卷十五期 900816

本 期 提 要HEADLINES

1.USPTO、EPO及JPO加強交流商討共同關心的問題

1983年以來,日本特許廳(JPO)、美國專利商標局(USPTO)和歐洲專利局(EPO)每年均舉行會談,以加強交流,商討共同關心的問題。而於日前之會談,三方達成如下之決定:
設立完善專利合作條約的工作組,以減輕國際檢索和國際初審的負擔繼續進行在先技術文獻檢索資料庫的交換合作,並構築三方共同的資訊基礎有關基因的發明,將有關基因發明的專利性的比較研究報告書,由JPO以電子版本的形式向另兩局提供,並在三局的網站上發表。廣泛協調生物技術專利政策,應加強檢索方面的相互理解與合作。

D關於商業方法專利的申請,1999年以來,JPO和USPTO對有關商業方法專利申請的專利性比較研究進行了類比實驗,並於2000年6月公佈研究結果。EPO對此亦提出其觀點,闡明其與日、美兩局相比,在商業方法專利性方面的相同及不同部分。該研究結果指出,三局對商業方法專利性的判斷結果存在很大的差異。三方商定於2001年1月開始對該領域的20件專利進行共同檢索。
此外,有關商業方法發明問題,三局一致認為,使用電腦實現的商業方法必須具有技術內容才有獲得專利權的資格;把已被他人實施的公知的商業方法,只是作通常的自動化處理而得到的發明不具有創造性。這一點將作為商業方法發明的專利性的判斷基準。
三局專家認儘管商業方法以前就已被人們使用,但並沒有被充分記載,專利局有時很難找到這個領域的文獻;而且目前還沒有三局共同使用的檢索資源和現有技術文獻。因此,對商業方法發明審查造成困難。
為了完善這個領域的文獻,以便對商業方法發明進行高質量的檢索,三局將把有關商業方法領域中現有技術文獻檢索方面的合作,列為重點。

USPTO, EPO and JPO Discuss Issues of Mutual Interest

The Trilateral Offices - the European Patent Office (EPO), the Japanese Patent Office (JPO), and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO)-have been holding annual conferences since 1983, so as to exchange information and views concerning areas of mutual concern. At the conference held recently, the Trilateral Offices reached the following consensus:
(a) to establish a Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) work group that will lighten the work of international search and preliminary examination;
(b) to continue exchange and cooperation regarding Prior Art Search Database, and build a mutual information foundation;
(c) JPO will produce patent comparison report on genetic inventions in electronic format to the other two offices, which will be released on the Trilateral Offices website. In order to coordinate the Offices' bio-technology patent policies, they should increase mutual understanding and cooperation in patent search.
(d) Since 1999 JPO and USPTO have engaged in a comparative study concerning patentability of business methods inventions, and their research results were released in June 2000. EPO presented its views in this regard, and reviewed the similarities and differences in business method patentability between the EPO and the other two offices. The Trilateral Offices agreed to conduct a joint search in respect of the 20 patents in this area as from January 2001.
Regarding business method inventions, the Trilateral Offices are also of the view that in order for a computer-implemented business method to be patentable, it must have technical content. There is no inventiveness in taking a publicly known business method practiced by others and processing it so that it becomes automated. This will become a basic standard for determining the patentability of a business method invention.
Experts from the Trilateral Offices consider that although business methods have long been used, they have not been adequately documented, and sometimes it is difficult for patent offices to find documentary information about them. Further there are no existing research resources and technical documentation that are jointly used by all three Offices. Therefore this represents a substantial difficulty to examination of business method inventions. In order to make documentary information in this area more comprehensive, so as to enable high quality and quantity search concerning business method inventions, the Trilateral Offices will table cooperation in this regard as a priority.

2.國際專利分類網路查詢

國際專利分類表第七版,有細分類6.8萬個,較第六版增加了2%。目前USPTO的內部分類系統已達12萬個細分類,EPO的ECLA已達13萬個細分類,JPO的內部分類系統FI 和FI-term已達18萬個細分類。JPO、USPTO及EPO三局計劃於2001年3月,合作完成JPO的FI和FI-term之英文翻譯,並公佈在網站,免費供大家使用。

Online Search of International Patent Classifications

The 7th edition of the International Patent Classification (IPC) contains around 68,000 sub-fields, being an increase of 2% from the 6th edition. To date the USPTO's internal classification system already contains 120,000 sub-fields, the ECLA of the EPO contains 130,000 sub-fields, while the JPO's internal classification system "FI" and FI-term contains 180,000 sub-fields. The JPO, USPTO and EPO plan to jointly produce an English translation of JPO's FI and FI-term by March 2001, and make it available on the Trilateral Offices' website for free use by the public.

