法 規 報 導
利"(Copyright and Related Rights in the Information
1. IPR Developments in the European Union
EU genetic patent developments
The European Parliament recently requested the EU to reconsider the provisions of a 1998 directive (98/44/EC), and extended the deadline for enactment of the provisions into law by member countries. The directive, which dealt with issues relating to human genetic information and regulations for protection of biotechnology, was originally to have been enacted into law by member nations by the end of July 2000.
European Parliament passes new design patent legislation
On 26 June 2000, the European Parliament passed legislation dealing with new design patents, which will become effective 60 days after the date of final signing. The effective term for such patents will be for five years after the date of registration, which can be extended for a full 25 years of patent rights protection. After the law takes effect, applicants may apply to the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (previously responsible only for trademark applications) for registration of an EU new design patent.
EU legislation for protection of copyrighted works on the Internet
After three years of negotiations, EU member nations on 8 June 2000 reached agreement on the draft of a directive dealing with protection of copyrighted works on the Internet, the "Copyright and Related Rights in the Information Society." Individual member nations are given great leeway in choosing to either adopt the provisions of the new directive or maintain their own current regimes. (The above information excerpted from:
http://www.moeaipo.gov.tw/sub6//n0038.htm, http://www.moeaipo.gov.tw/sub6/n0041.htm, http://www.moeaipo.gov.tw/sub6/i0002.htm, http://www.moeaipo.gov.tw/sub6/i0001.htm)
網際網路資訊中心(Japan Network Information Center)所制定，而於二○○○年十月十九日生效之網域名稱爭端解決政策(DomainName Dispute Resolution Policy)，另一重要的發展為日本國際貿易暨工業部將提議修改不正競爭禁止法(Japan's Law to Prevent Unfair Competition)的規定。
2. IPR Developments in Japan
Protection against infringement of domain names
There have been two important developments recently in Japan's protection of domain names. The first is the new "Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy" drafted by the Japan Network Information Center, which took effect on 19 October 2000. Secondly, the Ministry of International Trade and Industry has proposed revision of Japan's "Law to Prevent Unfair Competition".
Under the former development, holders of trademark rights can obtain remedies in faster and less costly manners than in the courts when there has been deliberate infringement of their trademarks by persons who register the trademarks as domain names. Final decisions may be appealed to courts.
Revisions in the "Law to Prevent Unfair Competition" will expand the scope of protection against unfair competition and domain name infringement offered under that law. The subjects of protection will not be limited to trademarks registered in Japan, but will extend to well-known company names and other names as decided on a case-by-case basis in the courts.
Japan revises guidelines for industrial and software-related inventions
Japan has drafted revisions to its "Guidelines for Implementation of Industrial Inventions" and "Guidelines for Implementation of Software-related Inventions." Given the growing use of computers and the Internet, and the commercialization of the latter encouraged by provisions of the "Inventions Related to Commercial Methods," computer networks must be seen as a method for transmission of computer programs. Revisions were made by the Japanese Patent Office. The guidelines are posted at: http://www.jp-miti.go.jp/ikene-/feedback-121102.htm.
(The above information was taken from: http://www.moeaip.gov.tw/sub6/i0004.htm)
3. Taiwan, New Zealand Sign Industrial Property and Copyright Agreements
Taiwan and New Zealand signed agreements protecting industrial property and copyrights on 19 December 2000 and 20 December 2000 respectively. The industrial property agreement contains eight articles while the copyright agreement provides 31 articles. The two sides expressed hope that the agreements will provide appropriate and effective protection of intellectual property based on principles of equality and reciprocity.
4. IPO Drafts Amendments to the Trademark Law
The Presidential Office promulgated the basic framework of the current Trademark Law on 22 December 1994. Later, in anticipation of entry into the World Trade Organization, amendments to Articles 4 and 8 were announced on 7 May 1997 and took effect on 1 November 1998.
The Trademark Law has been receiving close attention because in 1993 current developments began to outpace the effectiveness of some provisions, and because many countries have been moving toward integration and harmonization of their trademark systems due to the international nature of trademarks. International legislative trends and the needs of domestic industries have created the need for a comprehensive overhaul of the current trademark regime, which is being undertaken by the Intellectual Property Office. In order to ensure the appropriateness of the revisions, the IPO held eight public hearings in 1999 and further hearings throughout 2000. Key points of the amendments are as follows:
1. Content of the law to be rearranged into 103 Articles in 9 Chapters.
2. Trademark definition to be extended to include service marks.
3. Protection to be given to three-dimensional marks.
4. Definitions of trademark use will be revised in response to the development of electronic commerce and the Internet.
5. Current standards for rejection of registration will be collated in one article.
6. Provisions to be included prohibiting dilution of the distinctiveness of famous marks and damage to commercial reputation.
7. In order to preserve the integrity of applicants' marks, registration with "disclaimer of exclusive use" will be adopted in the law for applicants willing to disclaim exclusive rights to the descriptive or non-distinctive portions of marks.
8. One application may include multiple classes.
9. Associated mark system to be abolished with phased abolishment of defensive mark system.
10. Assignment of trademarks may be made for individual products and services.
11. Trademark examiner's names to be disclosed.
12. Current system for rejection notices will be included in the law.
13. Period for opposition will be reduced to two months.
14. Transfer of mark will not impede opposition process.
15. Trademark fees to be paid in installments.
16. Substantive review for trademark renewal will be abolished.
17. Transfer of mark will not influence continuation of licensing.
18. Controls over licensing will be strengthened; licensees will be obligated to display the mark.
19. New provision preventing transfer of an exclusive trademark right pledge to a new pledgee without permission from the original pledgee.
20. New provision requiring approval from authorized users or pledgees prior to abandonment of trademark rights.
21. Revision of regulations regarding extinguishments of trademark rights.
22. New provisions for invalidation of trademark rights for individual products or services.
23. New provisions relating to reasonable period for statute of limitations.
24. Trademark review may include oral interview with examiner.
25. Appeal may take place only by direct initiation of administrative litigation.
26. New provisions added for re-examination of marks.
27. The term "cancel" will be amended to read "abolish" in accordance with new administrative procedure rules.
28. Application for cancellations will no longer be limited to "interested parties".
29. Loss of distinctiveness must be one requirement for abolishment.
30. New trademark review board will be created.
31. New provisions relating to false claims or presentations in trademarks.
32. Legal basis for registration of indications of origin will be added.
33. Collective marks will be revised to become membership marks.
34. "Collective marks" category will be expanded to included not only marks indicating membership, but to indicate the goods or services provided by members.
35. Conditions comprising inappropriate use of a mark to be specified.
36. Transition period between old and new laws to be defined.
37. Conditions under which registration is invalid to be stipulated; both the currently amended version of the law and that current at the time of application may be used as approval criteria.