Partial Draft Amendments to the Copyright Collective Management Organization Act Passes Third Reading at the Legislative YuanThe Legislative Yuan passed partial draft amendments to the Copyright Collective Management Organization Act at the third reading on April 29. The amendments ensure smooth operation, increased transparency, and prudent management of Taiwan’s collective management system to protect the rights of members and facilitate circulation of copyrighted works. After adjustment, a total of 6 amendments were additions, and 15 were revisions – the main highlights of which are as follows:I. Introduction of a public consultation mechanismWhen a CMO applies for an establishment permit, TIPO shall make the information publicly available on their official websites for general copyright users to leave comments, which shall serve as reference for TIPO when processing the permit application.II. Term limits for management-level positions and internal controlsTo ensure that a CMO can fulfill its duty of good governance, the amendment would curtail the duration and number of terms for the positions of director and supervisor, reducing the possibility of a monopoly or any abuse of power. The amendments also stipulate the need for internal controls to manage personnel, finances, and operations, etc.; royalties must also be deposited in designated accounts to ensure CMOs conduct operations in a reasonable, prudent, appropriate, and transparent manner.III. Use of Technology to Enhance Management and Operations of CMOsTo facilitate the development and use of technology, a new amendment has been added that stipulates TIPO’s responsibility to counsel CMOs in the use of innovative technology for more efficient management and operations thereof, as well as to lower the cost of copyrights licensing.IV. Expansion of TIPO’s Supervisory and Guidance CapacityAmendments have been added ensuring TIPO’s authority to supervise and penalize any CMOs in violation of the law. TIPO is authorized to request that CMOs submit financial declarations and plans for improvement within a specified timeframe. TIPO also has the power ex officio to suspend or dismiss any directors or supervisors found guilty of illegal conduct. If the CMO commits a major violation of the law by misappropriating allotted funds or not allocating royalties in accordance with the law and fails to rectify their actions, then TIPO has the power to revoke its establishment permit and eliminate any CMOs not adhering to prudent management practices.
Taiwan Signs MoU with India to Bolster IPR CooperationThe Taiwan-India MoU on Intellectual Property Rights was signed by Representative Baushuan Ger of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Center in India and Director General Gourangalal Das of the Indian Taipei Association at the High Level India Taiwan Business Roundtable on May 18, 2022. The signing ceremony was witnessed by Vice Minister Chuan-Neng Lin of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Director General Shu-Min Hong of the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office. The exchange of diplomatic instruments was subsequently completed on June 6, opening a new chapter of cooperation between Taiwan and India in the field of IPR.Under the framework of this MoU, both sides will jointly facilitate activities such as expert exchange programs, training courses, and experience exchange regarding IP awareness campaigns. Other collaborative efforts are also underway, such as facilitating the protection of traditional knowledge and setting up a joint committee to coordinate the implementation of related cooperation activities.India is an exceedingly important country in Taiwan’s New Southbound Policy. Not only will the signing of the MoU deepen both Taiwan and India’s understanding of each other's IP fields, but also enhance an IP protection environment for the benefit of industrial development and applicants of both sides.
TIPO’s Q1 2022 IPR Statistics ReportIn Q1 2022, TIPO received a total of 17,498 patent applications (including invention, utility model, and design patents), marking a 2% increase from the same period last year, whereas trademark applications (24,450 cases) grew by 0.3%. As for invention patents, applications from domestic colleges and universities saw a growth of 16%, and non-resident applications increased by 10%. TSMC came out on top (723 cases) among resident applicants, and Qualcomm (242 cases) led all non-resident applicants. Most trademark applications were filed under the “Agriculture” industry with resident applications taking a larger share; as for non-residents, applications in “Research and Technology” outnumbered other industries. Uni-President (220 cases) and Guangdong Longshun International Logistics (76 cases) ranked at the top among resident and non-resident applicants, respectively.Patent ApplicationsThe number of invention patent applications (12,534 cases) saw a growth of 5% compared to the same period last year and accounts for a majority of all patent applications received by TIPO. The increase is mainly due to a 10% increase in the number of non-resident applications. However, the number of invention patent applications filed by residents (4,697 cases) decreased somewhat. As for design patents, 1,636 applications were filed: the number of applications filed by residents grew marginally by 0.4%, whereas that of non-residents declined (Table 1).The number of invention patent applications from domestic enterprises (3,745 cases) fell by 2% mainly due to a decrease of applications in small and medium enterprises (748 cases). On the other hand, the applications filed by large enterprises (2,997 cases) remained steady.As for resident applications, all top 10 invention patent applicants and top 5 design patent applicants were enterprises. Although the number of invention patent applications filed by enterprises declined, 6 out of the top 10 invention patent applicants saw double-digit growth. TSMC topped the list with 723 invention patent applications - hitting a record high since TIPO first published the record in 2012. Both Innolux and Nanya also reached their respective all-time-high records by tying at 98 cases. Moreover, Acer and Crown MFG tied for first place, each filing 18 applications in design patent (Figure2, Figure 3).Except for enterprises, domestic applications filed by colleges and universities (371 cases) surged by 16%. Conversely, applications by research institutions (76 cases) decreased.For non-resident applications, those for invention patents (7,837 cases) accounted for the majority of all patent applications, growing