3.USPTO有關專利商業方法動態

2001年3月12日,USPTO在網上公佈了一個有關專利商業方法的新網頁,提供與商業方法發明有關的各類資訊,如商業方法白皮書、US分類表中與商業方法有關的大類705分類表、大類705核心資料庫及其申請資料、修改後的關於由電腦完成的發明審查指南、有關商業方法的重要案例和文章、獨立發明人網址、商業方法發明有關問題的解答等。而美國大類705,概括為現代商務資料處理,涉及金融和銀行業、會計、健康保障、保險、電子購物、商業秘密等。
USPTO曾於2000年3月29日提出一項有關商業方法的行動計劃,茲將目前進展分述如下:重視擴大相關資料庫和資訊資源的收集,並公佈了一份完整的現有技術資源清單供評論。加強審查員技術培訓。修訂了與電腦發明有關的專利審查程序指南手冊。D實行了對所有屬於大類705的申請進行強制性檢索,包括對美國分類文獻,以及外國和非專利文獻進行檢索,並要求對審查質量進行再檢查。

USPTO Business Method Patent Initiatives

On March 12, 2001 the USPTO released a new webpage concerning business method patents, which provides various information about business method inventions, such as the Business Method White Paper, Class 705 in the US Patent Classification System (which is rel-
evant to business methods), Class 705 core databases and filing data, the Revised Examination Guidelines for Computer-Implemented Business Methods, significant cases and articles on business methods, the Independent Inventor website, and answers to questions about business method inventions. The US Class 705 could be generically classified as modern business data processing, covering such areas as finance and banking, accounting, health insurance, insurance, electronic shopping and trade secrets etc.
The USPTO had previously proposed a business method initiative on March 29, 2000, progress on which is as follows: (a)emphasis on expanding the relevant databases and collection of resources, and a comprehensive inventory of existing technological resources was published for comment; (b)enhancing technical training of examiners; (c)revised guidelines for patent examination procedures relating to computer inventions; (d)compulsory search of all applications falling within Class 705, including in respect of U.S. classification documentation as well as foreign and non-patent related documentation, and require examiners to reassess the quality and quantity of the examination.

4.英國對電腦軟體和商業方法能否授予專利權的決定

英國電子部部長P. Hewitt 於日前宣佈政府有關保護電腦程式和商業方法專利的決定,該決定概略為具技術創新之軟體方能獲得專利、能提供可促進創新的必要證據之商業方法便能夠獲得專利;此外,目前有關軟體能否獲得專利的法律不夠明確,且難以確定某軟體是否能帶來技術創新
,因此,英政府打算將此事作為緊急議案,向歐盟和歐洲專利公約合作夥伴提出。

British Decision on Patentability of Computer Software & Business Methods

Mr P. Hewitt, Britain's Minister for E-Commerce, has recently announced the Government's decision regarding the patentability of computer software and business methods. In summary, only software that represent a technological innovation would be patentable, and business methods would be patentable if required evidence could be produced showing that they are technological innovations. In addition, as the laws concerning patentability of software are not sufficiently certain, and it is difficult to ascertain whether certain software represented a technological innovation, therefore the British Government intends to table this issue as an urgent matter for discussion by the European Union and the European Patent Convention partners.

