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2012-05-11

IPR Trends Q1 2012: Patent and Trademark Statistics


In the latest statistics released by TIPO on patent application, issuance and publication of certificates for Q1 2012, the number of foreign filings for patent application and trademark registration has shown a significant increase over the same period of 2011. This increase indicates that Taiwan¡¦s economic and trade market has been given weight internationally and impacted foreign countries in their business strategy and mapping in Taiwan.

In the first quarter of 2012, TIPO received a total of 19,397 patent filings, which accounts for a 2.60% increase over the same quarter of 2011 (18,905). Applications filed by ROC nationals totaled 11,595 (increased by 0.91%), and those filed by foreigners totaled 7,802 (increased by 5.22%).

Of these, invention patent applications totaled 11,596, which accounts for a 1.17% increase over the same period of last year (11,462). As regards nationalities, 4,859 were filed by ROC nationals (decreased by 2.15%), and 6,737 were by foreigners (increased by 3.71%) (Table 1). Among the top five invention patent filing foreign countries, Japan has ranked first for many consecutive years and in Q1 2012, the application number totaled 3,440, marking a growth rate of 8.62% over the same quarter of last year (3,167), and revealing the country¡¦s eagerness in patent mapping in the Taiwan market. Although the United States (1,464) has been number 2 for many consecutive years, their filing number has been on a slight decrease for the past 5 years. This decrease could be attributed to patent mapping being shifted to mainland China. Though ranked third, Germany has managed to yield a growth of 12.42%, with 344 invention patent applications, which caused Korea (331) to fall in one place to number 4. It is also noteworthy that in the past three years, mainland China has been eager in filing patent applications in Taiwan. In Q1 2012, the number totaled 284, which accounts for a significant growth of 144.83% over the same period of last year. This growth indicates the country¡¦s fast and eager development in the Taiwan market (Fig. 1).


In terms of invention patent filings by domestic legal persons, Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. Ltd. (559 applications) in Q1 continued to be the champion, far surpassing those of other legal persons. Wistron Corp. emerged as a dark horse and tied for the second place with the Industrial Technology Research Institute (87) (Fig. 2).

With respect to trademark, applications filed in the first quarter of 2012 totaled 17,346, which is 7.51% more than the same period of 2011 (16,135). Of these, applications filed by ROC nationals totaled 12,890 (increased by 5.73%), and those filed by foreigners totaled 4,456 (increased by 12.98%). Among the top three foreign filing countries, Japan reclaimed the top spot with 1,122 applications, followed by the U.S. with 1,045 applications. Mainland China ranked third with 508 applications, which accounts for a significant growth of 47.67% over the same period of 2011 (Fig. 3).

Based on Patent and Trademark Statistics Q1 2012, it is interesting to note that the growth rates of foreign filings outgrow those of domestic ones and regular statistical analysis of following quarters would merit a better understanding of IPR trends in different countries.


The Patent and Trademark Statistics Q1 2012 is available at: (http://www.tipo.gov.tw/en/AllInOne_Show.aspx?path=2564&guid=d4dcadbb-55e0-4a3c-973f-112d9ca758c1&lang=en-us)




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2012/5/1

Taiwan and Japan to Start PPH Pilot Program May 1


Following the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot program with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, TIPO will begin a similar pilot program with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) on May 1. This is a milestone in patent cooperation and exchange between Taiwan and Japan since the signing of the Arrangement for the Mutual Cooperation on the Liberalization, Promotion and Protection of Investment and the establishment of the Taiwan- Japan Industrial Collaboration Promotion Office at the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The Association of East Asian Relations and Interchange Association Japan signed a memorandum on PPH cooperation on April 11. This PPH Pilot Program will allow TIPO and JPO to mutually use search and examination results to speed up patent examination process and enhance examination quality.
Taiwan and Japan have had a long history of close trading relation; patent applications from Japan outnumber other foreign applications filed at TIPO. Last year, applications from Japan topped at 13,366 cases, especially with respect to invention patent, a record high of 11,833 cases were filed. This marks an 18.5% increase from 2010, which closed at 9,984 cases. JPO also receives approximately 3000 cases of patent applications from Taiwan each year. With this amount of patents filed between both offices, this PPH Pilot program would give applicants of both countries an option to expedited examination. As most patent applications filed between both countries are concentrated in the areas of electronics, heavy industry, chemical industry and pharmaceutical products, applicants within these categories would also benefit from the program as well.
Under this pilot program, applicant who has filed for the first time his patent application with the JPO (office of first filing) and later filed with TIPO claiming priority to the JPO application may submit a request for accelerated examination with TIPO, if one or more of the claims has been determined patentable by JPO. This procedure also applies to patent application that has been filed for the first time with TIPO (office of first filing) and claimed priority rights with JPO. As long as one or more of the claims has been determined patentable by TIPO, the applicant may request accelerated examination with JPO.
Under the current Accelerated Examination Program (AEP), applicant whose patent application has been granted by the JPO or has received an office action and search report from the JPO may request for accelerated examination with TIPO. This PPH Pilot Program would allow for even faster examination process, since PPH requires that the scope of claims has to be the same or smaller as that from the office of first filing, and subsequent amendment to the claims also has to meet this requirement. As requirements for PPH are stricter than those of AEP, it is more economical in terms of examination costs and processing time; average processing time under PPH is 1.1 months, whereas under the AEP is 2.5 months.
Furthermore, in response to increasing demands that after having been granted patent rights under accelerated examination at TIPO, request for accelerated examination with other offices that have PPH agreement with TIPO (e.g., USPTO, JPO) should also be an option, TW-SUPA is proposed. Under the TW-SUPA program, a Taiwan application that is later filed with JPO may request for out of turn examination and receive an office action within six months. After the patent application is granted by TIPO, the applicant may further request that his application be examined under PPH with the JPO.
Request form and other related information may be obtained from TIPO¡¦s website at www.tipo.gov.tw/pph and JPO¡¦s website at http://www.jpo.go.jp/cgi/link.cgi?url=/torikumi/t_torikumi/patent_highway.htm.