by 10%. Among non-resident applicants, Japan took the lead with 3,555 invention patent applications. The number of invention patent applications of all top 5 filing countries (regions) increased. Of these, the USA and Germany saw double-digit growth. The number of design patent applications filed reached 859 cases, and Japan came out on top with 251 applications (Table 1, Figure 1).As for top non-resident applicants, Qualcomm led the list of top 10 invention patent applicants by filing 242 applications and Intel outnumbered others by a staggering increase of 914% (Figure 2). Among design patent applicants, PSA occupied the leading place with 38 applications, and BMW saw significant growth of 88% (Figure 3).Trademark ApplicationsCompared to the same period (Q1) last year, trademark applications (22,450 cases) received by TIPO showed a 0.3% increase; the number of classes covered (30,024 classes) also showed a 4% increase. The number of resident applications (17,358 cases) was up by 2%, while that of non-residents (5,092 cases) were down (Table 1). The share of resident applications was 77%, marking a 1% increase over the same period last year.In terms of application classes, resident applicants filed the most applications (3,501 cases) in Class 35 “Advertising, Business Management, Retail and Wholesale Services, etc.”, marking an 8% increase (Figure 4). Uni-President filed 220 applications and saw staggering growth of 358%, ranking first among resident applicants (Table 2).Mainland China filed the most applications (1,130 cases) among non-resident applicants (Figure 1). In terms of application classes, non-resident applicants filed the most applications (1,208 cases) in Class 9 “Computer and Technology Products, etc.” and saw the highest growth rate with 26% in Class 42 “Scientific and Technological Services and Research” (Figure 5). Guangdong Longshun International Logistics filed 76 applications, outnumbering all other non-resident applicants (Table 3).As for industry categories, most trademark applications received by TIPO were classified under “Agriculture” (6,346 cases), and resident applications (5,337) represented the larger share. The agriculture industry also saw the largest difference in the number of applications between residents and non-residents (Figure 6). Among the top 3 industry categories, resident applications filed under “Agriculture” and “Business and Financial Services” saw continued growth for two consecutive years.
Chinese and English “Briefs of Classic Trademark Cases in Recent Years” Now AvailableTo assist domestic and foreign market participants and people from different sectors in further understanding the latest development of trademark-related laws and judicial opinions, TIPO has selected classic judgements made by Intellectual Property and Commercial Court in the past 5 years to accomplish 7 case briefs and their English translations. The content of these case briefs contains many important issues in the field of trademark, including how to determine the scope of goods in connection with which the trademark has been put to genuine use, the territorial limitation on genuine use of the trademark, the determination of likelihood of confusion between trademarks with low degree of similarity, whether the protective scope varies among well-known trademarks due to different levels of fame, the determination of the parody defense related to trademark infringement, keyword advertising and the determination of trademark infringement, the application of the defense of trademark exhaustion, etc., and it is believed that these case briefs can be very beneficial for those interested to have more complete understanding of trademark-related laws and practices in Taiwan. Welcome to access the case briefs below.
NT$ 250,000 in Prizes: Registration for the 2022 Competition for Patent Portfolio Analysis is Now Open!The 2022 Competition for Patent Portfolio Analysis has officially commenced and will run from now until June 17. Anyone with an interest in the development of IP strategies and portfolios are invited to participate and exchange views on industry trends and patent portfolio analysis.The competition, organized by TIPO, has reached its second year. TIPO aims to encourage commercial use of strategic patent portfolios and foster future patent portfolio professionals in industry and academia with the competition and has therefore, tied the theme with the NDC’s Six Core Strategic Industries.Contestants will conduct patent searches, statistical and chart analysis on the Global Patent Search System (GPSS), which is the main platform where the competition shall take place. GPSS also allows for advanced analysis, such as technology function matrixes, directly on the platform.Patent search analysis can reveal information of interest to businesses, such as the level of core technologies, industry positioning, competitor relations, the evolution of technology, and future trends in technology development. Patent searches can also explore valuable patents to help businesses build their patent portfolios and develop competitive strategies.TIPO is offering a free 12-hr course on patent searches and industry analysis, which will hopefully provide them with valuable practical training. The courses will delve into the field of patent searches, industry analysis, and patent portfolios, as well as instruct contestants on the various search and analysis functions of GPSS. TIPO hopes that with the additional training, contestants will be able to enhance their understanding of patent search and analysis – fostering IP professionals for the future and ensuring Taiwan’s competitive edge in the global community.NT$ 250,000 has been allocated for prizes to attract greater participation, and TIPO will be hosting a series of warm-up events online during the registration period. An expert seminar is scheduled for May 12, and patent experts with many years of practical experience have been invited to share their knowledge and explain important concepts.A warm-up workshop on May 19 will provide practical information on how to build a technical framework before conducting patent searches, and then apply the knowledge to the ongoing competition. TIPO hopes this will help emphasize the importance of having a thorough understanding of the industry before conducting the patent search. Individuals with an interest in the development of IP strategies and portfolios are invited to sign-up. Contestants must register in groups of three to five, and registration will close on June 17, 2022. Please register online or submit the registration form via mail.
