learning more about each other’s patented technologies. Visit the Taiwan Innotech Expo website for more information about this year’s event.More information about the Taiwan Innotech Expo
TIPO to Host Public Hearings on the Draft Amendment to Examination Guidelines for Patent Applications Relating to Medical InventionsIn view of today’s prosperous medical industry and continuous emergence of medical inventions concerning multiple types of treatment applications, TIPO finds it necessary to add explanations of “new medical use” sample cases to Part II, Chapter XIII on “Medical-related Inventions” of the existing Examination Guidelines for Patent Applications. In addition, considering the disputes of recent years involving actual practices of medical patents, TIPO also finds it necessary to examine the current development of domestic medical-related technology industries for further reassessment and review. To this end, TIPO is planning to amend the Examination Guidelines for Patent Applications Relating to Medical Inventions and will hold public hearings on the draft amendment at the 18F auditorium of TIPO’s main office building on September 11 and 16, 2019. Through soliciting public feedback, TIPO hopes the Guidelines can be made more comprehensive and meet the needs of examination work.More information (in Mandarin)
TIPO encourages those interested to learn more about the amended Notice on the Use of Registered Trademarks, published on August 23, 2019The types of trademark use are becoming more and more diverse due to the changes and development in the types of market transaction. To remind and instruct trademark holders to accurately and legally use their registered trademarks and to effectively maintain their trademark rights, TIPO published the amended Notice on the Use of Registered Trademarks on August 23, 2019.The key revisions are as follows: 1. New criteria for determining trademark identity and explanations of sample cases; 2. New sample cases and explanations of actual use of trademarks regarding “addition of other elements such as words or devices,” “usage in conjunction with other trademarks or signs,” as well as disclaimers or obviously without doubts included in the reproduction of a trademark; and 3. Regarding Internet usage, additional principles were added for determining “genuine use.” TIPO hopes that the amended Notice will serve as a clearer guideline for trademark holders making use of their registered trademarks. Those interested are encouraged to learn more about the amendment.More information
Seminar on IP Landscape in New Southbound countriesTo actively assist Taiwanese companies in building IP portfolios in New Southbound countries, on August 27 (Tuesday) and 28 (Wednesday), 2019, TIPO will hold a seminar on IP Landscape practices in New Southbound countries with Taiwan Patent Attorneys Association (TWPAA) at Tsai Lecture Hall, College of Law, National Taiwan University in Taipei.The seminar has the intellectual property office officials and patent attorneys of Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, and India as guest lecturers. They will speak about the invention patent and utility model patent systems (such as application requirements, the time limit for OA response, and patent term), patent examination practices, and the things to note when filing applications and protecting patents for Taiwanese companies in New Southbound countries. IPR can protect a company’s business achievements while generating more value for the company. When entering the local market of a New Southbound country, if using the country’s IPR system properly and setting appropriate IP portfolio strategies, the company shall be able to leverage its advantages more. TIPO expects the seminar to help attendants learn more about the IPR practices in New Southbound countries.For more information, please keep a close eye on TIPO’s website and our Facebook fan page.
New measure for acknowledging claim of priority of design patents comes into forceOn claiming priority of design patents, in the future, only when it is discovered that the date of a previous application or the date of publication of relevant data falls between the claimed priority date and the filing date of a later application, may the competent authority decide whether to recognize the priority claim or not, based on verification documents. If it is not discovered during the search, in principle, the priority claim will be published in the Patent Gazette as requested by the applicant.If the applicant makes several priority claims at once, based on the aforementioned principle, the claims will still all be published in the Patent Gazette. However, this does not mean the design patent in question may (always) acquire multiple priority claims or part of such claims. It depends on whether the content of the priority claims are against the rules relating to “identical designs.” Substantial determination will be in place if prior art is found to be set between the filing date of application and the priority date.The measure was implemented on the date of publication (August 1, 2019) of Vol. 46, Issue. 22 of the Patent Gazette.
