“Amended Trademark Act and Patent Act are scheduled to be enforced in July and November of 2012,” annouced by Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) on February 9, 2012  

Design Patents enlarged

The scope of amended patent protection is expanded to include design patents for smart phone user interfaces and App icons.

Design Patent will allow partial designs, derivative designs, designs as a group, computer icons, and graphic user interfaces (GUI) etc. i.e. GUI of smart phones, boot screens, and App icons. It will strengthen the protection on designs of domestic enterprises as well as cultural innovative industries.

Extension of Patent Terms relaxed

Amendment to the Patent Act Relaxes the Restriction on the Extension of Patent Terms for Pharmaceutical or Agrichemicals.According to the current Patent Act, when a license is required for the enforcement of an invention patent right, if it spends more than two years to obtain such license after the patent is grant, the patentee may apply for an extension of the patent for a period of 2 to 5 years, and such extension is allowed only once. The constraint of two years time spent threshold to obtain a license is revoked. Instead, the approved extension period shall not be longer than the period during which the patent cannot be implemented due to a license approval is pending at the competent authority that governing the intended business. But In case the length of time required for obtaining an approval exceeds five (5) years, the term of extension shall still be limited to five (5) years.

Compulsory Licensing tightened

The current patent law allows a compulsory license when both parties of the patent licensing cannot reach an agreement, which often attracts criticism from the European Union.

To be consistent with the international practices, the newly amended Patent Act raises the bar for compulsory licensing so that only when the condition meets the requirementsand a compulsory licensing is necessary, the patent authority may then grant a license according to the application.

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