TIPO & Taiwan Patent Attorneys Association Co-host the Awards Ceremony for the Patent Specification Drafting Competition for the YouthThe Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) partnered with the Taiwan Patent Attorneys Association (TWPAA) on April 26 to host Embracing IP to Chase Dreams – the 2022 Entrepreneur’s Forum, which is part of the 2022 World IP Day event series. The top three contestants - “WIPO’s Penghu Bay (WIPO的澎湖灣)”, “Tokkyo Heidan (特許兵團)”, and “the IPR Trio (智權王道三人眾)” - of the Patent Specification Drafting Competition for the Youth were acknowledged in an awards ceremony just before the forum began.The Patent Specification Drafting Competition for the Youth was held concurrently in three separate locations (i.e., North, Central, and South Taiwan) and attracted many contestants. In fact, registration closed before the deadline when a total of 29 teams of students from 19 Taiwan colleges and universities signed up and filled the registration limit.Contestant teams took classes and competed over a period of two days (April 16 & 17), and the three winning teams were selected by a panel of judges consisting of industry experts and government officials.Each year, TIPO hosts various events to celebrate World IP Day. The theme this year - IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future – focuses on encouraging the younger generation to cultivate curiosity and creativity in the post-pandemic era, emphasizing that those brave enough to innovate and change will always remain competitive.This year’s main event is the Patent Specification Drafting Competition for the Youth (翻轉青年：創意專利寫手獎), which uses the Chinese characters “翻轉” to express change, disruption, and new creations. It hopes to inspire creative thinking amongst the younger generation, so that one day, they may turn these dreams into reality. During the two days of the event, undergraduate students were introduced to basic concepts in IPR and patent specifications, in hopes that with the guidance of professional instructors, youths may practice converting creative ideas into tangible IP assets.Among the contestants, several teams were composed of students from different universities: “Long Sheng Boys (龍昇大帥哥)” from National Chung Hsing University and Chung Shan Medical University; “Growing Profits (利來順收)” from Shu-Te University and Sun Yat-sen University; “REVERSAL DESTINY” from National Central University and Chung Yuan Christian University; “the IPR Trio (智權王道三人眾)” from National Defense Univeristy, National Central University, and Taipei Tech; “Taiwan Corgy Loves Dumplings (台灣柯基吃餃子)” from National Tsing Hua University and Taiwan Tech; and “IP NOVICES (智財NOVICES)” from National Chung Hsing University and Fu Jen Catholic Univerisity.In addition to teams with students from different universities, participants also included several graduate and doctoral students, as well as students majoring in the STEM sciences (e.g., electrical and mechanical engineering) and IP-related disciplines. Other fields of study include law, applied mathematics, biomedical sciences, and senior citizen services – even students majoring in Chinese and history were enrolled in the competition. The diversity of majors attests to the fact that invention and creation is an endeavor that transcends the boundaries of traditional disciplinaries – anyone brave enough to innovate can become an inventor.