TIPO holds seminars on IPR practices for 2019. Presentation and meeting materials are now available on TIPO websiteOn July 9, 15, 18, 19 and 23, TIPO held its 2019 seminars on IPR practices in Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Taipei, respectively. Materials from the meetings are now available on TIPO website.The four following topics were presented: introduction of the highlights of the amendments to the Patent Act and the Copyright Act; trends in patent administrative litigation, including post-grant amendment, new evidences and an administrative adjudication; examination principles of trademarks with the Cross Device; and patent and trademark reminders. The brief responses to the questions proposed by various circles of society on the content of the presentations and TIPO’s work were provided on site, and more comprehensive ones have been put on the TIPO website at a later date as well.More information
TIPO releases “Guides for Using Punctuation Marks When Writing Titles of Claimed Goods or Services for Trademark Registration”When it comes to trademark application, non-unified punctuation marks are often seen in the titles of claimed goods and services, and this can lead to discrepancy in determining the claimed items.To effectively define the punctuation marks used for titles of claimed goods or services, helping applicants, third-parties, and examiners to clearly pinpoint the scope of the claimed goods or services, and to set unified standard for trademark registration and examination, “Guides for Using Punctuation Marks When Writing Titles of Claimed Goods or Services for Trademark Registration” was published on July 22, 2019 for applicants to use as references, which will come into force on January 16, 2020.Using the right punctuation marks is helpful for counting the number of claimed goods or services in the application system, thereby estimating the application fees. It also helps people to understand the scope of using the claimed goods or services. From now on, applicants are encouraged to write the titles of claimed goods or services with the punctuation marks according to the guides. TIPO will carry out more relevant measures in order to further disseminate the correct application and registration information. More information
TIPO Releases IPR Statistics for the First Half of 2019In the first half of 2019, TIPO received a total of 35,534 applications for invention, utility model, and design patents, marking a 1% increase over the same period of last year. Among them, the number of design patent applications grew by 10%. The number of trademark registration applications (41,986 cases) remained steady. The numbers of invention patent applications filed by residents and design patent applications by non-residents increased by 2% and 30% respectively. As to invention patent applications, TSMC topped domestic applicants and ALIBABA topped foreign applicants.PatentInvention patents (22,775 cases) and design patents (4,259 cases) increased by 1% and 10% respectively, whereas utility model patents (8,500 cases) dropped by 5% (see Table 1).Of the three types of patent applications filed by residents, the number of invention patents (8,563 cases) grew by 2%, whereas applications for utility model patents (7,978 cases) and design patents (1,960 cases) fell. As for non-residents, the numbers of invention patents (14,212 cases) and design patents (2,299 cases) increased, whereas applications for utility model patents (522 cases) were down (see Table 1). Design patent applications filed by non-residents saw a growth by 30% mainly because of a significant increase in applications by French applicants (see Figure 1).There was growth in the number of invention patent applications filed by domestic enterprises. TSMC topped with 429 cases, and it was followed by AU OPTRONICS (318 cases) and MEDIATEK (163 cases). The top two enterprises respectively saw a large growth of 24% and 30% over the same period of last year (see Figure 2). In addition, domestic SMEs’ invention patent applications saw an incremental growth for the third consecutive year, reaching 16% in the first half of 2019. This points to SMEs gradually placing more importance on using patents to protect R&D results.Invention patent applications filed by domestic colleges and research institutions were both down.Breakdown by nationality of non-residents, Japan led by 6,707 invention patent applications (see Figure 1). Among invention patent filing giants, ALIBABA topped with 408 cases, accounting for a significant growth of 92% over the same period of last year (see Figure 2). As to design patent, Japan again topped with 704 applications and France increased by 400%, marking a remarkable growth (see Figure 1). Among the largest design patent filing companies, RENAULT topped with 102 cases.TrademarkThe number of new applications for trademark registration (41,986 cases) was not much different from the same period of last year. Applications by residents (29,957 cases) grew slightly by 0.2%. Applications by non-residents (12,029 cases) slipped 2% mainly because of the decline in US and Hong Kong applications (see Table 1).As for non-residents, mainland China topped with 2,958 cases, followed by Japan (2,249 cases) and the US (1,828 cases) (see Figure 1). Among the top-five filing countries (regions), four of them are in Asia. Applications by residents from these Asian countries (regions) grew slightly.
