本 期 提 要 HEADLINES
“Early Disclosure of Invention Patents” Effective October 26, 2002
According to the Intellectual Property Office (“IPO”) of Ministry of Economic Affairs (“MOEA”), the amended Patent Law (effective October 26, 2001) had introduced the “early disclosure of invention patents” system, in order to further internationalize Taiwan’s patent system. In addition, the revised Patent Law has included such ancillary provisions as those that relate to the “examination request system” and “temporary right protection”, so that the early disclosure system will be more effective.
The IPO has indicated that under the “early disclosure system”, invention patent applications will be publicly disclosed once a prescribed period has passed after filing of the application (18 months). The purpose of early disclosure is to avoid instabilities in economic activity, as well as waste of resources due to duplicate research and investment. In addition, businesses will be able to have earlier access to technical information that are already subject to patent applications, so that they may engage in further research and development based on such preexisting technology. The new system will hence help to realize the government’s goal of promoting industrial technological upgrading. The “early disclosure system” has limited application to new design and new utility model patents, as these patents are not as technically complex as invention patents, and their product life cycles are also much shorter. Therefore, for the present the “early disclosure system” will only apply to invention patents. Since “early disclosure” is a newly-introduced system, patent applicants must be given a reasonable period to adjust to the change, and the IPO, being the competent patent authority, must also be given time to prepare the disclosure gazette, to amend relevant work procedures, and to educate the public about the new system. Accordingly, the Patent Law has provided that the “early disclosure” provisions of the Law will only apply to applications filed on and after October 26, 2002.
The “early disclosure of invention patents” provisions are found in Article 36, Paragraphs 1 to 6 of the Patent Law. A patent application will be published in the early disclosure gazette 18 months after the date of filing, if examination of the application shows that it is in compliance with the relevant procedures, that it not involve national defense secrets or other secrets affecting national security, that it is not detrimental to public order or good morals, and the application is not withdrawn within 15 months of the filing date. Anyone may apply to review, copy, photograph or photocopy all information contained in the disclosed application. For a period of 3 years from the filing date, the patent applicant or any other person may apply to the competent patent authority for substantive examination of the application, in order to confirm that the application satisfied all criteria for a patent, and therefore that a patent should be granted. If no application for substantive examination is filed, the patent application will be deemed withdrawn.
“early disclosure system” was introduced for public welfare purposes. However, once an application is publicly disclosed, contents
of the application will no longer be secret and will be generally
available to the public. In
order to prevent third parties from commercially applying contents of the
patent application, the Patent Law also
provides for temporary protection of rights in respect of such patent
application. Where a person
commercially applies contents of a publicly disclosed patent application,
and continues to do so after being notified in writing of contents of the
application by the patent applicant but before formal gazette indicating
grant of patent, the patent applicant may claim for appropriate
compensation from such person, once the patent application has been
examined and the patent right has been confirmed
Patent & Trademark Applications & Approvals in 2nd Quarter of 2002
According to statistics released by the IPO, the IPO had handled a total of 15,912 new patent applications during the 2nd quarter of 2002, which represented a 6% decrease from the same period last year. The number of invention, new utility model and new design applications have fallen by 3.61%, 6.91% and11.88% respectively. Amongst them the number of new patent applications by foreign persons has decreased by 4.30%, while the number for Taiwanese nationals has decreased by 7.17%.
The number of gazetted and approved patent cases totaled 11,515, representing a decrease of 4.48% from the same period last year. Amongst them, the number of invention cases increased by 5.71%, while new utility model and new design cases fell by 12.42% and 15.53% respectively.
Although the number of new applications during this quarter is lower than the same period last year, it represents an increase by 3,909 applications compared to the 1st quarter of this year (12,003 applications), which is a 32.57% increase. The number of gazetted and approved cases is also higher than the number for the 1st quarter (10,299 cases) by 1,216 cases, representing an increase of 11.81%.
The number of new trademark applications during 2nd quarter of 2002 was 16,381, representing a slight decrease of 0.72% from the same period last year. The number of gazetted and approved cases was 18,358, representing a decrease of 5.51% from the same period last year.
396 Persons Sentenced to 1+ Years Imprisonment in Affirmed IPR Cases in 2001
According to statistics released by the Ministry of Justice, during the period of January to December 2001 there were 3,238 defendants in affirmed cases of copyright, trademark or patent infringement heard by R.O.C. courts. Amongst these, 2,171 were convicted and sentenced to imprisonment, detention or fines.
Amongst the convictions, 1,385 defendants were sentenced to 6 months or less (including 74 in U.S.-related cases); 135 defendants were sentenced to between 6 and 12 months (including 22 U.S.-related cases); 377 defendants were sentenced to 1 year or more but less than 2 years (including 22 U.S.-related cases); 19 defendants were sentenced to 2 years or more but less than 3 years (including 2 U.S.-related cases); while 189 were sentenced to detention (including 20 U.S.-related cases).
Results of Customs Investigation of IPR Infringement Cases in 2001
Based on statistics released by the Directorate General of Customs (Ministry of Finance) relating to investigation of IPR infringement cases in 2001, the results of the investigation are compiled in the following table:
(1) Computer Software Export Management System:
Note: The Computer Software Export Management
System was implemented on November 1, 1992 and revised on July 15, 1998.
Compact Disc Export Inspection System：
Note: The Compact Disc Export Inspection
System was implemented in June 1992. The Board of Foreign Trade on 17 July
1998 issued an instruction which requires that exports of audio compact
and audio-visual compact disks carry a source identification code (SID
(3)商標部分： (3)Trademark Export Inspection System：
Note: The Trademark Export Inspection System was implemented on 1 October 1994. Through 16 October 2000, a total of 468 trademarks were listed with the Board of Foreign Trade.
(4) Microchip Labeling Inspection System:
microchip labeling system came into effect on January 1, 2001:
During the 1st quarter 2 cases of non-compliance with relevant regulations were found and transferred to the IPO. No violations were found during the 2nd to 4th quarters.
System for Parallel Import Audio-Visual Works：
Import of movies, videotapes, and laser discs of major U.S. studios：
Note: On November 15, 1993, Customs implemented the Authorized Imports Agents System based upon lists of authorized firms provided by the Taiwan representative of the U.S.-based Audio-Visual Copyrighted Works Association. As of April 1, 2000 the lists were provided by the Foundation for the Protection of Film and Video Works.