Bid to Join CPTPP: Legislative Yuan Approves Draft Amendments to the Copyright Act, Trademark Act, and Patent ActThe Legislative Yuan passed draft amendments to the Copyright Act, the Trademark Act, and to Article 60-1 of the Patent Act on April 15, 2022. The amendments, which cleared the third reading, ensure that Taiwan’s IPR laws comply with the CPTPP’s regulations and will hopefully facilitate future negotiations for Taiwan to join the CPTPP.I. Main amendments to the Copyright Act:Instances of illegal digital piracy, distribution, and public transmission which constitute serious infringement are now considered offenses indictable without complaint. “Serious infringement” is determined by the following three criteria: infringement of work provided not for free by another person; reproduction in their original form (100% reproduction); and infringements causing damages exceeding NT$1 million.Optical disc piracy is no longer a major source of infringement and will therefore revert back to general liabilities for reproduction and distribution. As such, provisions which increased penalties for the reproduction and distribution of pirated optical discs, as well as for confiscation and forfeiture thereof, have been deleted accordingly.II. Main amendments to the Trademark Act:To increase the sales and profit of trademark owners and enhance the protection of trademarks, criminal provisions for counterfeiting labels of trademarks or collective trademarks have been added, and criminal liabilities now apply to some preparatory and contributory acts of infringement including the importation of counterfeit labels and packaging of trademarks.According to the existing Trademark Act, the subjective condition for counterfeiting labels to be held civilly and criminally liable is that the acts were carried out “knowingly.” This condition has since been deleted and civil liability will revert to “intentional” and “negligent” acts, whilst criminal liability will be determined by “intentionality”.III. Main amendments to the Patent Act:The CPTPP provides a patent linkage system, a mechanism that enables patent holders to resolve disputes with generic drug manufacturers prior to their marketing of an allegedly infringing product. The patent linkage system was implemented on August 20, 2019, under the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act. As such, the Patent Act was amended accordingly to clearly stipulate that should a generic drug manufacturer make a P4 declaration when applying for a generic drug permit, the patent holder may file an infringement suit against said manufacturer.If the patent holder does not file a suit within the stipulated time period, the generic drug manufacturer may file a declaratory judgement to ascertain whether any infringement has occurred, which will prevent future infringement lawsuits after the generic drug is launched.
2022 National Invention and Creation AwardThe Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) holds the 2022 National Invention and Creation Award to celebrate creativity in research and development and motivate the public to engage in innovation. Entries are accepted from April 11 to July 28, 2022, and inventors, utility model creators, or designers who have been granted a patent within the last 6 years are encouraged to vie for the highest accolade by entering their best works.TIPO has established the National Invention and Creation Award to honor innovative achievements and recognize exceptional patents in Taiwan. Its $100,000-400,000 NTD grants are intended to encourage outstanding creative efforts and acknowledge awardees' inventive contributions, aiming to act as a catalyst that unleashes the innovative potential of Taiwan.Please visit the website (available only in Chinese), call 02-2325-6800 #820, or email [email protected] for detailed information on the 2022 National Invention and Creation Award registration process.
2022 World IP Day Celebratory Event – Patent Drafting Competition for the Youth!The theme of the 2022 World Intellectual Property Day on April 26 is IP and Youth: Innovating for a Better Future, highlighting the creativity, ingenuity, and curiosity of the younger generation. The youth are the driving force of change and active creators of a better future, expressing their opinions fearlessly and boldly challenge the status quo. In celebration of World IP Day, TIPO seeks opportunities to promote the importance of IPR and the role it plays in encouraging innovation and creativity.TIPO and the Taiwan Patent Attorneys Association (TWPAA) jointly organize the Patent Drafting Competition for the Youth, inviting students from universities and colleges (including graduate students) to participate. In addition, TIPO will provide pre-competition courses, offering lessons that cover the strategies of acquiring and utilizing intellectual property rights, the means to patent an idea, and case analyses and discussions. Said concepts will be explained in simple terms, allowing the participants to gain an in-depth understanding of patents and the ability to complete a patent specification. Experience-sharing and feedback sessions will also provide participants with additional opportunities to learn and grow. The event will be held in Taipei, Taichung, and Kaohsiung on April 16 and 17.As part of World IP Day celebrations, in addition to the Award Ceremony of the Patent Drafting Competition for the Youth, TIPO and TWPAA will also be holding the Embrace IP and Pursue Your Dreams - 2022 Entrepreneur Seminar, where young entrepreneurs will be invited to share their successful experiences.A series of events will also be held that week in celebration of the special day: seminars such as Social Media and Virtual Reality vs. IPR, Careers in IP, and Laws regarding IP and Creations in the New Age. Moreover, throughout April, Information Session for Trademark-Related Laws will be held for the youth, young startups, as well as burgeoning industries in general; IP Training Camp on Campus, a promotional activity focusing on copyright protection, will also be underway.The series of activities in celebration of World Intellectual Property Day are designed to foster respect and a deeper understanding of intellectual property, push forth and implement the protection of IPR, and create an environment where domestic innovation and R&D can continue to flourish and thrive.
