本 期 提 要HEADLINES
Draft Amendments to Patent Law Enforcement Rules
The Patent Law that was previously amended by order of the President on October 24, 2001 had introduced many new provisions concerning early publication of invention patents, and priority right within Taiwan. Accordingly new legislative measures are required to complement these new provisions. In addition, the partial amendments to the said Law that were enacted on May 7, 1997 have finally taken effect on January 1, 2002 by order of the Executive Yuan. This means that amendments to the Patent Law Enforcement Rules are also required to reflect relaxation of certain stipulations, simplification of application procedures, and interpretation of various issues. Therefore, the IPO has prepared "Draft Amendments to Patent Law Enforcement Rules", which consist of amendments to 31 provisions, insertion of 32 provisions, and deletion of 12 provisions. The IPO has also scheduled public hearings to take place on the afternoons of March 26 and 28, as well as April 2 and 4 respectively, so as to solicit public comments concerning the amendments. Below is a summary of main points in the draft amendments (public hearing version):
1. Stipulate paper size, format, and means of completion for patent applications
2. Relaxation of certain stipulations:
(1) Once a patent agent has been legally authorized, his/her acts will bind the principal within the term and scope of authorization. A patent application may be signed and chopped only by the patent agent, and it is unnecessary for the applicant to do so.
(2) In principle, application forms must be completed in Chinese; application forms completed in a foreign language must attach a Chinese translation. This rule is relaxed in respect of supporting documents submitted with the application form, and a Chinese translation of the entire document or its abstract need not be submitted unless required to do so.
(3) Photocopies of supporting documents, that are submitted pursuant to this Law under current practice, may be submitted in place of originals, unless otherwise required by these Enforcement Rules.
(4) Supporting documentation requirements have been simplified for applicants seeking to claim a right of priority.
3. Stipulate documentation required for various types of applications under this Law.
4. Truly enforce provisions under this Law concerning requirements for invention and new utility model patent claims, drawings, scope of application, and how substantive contents of a new design patent drawing should be described.
5. Stipulate matters that should be stated in decisions in respect of a preliminary examination, re-examination, objection and complaint under this Law.
6. Stipulate matters that should be stated in the Patent Gazette.
7. Stipulate commencement dates for various prescribed periods under this Law:
(1) The priority date will apply to provisions concerning prior applications or same-day-applications.
(2) Stipulate commencement and ending dates for determining priority periods and patent terms.
(3) Stipulate the commencement and ending dates for publication, supplementation, or revision of an invention patent application, where the early publication system applies to such patent application.
8. Delete provisions concerning application for deposit of microorganism samples:
In respect of invention patents relating to new species or application of microorganisms, Article 26, Paragraph 4 of the Law has been inserted on this occasion, authorizing the competent patent authority to determine a separate set of regulations. Therefore, applications for deposit of microorganism samples will properly fall within such new regulations, and these provisions should be deleted from these Enforcement Rules.
9. Stipulate transition provisions for abolishment of system of additions to patents:
In order to make certain the procedures for dealing with applications for additions to patents under Article 136-1 prior to amendment of this Law, pending applications, or cases where the right to make additions still exists, it is now stipulated that such cases will continue to be dealt with in accordance with the pre-amendment Enforcement Rules insofar as additions to patents are concerned.
For details of the aforementioned draft amendments (public hearing version), please visit the IPO's website at:
Draft Patent Agent Law
On November 18, 1988 the Executive Yuan had submitted the draft Patent Agent Law for deliberation by the Legislative Yuan, which passed its first reading of the Law on April 19, 1989. The relevant committee of the Legislative Yuan had also completed its examination of the draft. However, it was subsequently dropped from legislative schedule, because Article 13 of the Legislative Yuan Exercise of Powers Law stipulated that no law will continue to be reviewed once the relevant legislative term is over.
The Economic Development Advisory Conference (EDAC) held on August 2001 had resolved to strengthen intellectual property right protection, create an innovations-friendly environment, and pass the draft Patent Agent Law as soon as possible. Accordingly, the Executive Yuan had indicated that legislative bills highlighted by the EDAC, and that were dropped for application of Article 13 of the Legislative Yuan Exercise of Powers Law, will have to be re-submitted for review by the Executive Yuan by end of April 2002. In addition, as more than a decade has passed since the bill's first introduction, the related economic and legal environments have already changed substantially, which means that the bill will need to first undergo substantial revisions before being re-submitted. To this end, the IPO plans to hold a public hearing on March 18, 2002 to solicit public comments concerning the draft Patent Agent Law, as basis for its revisions.
IPO Issues Public Notice of Patented
Pursuant to Article 26 of the Patent Law and Article 16 of the Administrative Procedures Law, the IPO has on March 13, 2002 issued a public notice concerning deposit of patented microorganisms. As of January 1, 2002 until December 31, 2002, the Food Industry Research & Development Institute will be serving as a "patented microorganism depository". Its address is: No. 331, Shih-Pin Road, Hsinchu; and its telephone number is: (03) 5223191.