What is PPH?
PPH is an examination process that would speed up procedure by allowing the office of second filing to use the examination result of a corresponding claim from the office of first filing; this would help reduce patent backlog and enhance patent examination quality. PPH is a form of cooperation which allows patent offices to mutually use examination results to reduce repeated examination work. There is no guarantee that patent that has been granted at the office of first filing would also be granted at the office of second filing.



2011/6/29 World IP Day activities planned for Taipei

Following the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Pilot program with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, TIPO will begin a similar pilot program with the Japan Patent Office (JPO) on May 1. This is a milestone in patent cooperation and exchange between Taiwan and Japan since the signing of the Arrangement for the Mutual Cooperation on the Liberalization, Promotion and Protection of Investment and the establishment of the Taiwan- Japan Industrial Collaboration Promotion Office at the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
The Association of East Asian Relations and Interchange Association Japan signed a memorandum on PPH cooperation on April 11. This PPH Pilot Program will allow TIPO and JPO to mutually use search and examination results to speed up patent examination process and enhance examination quality.
Taiwan and Japan have had a long history of close trading relation; patent applications from Japan outnumber other foreign applications filed at TIPO. Last year, applications from Japan topped at 13,366 cases, especially with respect to invention patent, a record high of 11,833 cases were filed. This marks an 18.5% increase from 2010, which closed at 9,984 cases. JPO also receives approximately 3000 cases of patent applications from Taiwan each year. With this amount of patents filed between both offices, this PPH Pilot program would give applicants of both countries an option to expedited examination. As most patent applications filed between both countries are concentrated in the areas of electronics, heavy industry, chemical industry and pharmaceutical products, applicants within these categories would also benefit from the program as well.
Under this pilot program, applicant who has filed for the first time his patent application with the JPO (office of first filing) and later filed with TIPO claiming priority to the JPO application may submit a request for accelerated examination with TIPO, if one or more of the claims has been determined patentable by JPO. This procedure also applies to patent application that has been filed for the first time with TIPO (office of first filing) and claimed priority rights with JPO. As long as one or more of the claims has been determined patentable by TIPO, the applicant may request accelerated examination with JPO.
Under the current Accelerated Examination Program (AEP), applicant whose patent application has been granted by the JPO or has received an office action and search report from the JPO may request for accelerated examination with TIPO. This PPH Pilot Program would allow for even faster examination process, since PPH requires that the scope of claims has to be the same or smaller as that from the office of first filing, and subsequent amendment to the claims also has to meet this requirement. As requirements for PPH are stricter than those of AEP, it is more economical in terms of examination costs and processing time; average processing time under PPH is 1.1 months, whereas under the AEP is 2.5 months.
Furthermore, in response to increasing demands that after having been granted patent rights under accelerated examination at TIPO, request for accelerated examination with other offices that have PPH agreement with TIPO (e.g., USPTO, JPO) should also be an option, TW-SUPA is proposed. Under the TW-SUPA program, a Taiwan application that is later filed with JPO may request for out of turn examination and receive an office action within six months. After the patent application is granted by TIPO, the applicant may further request that his application be examined under PPH with the JPO.
Request form and other related information may be obtained from TIPO¡¦s website at www.tipo.gov.tw/pph and JPO¡¦s website at http://www.jpo.go.jp/cgi/link.cgi?url=/torikumi/t_torikumi/patent_highway.htm.


What is PPH?
PPH is an examination process that would speed up procedure by allowing the office of second filing to use the examination result of a corresponding claim from the office of first filing; this would help reduce patent backlog and enhance patent examination quality. PPH is a form of cooperation which allows patent offices to mutually use examination results to reduce repeated examination work. There is no guarantee that patent that has been granted at the office of first filing would also be granted at the office of second filing.




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2011/7/27

TIPO schedules series of meetings on e-book copyright awareness


In an attempt to meet the demands of the rapidly-expanding electronic book industry and educate e-book platform operators about basic copyright concepts, TIPO has scheduled a series of two e-book copyright awareness meetings on July 5 and July 29.


