TIPO has been cooperating with the USPTO and JPO for Patent Prosecution Highway programs (PPH).  In order to enhance the work-sharing efficiency among the authorities on patent examination and to encourage applicants to take advantage of expediting the examination under the PPH program, the TIPO advanced the "TW-Support Using the PPH Agreement" (TW-SUPA) examination pilot program since March 1, 2012. 

According to TW-SUPA, if TIPO is the office where an invention patent application is first filed and a corresponding application is filed later with a foreign Patent Office which has a PPH agreement with TIPO, the applicant may request participation in the TW-SUPA pilot program to expedite examination on the TW application in order to help achieving an earlier approval of the foreign patent. 

On July 1, 2013, TIPO simplified the documentation requirements under TW-SUPA pilot program.  According thereto, the applicant needs only to file an application together with a document certifying the filing of a corresponding foreign application and pay the filing fee of NT$4,000,- to request participation in the TW-SUPA pilot program.  In addition to those two documents, copies of at least two prior art references that the applicant believes to be the most closely related to the invention at issue and the reasons why the claims can be patentable over each cited reference, etc. are no longer required.  The previous cap of 44 applications per month under the TW-SUPA pilot program is also removed.

Charles Ma