Remote Patent Application Interviews Available March 1, 2022An effective interview can expedite the patent examination process. However, applicants may not always be available to be interviewed at TIPO in person or join video interviews at TIPO service centers. The Ministry of Economic Affairs has thus amended the sixth point of the "Operation Directions of TIPO, MOEA for Patent Interviews" and implemented the new measure of Remote Video Interviews for Patent Applications on March 1, 2022. Applicants and patent agents are able to select a remote location to conduct trilateral video interviews at their convenience. For example, a video interview can still be held when the patent applicant is in Japan, the agent at their own office in Taiwan, and the examiner at TIPO. This measure applies to patent application and reexamination cases but does not apply to invalidation cases.
The 2022 EU-Taiwan Seminar on Design Protection a Success Thanks to Everyone’s Participation and Support!The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) has partnered with the European Economic Trade Office (EETO) to host the 2022 EU-Taiwan Seminar on Design Protection on March 9th, 2022 (Wed.) at the GIS MOTC Convention Center.For the seminar, Pieter Veeze (Senior Lawyer at the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property), Adriana (Rianne) van Rooden (Policy Officer at DG GROW, European Commission), Stephan Hanne (Policy Officer at DG Trade, European Commission), Professor Chung-Hsin Chang (Assistant Professor at Soochow University), Ming-Feng Hsu (TIPO Senior Patent Examiner) were invited to share and exchange on the differences in Taiwan’s and the EU’s approach to design protection, the challenges and opportunities arising from global digitalization, and the interaction between copyright and design protection.Over 188 attendees from the private sector, government agencies, and academia participated in this seminar either online or in-person to exchange experiences and perspectives with Taiwan and European experts and cultivated a space for active discussion.
TIPO’s Updated Online Trademark Registration System Now Available!TIPO has updated the trademark online registration process and interface to make it easier for applicants to apply for trademarks online. With our new guided design, users can complete registration in just 5 steps.The new system was launched for service on February 15, 2022 for three forms: traditional trademark applications, amendments, and withdrawals. TIPO is planning to add color, sound, and 3D trademark applications as well as divisional applications and applications for change prior to registration in the third and fourth quarters of 2022. Among the planned additions, the scope of the trademark application service will be expanded to include collective trademarks, certification marks, and collective membership marks at the same time. TIPO will be overhauling the online trademark registration system to ensure user convenience.The new system will be compatible with different browsers and mobile devices. New complementary functions include converting wordmarks into images, image conversion online, a search engine for trademarks, etc. Please feel free to log on and browse through our latest services.
Registration Now Open for the Seminar on Increasing Patent Capacities and Values!TIPO is hosting a Seminar on Increasing Patent Capacities and Values to share patent practices with corporations and advance the quality of their patents. For the seminar, TIPO will be offering customized patent courses, to be delivered by patent examiners at TIPO, based on company demands. We are accepting applications from SMEs until March 31st.
TIPO Publishes Case Studies on IT Patent ExaminationIn order to protect innovation and establish clear standards for patent examination, TIPO has updated Part II, Chapter 12 of the Examination Guidelines for Computer Software-Related Inventions, in response to industry changes. The revisions came into effect on July 1, 2021.TIPO also provides 20 case studies across the five major fields of IT – AI, IoT, blockchain, cloud applications, and big data – to help applicants better understand the basis on which patent applications are assessed and ensure that patent examiners utilize the same concepts during examination. The compendium of case studies, Case Studies on IT Patent Examination, is available to the public and includes both patentable and non-patentable requests to illustrate, step-by-step, how the patentability of each request is considered.Case Studies on IT Patent Examination explains patentability criteria such as the definition, clarity, and inventive step of the invention, as well as whether it can be carried out by a person ordinarily skilled in the art. Also included within the compendium are detailed, step-by-step descriptions of how each criterion is considered, making it easy for IT patent applicants to follow the process and facilitate their own application. This will also ensure better quality software-related patents for Taiwan in the future.
TIPO Sets Up Net Zero Emissions IP Info Section to Facilitate Industry Use of Carbon Reduction TechnologiesReaching net zero emissions by 2050 is considered a collective goal by the global community, and as such, TIPO has set up a dedicated Net Zero Emissions IP Info section to provide information on green technologies and AEP requests for related patents, including:Green Technology Patent Analysis: Includes the Carbon Reduction Technology Development Patent Map, as well as patent analysis reports for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, smart grid, electric assisted bicycles, off-shore wind energy.AEP Requests for Green Technologies: The scope of eligibility for the Accelerated Examination Program has been revised and expanded from “green-energy technologies” to encompass “green technologies”, and the examination time has been shortened from nine to six months.Quick Green Technology Patent Search: Established the “Green Technology Section” in the Global Patent Search System (GPSS). The new section includes search criteria such as biofuel, wind energy, thermal energy storage, allowing users to quickly search through global patents of a particular field through one simple click.TIPO will continue to compile information on IP research related to green technology and make it available to the public by uploading it to the Net Zero Emissions IP Info section.