2011/6/29 World IP Day activities planned for Taipei


¡¥Designing the Future¡¦ was the theme for this year¡¦s World IP Day, an annual event celebrated each year on April 26 by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). In conjunction with its international partner IP bodies, TIPO organized a schedule of 2011 World IP Day events held on April 23 at Red House Theater in Ximending, Taipei. Young spectators gathered to witness a series of exciting, creative dance performances that aimed to teach young spectators about the benefits of creative expression and encourage in them a greater respect for intellectual property. Also part of this year¡¦s events was a temporary World IP Day website that included an online dance competition voting area and an IPR trivia contest that awarded prizes to winning participants.



2011/5/31 TIPO grants full reinstatement to patent, trademark applications delayed due to 3/11 Japanese earthquake


Japan is the top foreign source of patent applications to Taiwan(over 10,000 cases filed annually).With the recent major earthquake and tsunami disaster that hit Japan on March 11, 2011, some difficulties in transmitting or sending information between Japan and Taiwan might be expected while the affected areas recover. Accordingly, TIPO has issued the following public notice: ¡§Patent and trademark applicants whose cases have, due to the Japanese earthquake disaster of March 11, 2011, been delayed beyond the statutory time limit may request for reinstatement in accordance with Article 17, Paragraph 2 of the Patent Act, and Rule 10 of the Implementing Regulations of the Patent Act, or Article 9 of the Trademark Act. TIPO will assess the specific conditions of each case before determining appropriate leniency measures.¡¨



2011/3/15 Examination Guidelines on Retail Service Trademarks entered into force on February 1, 2011

Since Taiwan first allowed trademark registration for retail services, a number of applicants have shown confusion over what constitutes a retail service under Taiwan trademark law. Consequently, trademark applications often list an excessive number of items of retail service that depict unreasonable representations of actual business operations and obstruct fair market competition. These obstacles also increase the difficulties of conducting practical trademark examinations, wasting manpower and other administrative resources. In other instances, creators of self-made goods have applied for trademark registration on retail services instead of on normal goods, creating inconsistencies between the scope of trademark rights and actual transaction types which prevent full protection for these trademarks. Therefore, TIPO has introduced a set of guidelines that shed light on the basic ideas behind retail service and retail service examinations. The guidelines clearly explain the definitions, nature, and types of retail services, examination of retail service terms, criteria for determining the similarities between retail services and other goods and services, and proper usage of retail service trademarks. The presence of these guidelines will serve as a valuable source for TIPO examiners in the future.


2010/12/31 Mutual acceptance of cross-strait priority right claims begins as of November 22, 2010

Following the signing of the Cross-Strait Agreement on IPR Protection and Cooperation on June 29, 2010, IP authorities from both Taiwan and Mainland China underwent necessary adjustments of internal operations. Upon conclusion of these changes, both sides agreed to commence mutual acceptance of priority right claims for patents, trademarks, and plant varieties as of November 22, 2010. Priority right claims for first applications may be accepted retroactive to September 12, 2010 (enactment date of the Cross-Strait Agreement).

With respect to the designation of groups or organizations to handle cross-strait copyright authentication services, the Mainland has stated that, once all necessary administrative steps are completed, the Taiwan Association for Copyrights Protection may commence operation as the authentication authority for all relevant Taiwanese-produced audio-visual works.


2010/9/6 USPTO patent attorney Jeffrey Siew visits TIPO

Jeffrey Siew, a patent attorney with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), was in Taipei on July 1, 2010 to give a speech for TIPO patent examiners. Examiners learned about recent USPTO policies and measures , and gained valuable insight on topics such as the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) and various other examination practices. Mr. Siew was then invited to tour TIPO¡¦s Patent Division to witness the working environment and examination procedures of in-house examiners.


2010/4/21 IPR Police discover illegal online sale of unlicensed counterfeit drugs

In early February 2010, inspectors from the IPR Police apprehended an individual suspected of selling unlicensed counterfeit medicines over the Internet in violation of the Trademark Act. A supply of approximately 20,000 items was seized on site. The seized products, which included spray medicines, essential oils, and ointments, were manufactured and sold without proper testing or certification. The case was subsequently directed to local prosecutors for further investigation in accordance with Trademark Act regulations. In addition, all seized medicines produced in violation of the Pharmaceutical Affairs Act were turned over to the Department of Health for further testing.