5.日本因應商業方法發明的對策及電子商務專利申請概況

為提高涉及電子商務、金融、保險、財務等諸多領域之商業方法發明審查品質,日本特許廳(JPO)除自2001年起在「審查四部」增設「電子商務審查室」,並採取對相關分類新增更細的小類、聘請特定產業領域專家為顧問、派審查員赴國外研習及在國內金融等商業機構實習、與金融、保險界合作,以得到更多的商業方法領域的非專利文獻來充實資料庫等一系列之因應措施。
此外,為對與軟體有關的發明給予充分的保護, JPO於2000年12月28日在網站公佈其修改之「與電腦軟體有關的發明審查指南」,此次修改要點包括:通過電腦完成多種功能的「電腦程式」可以被定義為「產品發明」。由軟體處理的資訊是通過硬體手段來具體實現,則上述軟體可以被定義為專利法中所述的「法定發明」。增加確定與商業方法有關的發明創造性的實施例。此外,假如當上述要求保護的發明,是由具有該商業領域和電腦技術兩方面知識的普通技術人員,所完成的一般性創造活動,則該發明不具有創造性。
另近年日本電子商務相當發達,其專利申請也逐年上升,據日本特許廳日前公佈的統計資料披露,電子商務專利申請案件,1998年計2400件,1999年共3150件;而2000年則達15000件(占當年總申請案43萬6千件的3.5%),為1999年的5倍,其中以電腦、通訊、金融、零售業主。

Business Method Inventions and E-Commerce Patent Applications in Japan

In order to enhance the quality of examinations of business method invention applications, which may range across fields such as E-commerce, banking, insurance and finance, the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) has adopted a number of measures. Firstly it established an "E-Commerce Examination Office" under its existing Examination Department Four, and also further sub-categorized relevant patent classes. It retained experts in specific industrial areas as its consultants, and also assigned examiners to undertake studies overseas or obtain field experience in banking or other institutions. The JPO has worked with the banking and insurance industries to obtain more non-patent related documentation, so as to make its databases more comprehensive.
In addition, so as to fully protect software inventions, the JPO released its revised "Examination Guidelines for Computer Software Related Inventions" on December 28, 2000. The substance of these revisions include:(a)a "computer program" that achieves vario-
us functions via the computer can be defined as a "product invention"; (b)if data processed by a software is substantively implemented via hardware, then the said software falls within the definition of "prescribed invention" in the Patent Law; (c)increase the number of examples helpful to determining the inventiveness of a business method invention. Further, if the invention seeking protection were a generic inventive activity completed by a general technical personnel who possessed both knowledge in that business area and computer skills, then that invention did not possess inventiveness.
In recent years developments in Japanese E-Commerce had been dynamic, and the number of patent applications in this area had also increased every year. According to statistics recently released by the JPO, there were 2,400 applications in 1998, 3,150 applications in 1999, while there were as many as 15,000 applications in 2000 (constituting 3.5% of total number of applications for that year, i.e. 436,000). The number in 2000 was 5 times the number in the previous year. Most of the applications were in the fields of computers, communications, banking and retailing.

6.USPTO發布新的基因專利申請指導方針

USPTO日前發布了新的基因專利申請指導方針,明確允許從事基因研究的公司和個人把基因研究的成果進行專利註冊,但同時要求註冊專利的公司和個人必須說明註冊基因的具體用途。方針規定不允許把純粹的基因序列作專利註冊,而只允許把一個基因或基因片斷作一項專利來註冊
。這項方針提高了專利註冊的門檻,防止申請人猜測和編造基因的具體用途,對基因專利的申請工作有利。
USPTO的發言人奎恩在解釋什是基因的具體用途時說,任何一個基因都可以表達一種蛋白質,而任何一種蛋白質理論上都可以製成一種動物的飼料或用於製造洗髮香波,但這不是這種基因的真實。

USPTO Releases New Guidelines for Gene-Related Patent Applications

The USPTO recently released new guidelines for gene-related patenting, which expressly permit companies and individuals engaged in genetic research to register patents in respect of results of such research, provided that such companies and individuals clearly describe the specific use of the registered gene. The Guidelines do not permit the patenting of genetic sequences, but instead permits the patenting of whole genes or pieces of genes. These Guidelines have raised the threshold for registration of patents, and will prevent applicants from speculating on or fabricating the "substantive use" of the gene.
In explaining what was meant by the "substantive use" of a gene, spokesperson for USPTO, Ms Quinn stated that any gene could be expressly as a certain protein, while theoretically any protein could be made into an animal feed or a shampoo. However, such would not be considered the true substance of the gene.

