On 7 October 2021, the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) announced amendments to the Accelerated Examination Programme (AEP) for invention applications, effective from 1 January 2022.

Prior to the amendment, the AEP provided that an invention applicant could request accelerated examination under any of the following four conditions:

  • the corresponding foreign application has been granted by a foreign patent authority after substantive examination;
  • the corresponding foreign application has received an office action and a search report issued by the European Patent Office, the Japan Patent Office or the US Patent and Trademark Office, but the decision thereof has not been made;
  • the invention application is necessary for commercial exploitation; or
  • the invention relates to green energy technologies.

Prior to the amendment, the AEP specified the scope of "green energy technologies" in the fourth condition based on the World Intellectual Property Organization's (WIPO's) definition of "alternative energy technologies field" and the green energy industries included in the National Energy Programme, which has been promoted by Taiwan's Executive Yuan.

In the amendments, the TIPO amended the phrasing of "green energy technologies" in the fourth condition to read "green technologies" and deleted the related descriptions regarding the basis of the WIPO's definitions and the Executive Yuan's National Energy Programme.

According to the "Green Technology Section", which was recently established by the TIPO in its global patent search system in view of the WIPO's International Patent Classification Green Inventory, the scope of "green technology" is broader than that of "green energy technologies", including waste management and technological improvements in agriculture/forestry as well as alternative energy production and energy conservation.

Moreover, to enable applicants who request AEP to receive examination results quicker, the amendments also shorten the examination period under the existing AEP for the third and fourth conditions by shortening the time relating to the issuance of an examination result from nine months to six months.

Applicants can refer to the Intellectual Property Office website for more details about AEP amendments. Applicants may arrange their patent portfolios at their discretion after comprehensive consideration.

For further information on this topic please contact Hsiu-Ru Chien or Elina Yu at Lee and Li Attorneys at Law by telephone (+886 2 2763 8000) or email ([email protected] or [email protected]). The Lee and Li Attorneys at Law website can be accessed at www.leeandli.com.