本 期 提 要HEADLINES
Taiwan & El Salvador Sign Intellectual Property Right Protection Agreement
The Intellectual Property Office of the MOEA recently published the "Republic of China and Republic of El Salvador Agreement on Intellectual Property Right Protection", which took effect on March 1, 2002. Under the said Agreement, natural and juridical persons from one party's territories shall enjoy a right of priority when applying for an invention, new utility model or new design model patent, or trademark, service mark or association mark within the other party's territories, if it has already filed an application in its home country. However, the date of such right of priority must not be earlier than March 1, 2002.
Applying for Trademark & Patent in Burkina Faso
According to information provided
by the Embassy of Republic of China in Burkina Faso, foreign companies
located within Burkina Faso intending to apply for trademark or patent in
the said country can apply directly to the "Bureau of Laws &
Industrial Property" under the country's "Ministry for Promotion
of Trade, Commerce and Handicraft".
Foreign companies located outside Burkina Faso must file applications through an agent. However, the country currently does not have any professional law offices providing such patent agent services. Therefore, Burkina Faso's "Bureau of Laws & Industrial Property" suggests that trademark or patent applications may be filed through European law offices to the "African Intellectual Property Association" located at Yaound, the capital of Cameron (Tel: 237-2205700, 2203911; Fax: 237-2205721, 2205727). If approved, the trademark or patent will be protected in the 16 member countries of the said Association, including Burkina Faso.
IPO Discussions on Patent Laws
The Economic Development Advisory
Conference (EDAC) had listed "a sound intellectual property right
examination system" as one of its joint resolutions, which demanded
that intellectual property right protection should be enhanced, and
establishment of a pro-innovation environment and sound IPR examination
system should be accelerated. Majority
resolutions also included "accelerating decriminalization of
intellectual property infringements, create an environment of fair
competition, decriminalization of patent law, copyright law and intellectual
property law infringements". In
addition, the "knowledge economy development proposal" has already
included in its agenda reviews of the post-grant objection system and
examination as to form of new utility model patents.
A complete draft of the amendments should be completed by June 2002.
In accordance with the EDAC resolutions, the IPO has prepared draft amendments to the Patent Law and submitted them to the Legislative Yuan on November 28, 2001 for consideration. However, consideration of the draft was not completed by the end of the 4th session of the Legislative Yuan. Under Article 13 of the Legislative Yuan Exercise of Powers Law, "upon the expiry of term for members of the Legislative Yuan, unconsidered bills will not be considered in the following term". Therefore, bills whose review was not completed in the relevant term are deemed abandoned, and must be resubmitted to the Legislative Yuan for consideration. Accordingly, the Executive Yuan has recently instructed relevant ministries that EDAC-related bills be submitted to the Executive Yuan by the end of April, and submitted to the Legislative Yuan by the end of May. For this reason, the IPO has especially called a Patent Law amendment meeting, so as to discuss amendments to the Patent Law.
Draft Patent Agent Law
In order to design a
comprehensive patent agent system and to protect the rights and interests of
patent applicants, the IPO has prepared a draft Patent Agent Law and held a
public hearing to solicit comments on the draft.
The draft was based on the joint resolution by the EDAC in August
2001 concerning "strengthening intellectual property right protection,
creating an innovations-friendly environment, and passing the draft Patent
Agent Law as soon as possible", as well as the provision in Paragraph
4, Article 12 of the Patent Law which stipulated: "The qualifications
and management of patent agents shall be separately stipulated by law; prior
to such stipulation, patent representative regulations shall apply." The Patent Agent Law has been drafted having reference to the
management regulations applying to other professional and technical
The said draft contained 5 chapters, with a total of 44 articles, and regulates the following matters: (1) the active and passive criteria for patent agent qualifications, as well as procedures for applying for patent attorney certificate; (2) pre-practice training, registration, manner of practice, scope of practice, practice regulations, and other matters concerning patent agent practice and responsibilities; (3) organization of patent agent association, and instruction and supervision of the association by the competent authority on public associations; (4) penalties applicable to patent agents, and their causes and procedures; organization of the penalties committee, as well as penalty applicable to practicing without patent agent qualifications; (5) stipulate that patent representatives may continue to handle patent matters, in order to establish a formal examination system for professional and technical personnel, and protect the practice rights of patent representatives who have obtained practice certificates prior to enforcement of this Law.
IPO Announces Exclusions of Electronic
On March 21, 2002 the IPO announced that the Electronic Signatures Law will not apply to applications and other procedures under the Patent Law, Trademark Law,Copyright Law, Copyright Intermediary Organizations Regulations, and Integrated Circuits Layout Protection Law. Details can be found at the following website:
Prosecution of IPR Infringement Cases by District Courts in 2nd Half of 2001
According to statistics released by the Senior Prosecutors Bureau of the Ministry of Justice, intellectual property right infringement cases during the 2nd half of 2001 are currently as follows:
1. Investigation of IPR infringement cases from July to December, 2001:
(1) There were 2,725 new cases, representing a decrease of 901 cases compared to the same period in 2000; most of the cases were infringements of Copyright Law, totaling 2,004 cases (73.54%), while the remaining consisted of 488 Trademark Law infringement cases (17.91%) and 233 Patent Law infringement cases (8.55%).
(2) Investigation was concluded in respect of 2,784 cases (3,500 defendants), representing a decrease of 958 cases (1,068 defendants) compared to the same period in 2000; amongst them, 1,503 defendants were indicted, representing 42.94% of the total number of defendants investigated. 35 cases were indicted with subsequent convictions, representing 2.66% of the indicted cases.
(See Table 1 for details)
2. Affirmed and enforced IPR infringement cases from July to December, 2001:
(1) Judgments were affirmed in respect of 1,622 defendants, representing an increase of 171 persons compared to the same period in 2000. Amongst these, 200 defendants were sentenced to imprisonment for one year or more, 69 to imprisonment for more than 6 months but less than 1 year, 705 to imprisonment for less than 6 months, 87 defendants were sentenced to detention, 28 were fined. The conviction rate was 67.14%, representing an increase of 5.39% from 61.75% in the same period in 2000.
(See Table 2 for details)
(2) Sentences have already been carried out in respect of 602 convicted cases (640 defendants), representing an increase of 147 cases (165 defendants) compared to the same period in 2000. Amongst these, 508 cases were enforced for 544 defendants sentenced to six months or under, or detention. In these cases, defendants could apply to convert their sentences to fines. Of these cases, 482 persons (88.60%) were allowed to convert their sentences to fines, while 6 persons (1.10%) were denied..(Note: For all criminal cases in the same period, 72.01% of defendants were eligible to convert sentences and only 0.19% of applications to convert sentences were denied.(See Table 3 for details)