2009/11/10 Accelerated Examination Program yields positive early results, all patent applicants welcome to utilize new system 

1. In order for industries to maintain their competitive advantage over those outside Taiwan¡¦s borders, more and more patent applications are being filed abroad, creating huge backlogs in patent offices around the world. To help tackle these growing obstacles, many countries have been forced to modify their patent examination systems, easing the burdens on examiners by simplifying examination procedures. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to make better use of the search and examination results of foreign patent offices, which will effectively streamline the search and examination process for patent applications in Taiwan.
2. Most countries today sign bilateral Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) agreements with foreign patent offices to provide mutual references for each other during patent searches and examinations and thus expedite procedures. Due to Taiwan¡¦s lack of participation in these PPH agreements, TIPO has developed its own new set of procedures based on the PPH system to help accelerate the speed of patent prosecution in Taiwan and stem the problem of growing backlogs. This new service, known as the Accelerated Examination Program (AEP), was established on January 1, 2009. Under this program, invention patent applications for substantive examination at TIPO that submit a corresponding patent from abroad which has already been approved by the patent office of that country are eligible for expedited examination services. If both scope of patent and additional supporting documents of reference are submitted by applicants to TIPO examiners, the examination process can be further expedited. In most patent cases, TIPO will issue a notice of examination results (including examination comments notice and written examination decision) no more than six months after receiving all required documents from the applicant. However, the actual waiting period will depend on the specific technical fields of each case.
3. A total of 384 patent applications have been filed under the AEP service since the AEP¡¦s opening on January 1, 2009. Of this total, 309 were submitted with all required documents enclosed, thus eligible for the accelerated service; of these AEP-eligible applications, 252 have already been issued examination notices by TIPO (see table below). The average period between receipt of application and issue of examination notice was only 48.1 days, acting as solid proof of the effectiveness of this new program thus far.


2007/8/10 TIPO hosts IPR training camp for Central Taiwan colleges and university students in August

This August, TIPO organized an IPR training camp at the Ministry of Economic Affairs' United Service Center for Central Taiwan. Training includes an introduction to copyright related issues on campus, patent and trademark database searches, and patent and trademark application and examination practices. Participation was very enthusiastic.


2007/8/7 Revision to "Patent Examination Guidelines, Part II Invention Patent Substantive Examination, Chapter 11 Biological Inventions" effective immediately

TIPO's Examination Standards for Biological Inventions, originally promulgated on December 12, 2002, was revised in compliance with the Patent Act and general provisions for examination guidelines implemented on July 1, 2004. Revised contents include vocabulary, definitions, and citations. Regulations for stem cell related inventions and moral considerations were amended to clarify said issue, and to promote domestic biotech industry development. Patent Act regulations on unity have also been revised in accordance with international trends, and taking into consideration international standards and examples.


2007/8/2 "Seminar on Operating Collective Management Organizations of Oral and Literary Works" concludes successfully

To assist with the operations of the Chinese Oral & Literary Copyright Intermediary Association (COLI), the first organization of its kind in Taiwan, TIPO hosted the "Seminar on Operating Collective Management Organizations of Oral and Literary Works" on July 2nd. In an effort to strengthen international cooperation and exchange, Mr. Olav Stokkmo, Secretary General of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organizations (IFRRO), and Ms. Caroline Morgan, General Manager of Corporate Services at Copyright Agency Limited (Australia) were invited to speak on PRO related operational practices and experiences, and copyright management in the digital age.


2007/7/11 Copyright Amendment on P2P Provisions Promulgated on July 11, 2007 

Legislator Hsieh Kuo-liang and others proposed an amendment to the Copyright Act in January 2006, chiefly aiming at Internet service providers who advertise their providing of computer programs or technology (such as P2P file sharing programs) in return for a fee or other benefits, with the inducement that users will be allowed to file-swap unlicensed, copyright-infringing music, video, or other types of files. The amendments clarify the responsibilities of such service providers and expressly prohibit such activities. The bill was announced by Presidential order on July 11, 2007. 


2007/7/4 Status of Patent Attorney Act 

The Patent Attorney Act passed third reading at the Legislative Yuan on June 14, 2007. According to the Patent Attorney Act, patent attorneys will only be qualified for practice only if they pass the national examination and complete a pre-employment training. This Act is expected to improve the quality of patent attorneys and to ensure patent attorneys' professionalism as well as the rights of the applicants through the working of a mandatory patent attorney union.


2007/7/2  Online Bootleg Software Merchant Fined NT$740 Million and Sentenced Two Years 

In January, the Criminal Investigation Bureau arrested a man suspected of selling pirated software online. The Taoyuan District Court Judge rendered that since the pirated software was a professional software for individual usage, and that the infringement act had been ongoing for more than two years, the suspect was given a prison term of two years in addition to a civil fine of 740 million NT Dollars. The court verdict was published on the front page of the Economic Daily for a day. TIPO urges all citizens to obey the law.


2007/6/14 The 25th APEC/IPEG meeting to take place in Taipei on June 11-15, 2007 

A total of 60 representatives from the economic ministries, IPR competent agencies, and Customs of 16 member economies attended the 25th APEC/IPEG meeting in Taipei.

Major discussion topics ranged widely, from IPR protection policy, legislation, and enforcement on the part of member economies, to the exchange of information and experience on important topic of international concern. Taiwan provided reports on the establishment of the IP Court, plant variety protection system, enforcement status and results of Customs border-control measures, promoting IP management systems for businesses, non-traditional trademark system, IP-awareness educational promotion results, and the Taiwan Intellectual Property Training Academy (TIPA).