TIPO aims to settle karaoke licensing disputes for the benefit of users and rights holders alikeSince several community centers and singing classes request to sing karaoke songs and relieve themselves from fear of being sued, and that they believe the songs listed in karaoke machines are “held hostage” by certain karaoke companies, on June 24, TIPO invited rights-holder representatives from the Music Publishers Association (MPA), the Music Creators Union (MCU), and the Recording Industry Foundation (RIF) to exchange views on this subject. At the meeting, three consensuses were made as follows: 1. TIPO will invite karaoke machine companies to speak with MPA and MCU representatives on the licensing of karaoke songs and related payments. 2. At community centers, people mostly sing Taiwanese songs. TIPO will thus talk to the music companies who publish these songs about licensing. 3. TIPO will learn about the planning and uses of budgets for karaoke machines at the community centers in all counties and cities of Taiwan, so as to draft follow-up assistance measures. Through the aforementioned practices, TIPO hopes to reach a satisfying plan for all of the parties involved, so that people can sing happily again.
“Operational Directions of Third-party Observations for Trademark Applications” comes into force from nowOn June 20, 2019, TIPO announced that the Operational Directions of Third-party Observations for Trademark Applications would come into force. The new rules are expected to help trademark examiners gather more evidence when they conduct inquisition ex officio, so as to curb bad faith registration attempts while supporting genuine trademark registration. The goal is to make sure the third-party observation mechanism is clear and useful enough for examination. The main topics of the Directions are: objective, the observer, period of observations and supplementary observations, the reason for and method of observations, the examiner’s handling of cases, the ways to propose opposing comments, applicable regulations, and format samples. Particularly with regard to the evidence that should be attached to the letter of third-party observations, depending on the circumstances which forbid a trademark from registration, the eligible ways to provide objective evidence are listed in detail. TIPO believes that these are of much referential value and all members of society are encouraged to draw reference from the Directions.More information(in Mandarin)
TIPO modified the measures for utility model patent technical evaluation reports for patentees to respond to claims that are without novelty or not non-obviousTo give the right holders of utility model patents a chance to provide thorough explanations when any of the claims in their patents face unfavorable comments in technical evaluation reports, TIPO modified the measures for presenting technical evaluation reports of utility model patents so as to ensure the reports are as truthful as possible. The main revisions are as follows: 1. Previously, the letters of notification on the references used in technical evaluation reports of utility model patents would only be sent to patentees when all of the claims are without novelty or are not non-obvious. Now, when any of the claims is without novelty or is not non-obvious, TIPO will send such letters to patentees, asking them to provide further explanations. 2. The said measures are also applicable to technical evaluation reports of utility model patents which have been issued for once or more. In the amendments, for the explanations of claims (e01) which do not pass the first evaluation, even though whose follow-up arguments (e.g.e02) still do not meet the requirements, TIPO will send “letters of notification on the references used in technical evaluation reports” to the patentees in question, so as for patentees to provide further explanations. 3. The new regulations become effective from July 1 on.More information
Release of TIPO’s 2018 annual report: traditional Chinese editionIn 2018, TIPO devoted to improving patent and trademark application processing procedures and examination quality, solidifying IPR legal schemes, assisting industry in utilizing and protecting IPR innovatively, and expanding international cooperation and exchange. TIPO’s patent and trademark processing system has been in place for 10 years. The electronic system has not only enabled the public to utilize the service online around the clock, but has also greatly improved examination efficiency. The average disposal pendency of invention patents and trademarks has respectively shortened to 14 months and 7 months. Moreover, in 2018, the Hearing System for Patent Invalidity was launched for the first time to increase patent examination quality and to skip appeal procedures so as for the parties involved to quickly resolve disputes. To keep Taiwan’s IP legal regime in line with the times, TIPO pushed for the amendments to the Patent Act, the Copyright Act and the Trade Secrets Act, and we completed amendment issues of the Trademark Act. The