Postponed Enforcement of New Classification of Goods & Services
The IPO indicated on February 27, 2002 that the "Classification of Goods and Services" table appended to Article 49 of the Trademark Law Enforcement Rules will no longer take effect on the scheduled date. Originally scheduled to enter into force on March 1, 2002, the new Classification will now wait for a new date to be determined by the MOEA, as the legislative procedures for its amendment have not yet been fully completed.
Optical Media Management Law for optical media manufacturing businesses
Based on Articles 23, 26 and 27 of the "Optical Media Management Law" which was promulgated on November 14, 2001, and the "Source Identification Code Management Rules" which was promulgated on December 31, 2001, businesses that manufacture pre-recorded optical media prior to the Law must apply for and obtain manufacturing permits within 6 months of this Law coming into effect, businesses that manufacture blank optical media must file a declaration; businesses that already use source identification codes issued by other non-official authorities must file a declaration within 6 months of this Law coming into effect; and businesses that have already imported optical media manufacturing equipment must also file a declaration with the competent authorities within 6 months of the Law coming into effect. Failure to comply with these provisions will incur criminal and/or administrative penalties.
In addition, businesses that manufacture pre-recorded optical media may only do so after obtaining manufacturing permit documentation from the Industrial Development Bureau of the MOEA, and source identification codes from the IPO. Businesses that manufacture blank optical media must first file a declaration with the Industrial Development Bureau.
If a business is applying (or filing) for pre-recorded optical media manufacturing permit and source identification code at the same time, then after the Industrial Development Bureau issues the manufacturing permit documentation, the Bureau will automatically send the application (or filing) documents to the IPO for the purposes of the source identification code procedures.
Patent & Trademark Applications & Approvals in 4th Quarter, 2001
According to statistics released by the IPO, there were a total of 19,706 new patent applications during the 4th quarter of 2001, representing an increase of 20.48% from the same period last year and is the greatest rate of increase this year. The numbers for invention, new utility model, and new design applications all show a rising trend. Invention patent applications by ROC nationals increased markedly by 40.46% compared to the same period last year, while applications by foreign nationals increased only slightly by 2.63%. 11,898 patent applications were gazetted and approved, representing a slight fall of 1.41% from the same period last year. Amongst these, new design cases increased by 21.03%, followed by invention cases at 5.34%, while new utility model cases fell by 15.31%.
As for trademarks, there were a total of 14,330 new applications during the 4th quarter of 2001, representing a fall of 44.22% from the same period last year. 19,240 trademark applications were gazetted and approved, representing an increase of 8.11% from the same period last year. Although the numbers of new applications and extension cases decreased, all other types of applications showed a rising trend.
Trademark Applications & Approvals in Taiwan by PRC Nationals
Based on statistics released by the IPO, during the period from 1993 to January 2002, there were a total of 701 trademark applications and 64 service mark applications filed by PRC nationals in Taiwan. While 458 trademark cases and 63 service mark cases were approved and gazetted, 404 trademark cases and 48 service cases were registered, 62 trademark cases and 3 service mark cases were rejected.
U.S., Japan & Germany Top 2001 Trademark Applications & Approvals
Based on statistics released by the IPO, there were 41,299 trademark applications filed by ROC nationals during 2001, while 55,149 cases were approved by the IPO during the same period. As for applications filed by foreign nationals, U.S. applications topped the list at 5,296 cases, followed by Japan at 4,272 and Germany at 1,431 cases. Countries at 4th to 9th place are respectively France with 1,069 cases, Switzerland with 901 cases, Britain with 690 cases, Hong Kong with 575 cases, Italy with 496 cases, and the Netherlands with 343 cases. As for approved trademark cases filed by foreign nationals, the top three countries are respectively the U.S. at 6,691 cases, Japan at 3,823 cases and Germany at 1,615 cases; countries at 4th to 9th place are respectively Switzerland at 1,229 cases, Britain at 1,185 cases, France at 1,158 cases, Hong Kong at 700 cases, the Netherlands at 483 cases, and Singapore at 441 cases.
經濟部智慧財產局於日前表示，歐洲專利局（EPO）宣布其發行之歐洲專利資料ESPACE EP-A（歐洲專利申請案）和ESPACE EP-B（歐洲專利核准案）光碟資料庫，自2002年1月起將加入專利案修正資料。有關修正案之詳細資料可至EPO網站http://www.european-patent-office.org/correct/index.htm查詢，另EPO提供之網路免費專利資料庫esp@cenet中亦已納入，相關網址http://ep.espacenet.com/。而歐洲專利申請及核准案資料均已納入智慧財產局「外國專利光碟資料庫系統」。
EPO Revises European Patent Application & Approval Information
According to the IPO, the European Patent Office (EPO) has recently announced that two of the CD-Rom databases that it distributes - the European patent applications ESPACE EP-A, and the European patent approvals ESPACE EP-B - will include revised patent information as of January 2002. Detailed information concerning the revised patents can be found at the EPO's website at http://www.european-patent-office.org/correct/index.htm. In addition, such information has also been compiled within the free online patent database "esp@cenet" provided by the EPO, located at http://ep. espacenet.com/. Both the European patent applications and patent approvals have been included in the IPO's "Foreign Patent CD-Rom Database".