2022 EU-Taiwan Seminar on Design ProtectionTo facilitate the bilateral exchange of intellectual property rights-related discussions between Taiwan and the EU, TIPO has partnered with the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) to host the 2022 EU-Taiwan Seminar on Design Protection. The seminar will focus on differences in Taiwan’s and the EU’s approach to design protection, the challenges and opportunities arising from global digitalization, and the interaction between copyright and design protection. Everyone interested in the design protection systems of Taiwan or the EU is welcome to register.Date：9 March 2022, 15:50-18:45 (Taipei Time) / 08:50-11:50 (Brussels Time)Venue：3F GIS MOTC Convention Center【You can also participate in the virtual meeting at the Information Center of TIPO in Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung. 】
Executive Yuan Approves Draft Amendments to the Copyright Act and the Trademark Act on January, 20, 2022 for Bid to Join CPTPPIn order to facilitate Taiwan’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), TIPO has proposed amendments to the Copyright Act and the Trademark Act based on differences in regulations found in 2016 between the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement (CPTPP’s original incarnation) and those of Taiwan. As the review procedure of the proposed amendments were not finished by the Legislative Yuan during the previous (9th) term, they were resubmitted to the Executive Yuan in 2020 and have just been approved by the 3787th meeting on January 20th, 2022. The drafts have been submitted to the Legislative Yuan for review and once ratified into laws, will be able to enhance deterrence against copyright and trademark infringement, further protect the interests of consumers and copyright holders, and facilitate Taiwan’s international participation and regional competitiveness in economic trade.Main draft amendments to the Copyright Act:To better safeguard the rights of copyright holders, amendments have been made such that instances of illegal digital piracy, distribution, and public transmission constituting a serious infringement are now considered an offense that is actionable without complaint (i.e., indictable), and “infringement of work provided not for free by another person,” “reproduction in their original form (100% reproduction),” “infringements causing damages exceeding one million New Taiwan Dollars” are listed as the three conditions for determining an instance of serious infringement (amendments to Article 100).As optical discs no longer constitute a main source of infringement and are included within the scope of digital piracy defined in amendments to Article 100, the increased penalties under the current law for the indictable offense of reproduction and distribution of pirated optical discs have become redundant and thus been deleted, and will revert to general liabilities for reproduction and distribution. Corresponding provisions of confiscation and forfeiture have also been deleted accordingly (deletion of Article 91 paragraph 3, Article 91-1 paragraph 3, Article 98, and Article 98-1).Main draft amendments to the Trademark Act:According to the existing Trademark Act, the subjective condition for counterfeiting labels to be held civilly liable is that the acts were carried out “knowingly.” This condition has been deleted and will revert to “intentional” and “negligent” acts, i.e. the subjective conditions for general civil damages (amendments to Article 68).To enhance the sales and profit of trademark owners and ensure the protection of trademarks, criminal provisions for counterfeiting labels of trademarks or collective trademarks have been added, and criminal liabilities now apply to some preparatory and contributory acts of infringement including the importation of counterfeit labels and packaging of trademarks (amendments to Article 95).With respect to counterfeiting labels of certification marks and selling or intending to sell infringing goods made by another person, the subjective condition for these acts to be held criminally liable is that the acts were carried out “knowingly.” To meet social expectations of justice, this subjective condition has been deleted and will revert to “intentional” acts for criminal penalties, which includes indirectly intentional acts that can be foreseen to cause infringement (amendments to Articles 96 and 97).