amendments to the Patent Act, for instance, extended the term of design patent from 12 to 15 years. The draft amendments to the Trade Secrets Act introduced the system of confidentiality orders in hopes to strengthen the efficacy of investigation relating to trade secrets. To assist industry to develop innovative products, as well as global IP portfolios, TIPO established a global patent search system (GPSS) which allows users to search and analyze over 53 million entries of patent information from IP5, WIPO, and TIPO free of charge. Patent search functions in GPSS were also further strengthened. Not only so, in hopes of helping industry to register outstanding patents, our patent examiners for the first time went to companies for two-way learning and exchange of patent services and technologies. As to international exchange, we signed an MOU with EUIPO on IPR bilateral cooperation, established PPH cooperation with CIPO, and signed an MOU on patent dossier exchange with Japan. We also deepened IPR exchange with the countries listed in the New Southbound Policy. Our efforts and achievements, as well as related statistics of the past year are included in the annual report. Please feel free to download and read it.More information
Drawing more than 1,000 participants, the 2019 IP Party came to a satisfying endOn the afternoon of June 2, TIPO held the 2019 IP Party at Huashan 1914 Creative Park. Director General Hong Shu-min gave an opening speech and attended an inauguration ceremony. A wonderful live music performance was held, followed by a picnic party, an interactive magic show and a DIY class. There was a photo-taking area celebrating TIPO’s 20th anniversary, as well as interactive games with themes such as patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secrets. The event was zealously embraced by the public. A total of 1200 participants took part. On the date of the event, at TIPO’s Facebook and “Let’s Support Original Works” fan page, live streaming was created for more people to watch what has been going on at the party. More than 20 online media reported about this party.
TIPO conducts questionnaires on the quality of patent examinationTo optimize the efficiency and quality of patent examination, starting from the second half of May, TIPO has sent questionnaires through an online system and conducted anonymous phone interviews. We hope to learn about the views of patent applicants and agents on the efficiency and quality of patent examination at TIPO, and perhaps gain a few insights from them, through the feedbacks obtained. We invited the applicants and agents who utilize our electronic delivery services to join this survey project. The questionnaire focused on the efficiency and quality of patent examination, archival search, patentability examination and evaluation, examiner knowledge and communications, and clean and competent administration at TIPO. To ensure the survey was fair and objective and that data of the participants were kept as confidential, TIPO entrusted professional polling companies with high credibility to carry out the survey. The participants could provide their opinions freely and safely through the questionnaires and interviews. Following up, based on survey statistics, we will carry out a comprehensive, item-by-item professional analysis. While abiding by laws, we hope to meet the needs and expectations of our interviewees, whilst optimizing our patent examination system.
TIPO holds briefings on IPR affairs for 2019, starting from July 9. Registration is now openTo share with the public what TIPO has been doing, and to communicate more directly with people from all circles, TIPO is to hold its 2019 briefings on IPR affairs on July 9, 15, 18, 19, and 23 in Hsinchu, Taichung, Tainan, Kaohsiung and Taipei, respectively. The briefings will be hosted by Director General Hong Shu-min of TIPO, with other TIPO senior officials also present. The briefings will cover four major topics. They are: introduction of highlights of the amendments to the Patent Act and the Copyright Act; trends in patent administrative litigation, including post-grant amendment, new evidences and an administrative adjudication; examination principles of trademarks with the Cross Device; and patent and trademark reminders. Registration is now open and TIPO welcomes participants from all circles.
Registration for the “Information Event on Industrial Analysis Based on Patent Search” has startedTo promote uses of patent information, TIPO plans to hold the Information Event on Industrial Analysis Based on Patent Search. At the event, TIPO will explain how to use GPSS and TWPAT to discover patents, as well as how to ride the trend of patent map analysis in industry, in hopes to pinpoint technical development paths. The event is a part of the Advanced Course for Patent Search and Patent Applications in Industry, and thus interested participants are advised to have relevant experiences in patent search. The event will be held in Kaohsiung, Tainan, Taichung, Hsinchu and Taipei from May 28 onwards.