Major participants in the 25th APEC/IPEG meeting included the representatives from the APEC Member Economy, APEC Secretariat and EC-ASEAN attended. The number and level of participants involved in the 25th APEC/IPEG meeting were both higher compared with past meetings, confirming the acknowledgement of APEC member economies of Taiwan's status in the IPR-related field.


2007/6/1 Public Hearing on Draft Copyright Intermediary Organization Regulations Successfully Concluded 

To draw on international experiences, the competent agency, TIPO, researched copyright collective management regulations and operational practices from around the world as reference for discussions on compiling the "Draft Revision of the Copyright Collective Management Regulations (First Draft)," which was completed in January 2007. In order that both the public and private sectors can grasp the contents and parameters of said first revision draft and give opinions, TIPO held seven separate opinion exchange meetings aimed at intermediary organizations, and rights holder and users, between February 12 and March 14, 2007; the first revision draft was also delivered to the American Chamber of Commerce and other foreign organization to garner their input.

For more detailed and comprehensive revision content and to gather more public recommendations, TIPO held a public hearing for the second revision draft on May 30, and conducted two inter-agency consultation meetings on June 4 and 5 for further opinion exchange. The completed draft is expected to be delivered to the Legislative Yuan at the end of June.


2007/4/10 IPR police continues to strengthen inspection efforts

From January to the end of March, the IPR Police has discovered 483 instances of infringement on 1,553 outings, a 15.3% and 36.4% respective increase from the 354 instances discovered on 1,347 outings during the same period in 2006.


2007/3/8 IP Court Organic Act passes third Legislative Yuan Reading on March 5

On March 5, the IP Court Organic Act passed its third Legislative Yuan Reading. This, along with the IP Case Proceeding Act passed during the Legislative Yuan's previous session, means the IP Court is set to commence operation this fall. This greater professionalism will not only elevate the quality IP-related examinations, we can expect more efficiency in all IPR-related lawsuits and remedies, and better rights holder protection-a milestone for IPR protection in Taiwan. In the meantime, TIPO will continue to assist the Judicial Yuan with personnel and operations related preparations to ensure a functionally effective IP Court.


2006/12/1 Intellectual Property Office will notify patent owner to express their opinions before completing Utility Model reports.

From January 1st in 2007, Intellectual Property Office Ministry of Economic Affairs will provide explanation mechanism for Utility Model patentee toward non-novelty and (or) non-progression condition technical reports after completing the Utility Uodel report examination.

Utility Model had adopted the formality examination since the patent law amendment in 2004, which did not carry on the judgments of prior art research or substantial requirement to utility model applications. Having not determined the efficiency of Utility Model patent, anyone who wants to determine the substantial requirement of Utility Model should follow the Paten Law No. 103, applying for the Utility Model reports as the basis of rights exercising or techniques using. No matter how the examining results by Utility Model reports are, it only provides objective evaluation of whether Utility Model patent is fit the patent requirements or not, but not the disposition of the efficiency of Utility Model. However, once the technical reports do nod qualify novelty or progression of Utility Model, a big influence would be in the right exercising of Utility Model. In order to ensure the patent owner having the opportunity to explain before sending out the technical reports, the ¡§Notifying descriptions of Utility Model technical reports¡¨ has been formulated to seek for the suitable Utility Model technical reports and improve the service.

The point of Notifying description of Utility Model technical reports
1. When examination staffs judge the patent application of product, which does not have qualified novelty and (or) progression requirement; when comparing the result code 1 and (or) 2, 3, under the situation of not affecting the rights of Utility Model technical reports applicant, the Utility Model patentee would be notified in advance to give explanation( about 30 days). The response or data by Utility Model patentee, before the examination staffs formally send out the Utility Model technical reports, would be judged if it could change one of the previous results. If so, examination and comparison should be made again.

2. Notifying letter not only displays the non-novelty and (or) non-progression requirement, but also marks the responding paragraphs, contents or pictures in the quoted literature; the quote would be send with notifying letter. Based on the premise of the speed of making Utility Model technical reports, no matter what the Utility Model patentee replies or not, the Intellectual Property Office would send out the Utility Model technical reports within 30 days.

This project will start in January 1st in 2007. The Intellectual Property Office in the future will keep examining the efficiency of this method, in order to search for perfect Utility Model technical reports.



2006/3/16 Another P2P Platform Crushed


Early morning on March 15, the Investigation Bureau's Taichung Station and the IFPI Taiwan successfully busted Avpeer, a company that provides P2P platform for illegal file sharing. This is the third P2P case uncovered in Taiwan, following EzPeer and Kuro in 2005.