Top 100 Patent Applicants in 2021According to TIPO’s 2021 Statistical Rankings for Patent Applications and Grants, TSMC was the top domestic applicant for invention, utility model, and design patents, with 1,950 applications filed. The company has held on to its lead for the sixth consecutive year now. As for foreign applicants, Qualcomm claimed the top spot for the second year in a row, having filed a total of 845 applications. With respect to the number of patents granted for all three patent types, TSMC led the pack for domestic applications (1,053 patents granted), and Applied Materials was the most successful foreign applicant (492 patents granted). Invention patent applications by domestic corporations and research institutions of the top 100 went up by 17% and 11% respectively.TSMC is top domestic applicant for the sixth year in a rowAs regards domestic applicants, TSMC has consistently filed the most applications since 2016. In 2021, that number surged by 78% to 1,950 cases, followed by AU Optronics (471 cases). Realtek Semiconductor (442 cases) and Nanya Tech (290 cases) each filed their highest number of applications ever, coming in fourth and sixth, respectively. Delta Electronics moved back into top 10 with 205 applications (+18%) (Table 1).The top 100 domestic patent applicants filed 12,234 cases in 2021, a year-on-year increase of 8%. This is mainly driven by a 13% rise in the number of invention patent applications (share of 75%), which came from corporations (+17%) and research institutions (+11%). The filings in design patent applications also grew by 1%. However, the filings in utility model patent applications fell by 7%, mainly due to a decrease of 20% in school applicants (Figure 1, Figure 2).Six banks among top 100 domestic applicants – MEGA International Commercial Bank takes lead; Hua Nan Bank applies for the most invention patentsThere were six banks among the top 100 domestic patent applicants in 2021. MEGA International Commercial Bank (165 cases) headed the list of patent applications, followed by CTBC Bank (155 cases) and Taiwan Cooperative Bank (144 cases). All the top 3 domestic banks marked a growth of 53% - 85%. For a second consecutive year, Hua Nan Bank (46 cases) remained in the top position for bank invention patent applications (Table 3).Among school applicants, Taipei City University of Science and Technology leads in overall patent applications, while National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University is most active in invention patentsTwenty-eight schools were among the top 100 domestic applicants for overall patents. The Taipei City University of Science and Technology ranked first with 170 applications. Meanwhile, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University (135 cases) claimed first place in school rankings for invention patent applications. This is followed by National Cheng Kung University (102 cases), National Taiwan University (86 cases) and National Tsing Hua University (86 cases) (Table 4).Industrial Technology Research Institute remains in top position for invention patent applications filed by research institutionsFive research centers were also among the top 100 domestic applicants for patents of any type. Placing fifth in the overall rankings was the Industrial Technology Research Institute with 404 applications. Behind it was the Metal Industries Research & Development Centre (89 cases) (Table 5).Qualcomm heads foreign patent applicants for a second consecutive yearAs for the top 10 foreign applicants, Qualcomm remained at the top with 845 patent applications, marking an increase of 17%. Altogether, there were four semiconductor equipment manufacturers in the top ten: Applied Materials (793 cases), Tokyo Electron (477 cases), and DISCO (225 cases) came in second, fifth and tenth, respectively. In addition, ASML (265 cases) filed its highest number of applications and moved up to number eight. Samsung Electronics ranked fourth with 520 cases, marking the highest growth rate of 98% among the top 10 (Table 2).The top 100 foreign patent applicants filed 14,149 cases (+5%) in 2021, of which invention patent applications accounted for 87%. The filings in invention patent applications rose by 5%, while utility model and design patent applications also grew by 3% and 6% respectively (Figure 3).
TIPO Statistics Report: Patent and Trademark Applications in 2021In 2021, overall patent applications increased by 1% to 72,613 cases. Of these, invention patent applications (49,116 cases) grew by 5%, while utility model (15,796 cases) and design patent applications (7,701 cases) decreased by 10% and 4% respectively. For trademark applications, 95,917 cases were filed—the highest number recorded ever since TIPO was founded in 1999. As to examination efficiency, the average disposal pendency was 14.0 months for invention patent applications and decreased to 6.2 months for trademark applications.Resident invention applications highest since 2014 with growth seen in industry and research institutes Invention patent applications (19,547 cases) filed by residents hit their highest level since 2014. This was due to a 6% rise in the number of applications by corporations, with those filed by large enterprises alone increasing by 9%. Meanwhile, applications by research institutes also saw a growth of 2%. However, utility model (14,543 cases) and design applications (3,534 cases) went down by 12% and 10% respectively due to the decreases in the corporation and individual sectors (Table 1, Figure 2, Figure 3). As for non-residents, there was an overall increase in applications for invention (29,569 cases), utility model (1,253 cases), and design (4,167 cases) patents, seeing a growth of 7%, 13%, and 2% respectively (Table 1, Figure 2).Japan claims top spot in non-resident patent applicationsA breakdown by applicant nationality shows that Japan continued to top the list with 13,324 overall applications, followed by the US (7,986 cases) and mainland China (4,253 cases), while South Korea (2,388 cases) had the highest growth rate among the top 5 countries. Japan also led in the number of invention and design patent applications, and mainland China surpassed other countries in utility model applications (Figure 4).Overall trademark applications reach record high due to growth in resident and non-resident applicationsAs for trademarks, the number of applications reached 95,917 cases (covering 123,217 classes), showing a growth of 2%. This was mainly due to a 2% and 3% increase in resident (73,374 cases) and non-resident applications (22,543 cases) respectively (Table 1, Figure 5, Figure 6).Among the top 5 trademark-filing countries or regions, mainland China (4,929 cases) took the lead, followed by the US (4,032 cases) and Japan (3,437 cases). Applications filed by mainland China and the US were up 8% and 6% respectively, while those by Japan were down 14% from last year (Figure 7).Class 35 (business operation) and Class 9 (computer and technology products) of the Nice Classification reports the strongest growth in resident and non-resident trademark filings respectivelyWith regard to resident trademark applications, Class 35 (advertisements and business operation) topped the list with 15,034 classes, marking an increase of 13% (Figure 8). Among resident applicants, UNI-PRESIDENT ranked first with 567 classes, followed by TAIWAN FAMILYMART (180 classes) and KING CAR FOOD (147 classes) (Figure 9).Regarding non-resident trademark applications, Class 9 (computer and technology products) led with 4,502 classes, while Class 42 (scientific and technological services) recorded the strongest growth with 20% (Figure 8). Among non-resident applicants, BUNNY GIRL led with 135 classes, followed by XIAOMI (132 classes) and SHISEIDO (107 classes) (Figure 9).Invention patent and trademark application pendency remain stableTIPO went full throttle to step up examination efficiency. As a result, the average disposal pendency was less than 14 months for invention patent applications. For trademark applications, average disposal pendency dropped to 6.2 months—a record low since 2009. Pending applications for both invention patent and trademark applications were maintained at about 50,000 cases (Figure 10, Figure 11) to help businesses quickly obtain IP rights and begin developing portfolios.