Register for two information events on copyright in cultural and creative industriesTo help practitioners of the cultural and creative industry to learn more deeply about IPR, from May to June, TIPO will hold information events on copyright in cultural and creative industries. Focusing on film, television and music industries, as well as digital publishing, experts and scholars will be invited to explain copyright laws and practices, in hopes to help cultural and creative professionals to learn more about copyright regulations and rights. All people in cultural and creative related industries and interested members of the public are encouraged to take part.
Amendments to the Patent Act are promulgated on May 1 by the President Order, and the date of implementation will be determined by the Executive YuanThe draft amendments to the Patent Act, based on changes of global trends and to make patent examination practices more robust, were passed by the Legislative Yuan on April 16.A total of 17 articles were included in the amendments. The major points are as follows:1. Extend the scope and period of patent applications division after approval decisionsCurrently, division is only applicable to invention patent applications within 30 days after written decision of allowance is served. After amendments, 3 months instead of 30 days will be allowed. The same time rule applies to a reexamination application. This rule of division will also become applicable to utility model patent applications.2. Enhance examination effectiveness of invalidationIn order to keep the parties involved from repeatedly proposing new reasons, evidence, or post-grant amendments during the invalidation proceedings, thereby prolong the examination process, the person initiates invalidation action must submit reasons for such invalidation within three months. Late submission will not be considered. Also, during the examination, the time limits that a patentee may apply for post-grant amendments are stipulated.3. The period for making a post-grant amendment application to utility model patent and the requirement of substantive examinationSince substantive examinations are not applied for utility model applications, to avoid the claim scope of such patents from being changed after post-grant amendment applications have been approved, thereby affecting a third party’s interests, the timing which a patentee can apply for a post-grant amendment has been revised. Also, substantive examination will be conducted from now on for utility model post-grant amendment application.4. Term of design patent is extended from 12 years to 15 yearsSince the term of design patent in the Hague Agreement is 15 years, we extend the term of design patent in Taiwan to 15 years from the current 12 years, so as to enhance protection and to help the design industry to grow.5. Resolve lack of storage space for patent documentsThe current regulations stipulate that the patent documents must be preserved permanently. Now, more than 2.1 million cases are there. This makes it highly challenging in expanding storage space. Taking reference from other IP offices’ regulations, decision has been made to preserve patent documents according to their categories and on a periodical basis. The ones not worth preservation may be destroyed periodically. This shall ease the problem of lack of space.TIPO hopes to loosen the current regulations through the amendments. This shall help to improve patent examination efficacy, benefit corporate patent portfolios, and promote industrial design development in Taiwan.More information (Chinese)
Amendments to Articles 87 and 93 of the Copyright Act are promulgated on May 1 by the President Order and shall enter into force on May 3In recent years, some set-top boxes and APPs in the market have provided access to infringing websites for people to watch illicit audiovisual contents. Without authorization, the providers of these set-top boxes and APPs gain excessive profits by charging monthly fees or selling off the boxes at once. These have severely affected the interests of copyright holders and OTT service providers who acquired licensing from the copyright holders.To curb malicious online infringement, Legislators proposed the draft amendments to Articles 87 and 93 of the Copyright Act. The draft was passed by the Legislative Yuan on April 16.Upon amending the bill, manufactures, importers, and distributors of illegal set-top boxes, which pre-loaded with APPs linking to infringing contents, will face a sentence of up to two years imprisonment or detention, or in lieu thereof or in addition thereto, a fine of not more than five hundred thousand New Taiwan Dollars. It is hoped that the amendments can help to curb online infringement, while facilitating the development of Taiwan’s creative and audio-visual industries.More information (Chinese)
2019 IP Party awaits all to take partFrom 13:00 to 17:00 on June 2, 2019, TIPO will hold an IP party at Huashan 1914 Creative Park. Taking the theme of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” the party aims to help people learn more about IPR. Picnic, games, and contests will all be held to achieve this goal.Singing and dance, magic shows, and DIY kite-coloring classes will take place, too. Taipei City Government’s mascot, “Bravo” bear, will attend the cheerful occasion. Thematic photo-taking settings will be available for people to use. By uploading their pictures and checking in on Facebook, the visitors can get snacks for free. The fun, diverse party awaits all to take part.