7.USPTO正式出版專利申請說明書

2001年3月15日,USPTO根據「1999年美國發明人保護法案(American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 - AIPA)」正式出版專利申請說明書,以後每周四出版新的專利申請說明書。據統計,2000年11月29日以來的絕大多數申請都提出了公佈申請的要求,預計在未來的18個月中,將達到每周出版3500件左右。目前,在USPTO的網站上就可以檢索和瀏覽到已出版的專利申請說明書。(以上報導彙整自中國大陸國家知識產權局網站海外傳真資料)

USPTO Officially Publishes Patent Specifications

Pursuant to the American Inventors Protection Act of 1999 (AIPA), the USPTO officially published patent specifications as of March 15, 2001, and new specifications will be published every Thursday thereafter. Statistics show that since November 29, 2000 most applicants have made a request for publication of applications. It is forecasted that within the next 18 months, 3,500 specifications will be published weekly. Presently patent specifications that have already been published can be searched and viewed on the USPTO's website. 
(The above reports are compiled from information released by the PRC Intellectual Property Office website)

8.我國首宗網域名稱爭議處理案件結果出爐

經由台灣網路資訊中心(TWNIC)認可而具備網域名稱爭議處理機構資格的資策會科技法律中心專家小組,於本(九十)年8月6日依據TWNIC所頒佈的「網域名稱爭議處理辦法」及其「實施要點」,對第一宗的網域名稱爭議處理案件做出決定,將欽品科技股份有限公司所註冊之www.m-ms.com.tw網域名稱,移轉於申訴人即巧克力商品註冊商標m&m's所有權人美商瑪斯公司。
依據前揭辦法第十條規定,TWNIC在接獲專家小組決定書後的十二天內,如欽品公司未向TWNIC提出已向法院提出有關網域名稱訴訟的證明文件,則TWNIC將會執行專家小組決定書的內容。
該小組認為前揭網域名稱特取部份m-ms與m&m's商標的主要文字部分,讀音與外觀極為近似欽品公司並未積極證明其具有使用該網域名稱的權利或正當利益m&m's為著名商標,欽品明知為他人之著名商標,而仍以近似於申訴人著名商標的主要文字部分,申請註冊該網域名稱,不但違反註冊人對TWNIC的告知義務,且將對申訴人著名商標所表彰的商品品質及公司商譽,產生不當的攀附效果D消費者極可能將m-ms誤認為m&m's,且誤認該網站內容所提供的商品及服務,為申訴人所產製或提供。因此註冊人註冊該網域名稱,將造成引誘或誤導網路使用者瀏覽該網站的客觀事實。

Taiwan's First Domain Name Dispute Decision Released

On August 6, 2001 the expert panel of the Science & Technology Law Center (STLC), under the Institute for Information Industry (III), issued its first decision in respect of a domain name dispute. The STLC was accredited by the TWNIC to determine domain name disputes, and its decisions are issued pursuant to the TWNIC's Domain Name Dispute Resolution Regulations and their Enforcement Rules. In this landmark decision, the STLC has held that the 'www.m-ms.com.tw' domain name registered by Ching Ping Technology Co., Ltd. (Ching Ping) should be assigned to the objector, i.e. the owner of the registered trademark "M&M's" in respect of chocolate products, Mars Incorporated. 
Pursuant to Article 10 of the aforementioned Regulations, if Ching Ping does not submit to the TWNIC documentation showing that Ching Ping has filed a lawsuit with a court concerning the domain name dispute, within 12 days of the TWNIC's receipt of the STLC expert panel's decision, then TWNIC will enforce the contents of the expert panel's decision.
The said expert panel held that:(a)the core of the aforementioned domain name, "m-ms" is very similar in both appearance and pronunciation to the core text of the "m&m's" trademark; (b)Ching Ping had not actively proven that it had the right or proper interest for using the said domain name; (c)the "m&m's" mark is a famous trademark, and Ching Ping, knowing that it was another person's famous trademark, still registered a domain name that closely resembled the core text of that objector's famous trademark. This is not only in breach of a registrant's notification duty towards the TWNIC, but also constituted improper free-riding on the product quality and company reputation represented by the objector's famous trademark; (d)consumers are likely to confuse "m-ms" for "m&m's", and be misled into believing that the products and/or services offered by the said website were produced or offered by the objector. Accordingly, the registrant's registration of the said domain name will objectively result in confusion, or will mislead web use
rs into browsing the said website.