TIPO’s Q4 2021 IPR Statistics ReportIn Q4 2021, TIPO received a total of 19,210 patent applications (including invention, utility model, and design patents), marking a less than 1% decrease from the same period last year, whereas trademark applications (24,839 cases) grew by 1%. As for invention patent applications, ITRI (252 cases) came out on top among resident applicants for the first time, and Applied Materials (234 cases) led non-resident applicants. Most trademark applications were filed under the agriculture industry. Uni-President (178 cases) and Cognosphere (56 cases) ranked at the top among resident and non-resident applicants, respectively.Patent ApplicationsAmong the three types of patent applications, there were 12,992 invention patent applications filed this year, a growth of 2% compared to the same period last year. This was mainly due to an increase in non-resident applications. On the other hand, the number of utility model and design patent applications dropped. All three types of patent applications filed by non-resident applicants saw growth anywhere from 6% to 20% (Table 1).The number of applications from domestic enterprises (3,528 cases) fell mainly because those from large enterprises (2,631 cases) decreased. On the other hand, the number of applications filed by small and medium enterprises (897 cases) rose by 1%.As for resident applications, ITRI topped with 252 invention patent applications while Acer with 23 design patent applications. Most of the top 10 enterprises of invention patent applications saw growth even though the total number of invention patent applications filed by all enterprises fell. Of these, Realtek (137 cases), Nanya (83 cases) and Nuvoton (56 cases) reached a new high in ten years (Figure 2). Invention patent applications filed by research institutes (454 cases) saw an increase of 17%, with ITRI (252 cases) outnumbering the others.The number of non-resident applications (9,466 cases) grew by 10%, mainly due to a 10% increase in invention patents (Table 1). Among non-resident applicants, Japan took the lead with 3,117 invention patent applications. The number of invention patent applications of the top 5 filing countries (regions) saw an increase anywhere from 6% to 23% (Figure 1).The number of design patent applications filed by non-resident applications (1,094 cases) were up by 6% (Table 1). Of these, the US came on top with 272 applications, outnumbering Japan in Q4 2021 (Figure 1).As for the top 10 non-resident applicants, Applied Materials topped the list of invention patent by filing 234 applications; Harry Winston occupied the leading place in design patents with 53 applications. Both the two applicants saw significant growth - the former at 64% and the latter, 382% (Figure 2, Figure 3).Trademark ApplicationsCompared to the same period (Q4) last year, trademark applications (24,839 cases) received by TIPO showed a 1% increase; the number of classes covered (31,809 classes) also showed a 1% increase. The number of resident applications were up by 2%, while that of non-residents down by 3% (Table 1).In terms of application classes, resident applicants filed the most applications (3,937 cases) in Class 35 (advertising, business management, retail, wholesale services, etc.), marking a 12% increase (Figure 4). Uni-President filed 178 applications, ranking first among the top 10 resident applicants (Table 2).As to non-resident applicants, mainland China filed the most applications (1,230 cases) compared to other countries (regions) (Figure 1). In terms of application classes, non-resident applicants filed the most applications (1,163 cases) in Class 9 (computer and technology products, etc.)(Figure 5). Cognosphere, which was not an applicant in Q4 2020, filed 56 applications, outnumbering all other non-resident applicants (Table 3).As for industry categories, most trademark applications received by TIPO were classified under “Agriculture” (6,947 cases), and resident applications (5,877) represented a larger share. Non-resident applications were mostly filed under “research and technology” (2,039 cases) (Figure 6). “Business and financial services” stood at the second spot for resident applications, marking growth for two consecutive years.