IFPI Taiwan has been collecting evidence since January this year on Avpeer's activities, including data on users' uploads. All evidence gathered was turned over to the Investigation Bureau's Taichung Station for investigation. After more than a month of matching upload data, special agents from the Taichung Station were able to lock down two IP addresses and one company in Taichung. On the morning of March 15, the three locations were raided. The operation turned up 200G of hard disk space with over 20,000 music files, four mainframe computers and other computer equipment. More than 10,000 music files were infringement of IFPI's copyrights. The case has now forwarded to the Taichung D.A. office for further investigation.

On the same afternoon of the successful raid, the Changhua District Court sentenced five defendants involved in the Kuro's "music laundering" case ("music laundering" is a term used to describe the act of converting licensed music into other formats, and redirecting them for use in a masked legal fashion). The five defendants were found guilty of habitual copyright offense. The main suspect was given a prison term of one year and 10 months, and the remaining suspects were given one year and four months.

The government's determination in implementing IPR protection is unchallengeable. To combat computer software and Internet piracy, the government will continue to enforce its Implementation Plan for Enhancing Computer Software Protection and Implementation Plan for Strengthening Prevention Measures Against Internet Infringements, and law enforcement authorities will work closely with rights holder groups to carry out stringent inspections to stamp out illegal activities so as to protect the legal rights of law abiding citizens and groups.


2005/9/9 Taipei District Court convicted Kuro and one of its subscription members

In recent years, the development of P2P technology has put tremendous impacts on copyright protection. This is especially apparent when software service providers do not monitor user downloads strictly and allow transmission of unlicensed copyrighted works. After a verdict from the Taipei Shilin District Court on June 30, 2005, when ezPeer was acquitted, all eyes have since been on the long anticipated case of Kuro. On September 9, the Taipei District Court convicted Kuro and one of its subscription members on the following counts:

1. Chen, a subscription member of Kuro's service, was convicted for violation of reproduction rights and sentenced to four-month imprisonment (may be suspended for three years). Chen was found guilty by the court for downloading over 900 unlicensed songs.
2. Kuro's management, ST Chen, KH Chen, and KX Chen were fully aware of the illegal downloads that their service provides, but continued to attract subscribers and earn subscription fees through boasting advertisements of their over 100,000 available pop music for downloads. Therefore, the infringement act of the above member was foreseeable, and the original intended service that Kuro advertised was met. Thus, the management and the member share common guilty intention and responsibility for their actions. All four were ruled joint offenders.
3. To expand their service for MP3 exchange, the three defendants hired helpers via a third party to reproduce MP3s illegally for members to download. This act constituted vocational offense since the illegal copying was a continuous business that the three defendants were involved in. The three defendants were thus sentenced to two- to three-year imprisonment.

If use legally, download and transmission of copyrighted works on the Internet via P2P is a convenient mean to share information and foster electronic businesses. However, if the technology is used in an illegal manner, the impact on copyright holders and related industry is beyond repair. If software developers and providers benefit from their provision of the software, are aware of the infringement potentials of the software, and are capable of controlling and managing the actions of the software users, the providers may be legally liable for the infringement acts of their users. Users (members) of online services should be aware that the scope of reasonable use on the Internet is very limited, and the probability of copyright violation is extremely high when one engages in public transmission and reproduction of copyrighted works. This verdict on P2P providers and user is a good demonstration of how both parties can be legally liable for their actions.

TIPO urges all P2P service providers to establish business licensing with right holders before offering their service to the public. Legal licensing of copyrighted works is a three-win situation that benefits and protects right holders, consumers, and Internet service providers. The verdict on this Kuro case affirms users' civil and criminal liabilities in using P2P for illegal reproduction and transmission of copyrighted works. TIPO also urges Internet users to be aware of the legal liabilities involved in transmitting and reproducing copyrighted works (music, recordings, movies, or written works), and should obtain legal licensing from right holders or use the work within reason to avoid criminal or civil actions against them.


2005/7/4 TIPO's Statement on EzPeer's Verdict


The development of P2P technology in recent years comes as a severe impact to copyright protection, as some software operators use the technology for file sharing without obtaining authorization from the copyright owner. Infringement problems that arise from the technology have alarmed authorities around the world. On June 27, 2005, the US Supreme Court found Grokster, a P2P operator, guilty of copyright infringement. On June 30, the Shilin District Court ruled EzPeer, a local P2P operator, not guilty of providing file-sharing platform for users to engage in public transmission and download (reproduction) of copyrighted materials.

According to the Shilin District Court, the defendant did not engage in illegal transmission or reproduction, nor had it been "partner in crime" with its users in transmitting or reproducing copyrighted work. Under the principles of "criminal law as last resort" and the principles of "criminal punishment can be imposed only when legal norms explicitly stipulates to such effect", the court ruled that EzPeer and its president, Weber Wu, are not guilty of infringement. Whether the defendant is liable for civil offense is not within the ruling of this criminal case, said the court.

