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TAIWAN


TAIWAN Taiwan amends patent act


Te Legislative Yuan passed an amendment to the Taiwan Patent Act on November 29, 2011, aſter three readings.


Te amended act is considered to be an overhaul of the current legislation, as a total of 108 out of 159 provisions were revised, added or deleted. It is expected that the new Taiwan Patent Act will be promulgated and fully implemented in December 2012 aſter the corresponding measures and implementing rules are in place.


Te amended act:


• Grants a six-month grace period to applicants who disclose their own inventions in printed publications. Te grace period is applicable regardless of whether a publication is for a commercial or academic purpose, and regardless of whether the disclosure resulted from experiments that were performed with respect to a particular invention. Te grace period not only reserves the novelty right for inventions that are disclosed within six months before filing, but also reserves the right to inventive step that the disclosed invention may possess.


• Allows the reinstatement of rights for unintentionally failing to claim priority rights at filing, or failing to pay issue fees or patent annuities.


• Abolishes the time limit for voluntary amendments. However, if an office action is issued with a designated deadline to respond, the applicant can only make amendments before the specified time limit. Moreover, if the applicant receives a Final Office Action, he or she can only make amendments in a limited number of ways, namely by (i) deleting claims, (ii) narrowing the scope of claims, (iii) correcting errors and (iiii) clarifying unclear descriptions.


• Relaxes the time limit for filing divisional applications up to 30 days from the receipt of the Notice of Allowance for an application undergoing a first-stage examination. Therefore, a patent application, after the first-stage examination is allowed, can derive its divisional applications within the 30-day time limit.


• Adopts international patent exhaustion and expands the list of patent exemptions to include private use for non-commercial purposes, and pre-clinical and clinical trials for patented or generic drugs for obtaining drug regulatory approval.


• Removes the two-year threshold requirement for applying for patent term extensions for pharmaceutical and agrichemical-related inventions that receive a Notice of Allowance.


234 World Intellectual Property Review e-Digest 2012


• Abolishes patent marking as a pre-requisite for damage awards. Patent right holders can choose not to mark on patented articles if marking is undesirable in practice. However, the patent holder bears the burden to prove that an infringer has, or should have had, knowledge of the existence of the patent infringed upon.


• Allows invention and utility model applications to be filed at the same time for the same innovation, and provides the choice of one or the other upon the grant of an invention patent.


• Admits partial designs, derivative designs, design of articles in a set, icons and graphical user interfaces as patentable subject matter.


Candy Chen is a Taiwan patent attorney, US patent agent and the managing partner at Tsai Lee & Chen. She can be contacted at: ckchen@tsailee.com.tw


Crystal Chen is an attorney at law and partner at Tsai Lee & Chen. She can be contacted at: cjchen@tsailee.com.tw


Candy Chen has substantial experience in patent prosecution, invalidation and administrative litigation proceedings. She is a member of the patent examination quality advisory committee of TIPO and a speaker at international conferences.


Crystal Chen is admitted to practise in the state of New York in the US and in China. She specialises in trademark and patent law, and frequently advises clients on IP prosecution and litigation practices. She provides training to domestic clients and counsel on their cross-border IP disputes.


• Adds “negotiation with reasonable commercial condition within a considerable period of time” as a pre-requisite for applying for compulsory licences for patents that are of public interest, and for exploiting utility patents that involve technical advances of economic significance.


• Permits partial invalidations, consolidations of pending invalidations and amendment proceedings.


• Requires subjective intent for damage awards. At the same time, abolishes punitive treble damages and compensation for the loss of business reputation.


www.worldipreview.com


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