The administrative departments believe that the application of P2P on the Internet should follow the principle of technology neutrality. In other words, developers and providers of the technology should not be legally liable for the development and supply of the technology, but rather, legal liability should be based on the application of the technology in individual cases. If the provider profits from supplying such technology, is fully aware of the infringement activities of its users, and is capable of governing and controlling such activities, then the provider may be legally liable for infringement. Since the scope for reasonable use is narrow and limited, users who publicly transmit and reproduce copyrighted work online are at high risk of

committing copyright infringements. Although users might have paid a subscription fee to use the file-sharing platform, but if the materials have not been licensed, sharing them would still constitutes an act of infringement.

The verdict by the Shilin District Court surely will bring disappointment to right holders and attention from the international community. Under the principle of judiciary independence, the administrative departments respect the rulings of the court. This is only the first ruling. In addition, as the court has indicated, this ruling only aimed at the defendant's criminal offense, not its civil liabilities. TIPO will continue to follow future actions that prosecutors and right holders take-whether appeals will be filed or civil remedies be sought.

Nonetheless, the non-guilty verdict was only directed at the defendant for providing a file-swapping platform. The court has stated clearly in the verdict that users using P2P to transmit and reproduce copyrighted materials may still be liable for copyright infringement. The administrative departments urge the public to be aware not to misinterpret the ruling as being legal to use P2P to transmit and reproduce copyrighted materials (including music, sound recordings, movies, writings). The public should use and obtain copyrighted materials legally to avoid any legal actions against them.



2005/4/8 : The first utility model technology report was issued

The first utility model technology report was issued on March 30, 2005 since the new Taiwan patent law was enforced. This is a new stage to Taiwan utility model patent system.

In order to protect utility model patent application fixed on the products of short life time, TIPO grants the utility patent right without a substantive examination but a formality verification to qualify the relative constrains, so that the patentee may get the utility model patent right soon, but the patentee must prompt a utility model technology report to the infringer before the utility model patent right will be invoked.

The utility model patent technology report is significant to the invoking of utility model patent right of a patentee and the industry development. For the utility model technology report, TIPO appoints an examiner to evaluate the novelity, non-obviousility, whether to violate the filing first principle of each claim according to the patents or documents searched. If the comparison code of claim is 1,2,3,4 or 5, it means to deny the evaluation of the utility model patent. If the comparison code is 6, it means to affirm the evaluation.

"TIPO will complete the utility model patent technology report to the applicant before the statutory due-time as soon as possible, so as to let the patentee to decide whether to claim the right for the reference ",TIPO said. For the situation of the third party to apply the report, the third party may also to decide to face the utility model patent.


2004/6/28

¡@¡@Taiwan patent law take some reform on July 1, 2004:

1. The opposition system will be abolished. Once the patent is approved, the applicant can apply the patent certification to own patent right soon. The people who have any comments can file an invalidation to the patent.

2. The due days of re-examination and re-filing will extend to 60 days from 30 days.

3. The invention application will be examined claim by claim.

4. Nature persons, schools and small businesses can apply the reduction of patent annuity. The amount is 800 TWD every year between 1 to 3 years, and 1200TWD every year between 4 to 6 years.

5.In order to process the patent infringement quickly, TIPO should take priority to examine the invalidation involving infringement.

6. For the utility model patent, any people can apply a utility model technology report. If utility model patentees invoke the patent right without applying this report to result a damage of other people, the patentee may be responsible to compensate.


2003/9/28

After three rounds of careful evaluation process for three months, the winners¡¦ list of the annual National Invention Award has been declared. The evaluation of National Invention Award depends on how applicants¡¦ patent inventions or creations contribute to related industries. The competitive items of the award contain ¡§quantities of patents¡¨ and ¡§the value and implementation of patent products¡¨. For corporations, there¡¦s one additional item ¡§encouragement of inventions and creations for employees¡¨.

According to the 12th ¡§National Evaluation Committee of Invention and Creation¡¨, the key successful factor for the winning corporation is the development of patent and protection of intellectual property with sound measures. For example, San Fang Chemical Industry Co., LTD who won the golden metal is very famous and outstanding in the field of chemical fiber material. Also, its R&D team has continuously innovated, researched and developed new technology so the technological level is top-notch with great market value. Delta Electronics, Inc who won the silver metal established a patent department in 2000 which helps to raise Delta¡¦s quantity of patent application in the internal market from the 34th place in 1998 to the 12th place in the last year. Besides, Holtek Semiconductor Inc. who won the bronze medal has measures to encourage invention, emphasizes to educate employees about intellectual property, constantly holds training programs about IPR, and develops employees with careful plans. Holtek Semiconductor Inc. invests 10% of annual revenue to research and develop new products and technologies. Its dedication on ¡§general embedded micro control unit¡¨ had made the company the first one proposing micro control unit in industrialized scale.

The individual award winners possess following significant characteristics. First, the innovations are with high economic and industrial value. Second, a large amount of manufacturing and technology transfer costs are significantly saved. For example, the ¡§adjustable multifunctional¡¨ invented by Mr. Gang-Chiang Hsu is already a seller with tens of million NT dollars; toys, jewelries and furniture invented by Mr. How-Wen Liu are with over tens of million revenue; Mr. Chuen-cheng Chiu¡¦s extensive invention includes automatic mandarin identifying technology, immediate translating technology, database processing technology, and internet transmitting technology. These inventions have already contributed extremely toward the R&D technology of IT products, and the competitiveness in the industry. In addition, Mr. Tsung-Ming Wu¡¦s patent has already been promoted and adopted by manufacturers of wafer such as TSMC, YiShun, Atai Digital Technology, Inc., and Prosys Technology Integration, Inc., which saves a lot of manufacturing overheads. Mr. Fu-chu Chou¡¦s invention is applied on ¡§spin coating¡¨, which saves a billion on manufacturing costs.

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2003/8/27

TIPO ( Taiwan Intellectual Property Office) announced the patent license format will be simplified after January 1, 2004. In the future, the publication copy, the silk ribbon and the certified label will not be attached in the patent license in order to shorten the procedure time. So, the patentee may obtain the patent license sooner then before.


2003/1/3

Taiwan became a member of WTO on January 1, 2002. According to TRIPs Agreement, all foreign applicant of which the country is the member of WTO can file a Taiwan Patent or a Taiwan Trademark based on the priority date. TIPO will devote to the international cooperation to make Taiwan IPR to meet the world requirement.


2002/10/26

The substantial examination is enforced and Some of relative Taiwan Patent Official fees was regulated as follows:

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Description
Fees

(TW Dollars)

Filing an invention patent application
2000

Request for examination for an invention patent application
6000

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2001/11/21

Taiwan Patent Official(government) fees was regulated largely as follows:

Description
Fees

(TW Dollars)

Filing an Invention Application of Invalidation
Applying for Extension of Patent Term
Applying for Compulsory License of Patent
9,000

Filing a Utility Model Application of Invalidation
8,500

Filing a Design Patent Application of Invalidation
8,000

Filing a Request for Re-examination of a Design Patent
Filing a Design Patent Application of Opposition
Recordal of Assignment or Inheritance for the Right to Apply for Patent
Recordal of Trust of Patent Right
Request for an Inspection of the Experiments, Models or Specimens Conducted/submitted
3,500

Applying for Re-issuance of a Decision
Applying for a Certified Copy of a Document
600

Request for Inspection of the File Wrapper
600

Change Other than Those Made with Respect to the Specification or Drawings

Recordal of Other Changes to Patent Trust
300

Register as a Patent Agent
90

Applying for Re-issuance of the Letters Patent
1,250

Filing an Invention Application

(Specification and Drawings are not in Excess of 50 Pages)
Filing a Request for Re-examination of an Invention Application
(Specification and Drawings are not in Excess of 50 Pages)

Filing an Invention Application of Opposition
Applying for Conversion of an Application into an Invention Application
Filing a Divisional Invention Application
6,000

Invention Application Filed by Using the Two-dimensional Code Application Form or by Electronic Means Designated by the Patent Authority (Specification and Drawings are not in Excess of 50 Pages)
5,500

Filing a Utility Model Application

(Specification and Drawings are not in Excess of 50 Pages)
Filing a Request for Re-examination of a Utility Model Application
(Specification and Drawings are not in Excess of 50 Pages)

Filing a Divisional Utility Model Application
Applying for Conversion of an Application into a Utility Model Application
Filing a Utility Model Application of Opposition
4,500

Utility Model Application Filed by Using the Two-dimensional Code Application Form or by Electronic Means Designated by the Patent Authority (Specification and Drawings are not in Excess of 50 Pages)
4,000

Filing a Design Patent Application
Filing an Associated Design Patent Application
Applying for Conversion of an Application into a Design Patent Application
Filing a Divisional Design Patent Application
3,000

Correction of Specification or Drawings
Request for an Interview
Filing Supplements or Amendments to the Specification or Drawings for an allowed and Published Application
Recordal of Assignment or Inheritance for the Patent Right
Recordal of Obliteration or Ownership of Patent Trust
2,000

Filing an Application for Supplemental Brief or Evidence in an Opposition or Invalidation
Filing Supplements or Amendments to the Specification or Drawings for a Pending Application
1,000

Surcharge of Filing an Invention or Utility Model or a Request for Re-examination of an Application where the Specification and Drawings are in excess of 50 pages: Each Additional 50 Pages over the First Fifty; Pages Less than Fifty Shall be Counted as Fifty
500

Issuance Fee
2,500

Annual Fees for Maintaining a Granted Patent in Force:

1st to 3rd Years
2,500 (Annually)

Annual Fees for Maintaining a Granted Patent in Force:

4th to 6th Years

Annual Fee for a Patent Granted an Extend Duration
5,000 (Annually)

Annual Fees for Maintaining a Granted Patent in Force:

7th to 9th Years
10,000

(Annually)

Annual Fees for Maintaining a Granted Patent in Force:

10th to 20th Years
20,000

(Annually)

Annual Fees for Maintaining a Granted Patent in Force:

21st to the Subsequent Years
40,000

(Annually)

Recordal of License or Pledge over Patent Right
4,000

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