Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) planed to launch mutual cooperation on the priority documents exchange program (hereinafter PDX program) for the Taiwan and Japan patent applications on December 2, 2013. Such cooperation allows the two offices to obtain priority documents by electronic exchange, instead of the paper documents, which may facilitate applicants to claim patent priorities and save more time in the application procedure.
Under the PDX program, applicant(s) of an invention or a utility model patent who has first filed a patent application in Taiwan plans to file a patent application in Japan claiming priority to the corresponding Taiwan application, he/she may request for an access code of such application from the TIPO, and claim the priority by submitting the access code to the JPO within sixteen months from the earliest priority date without sending the paper documents. Likewise, if an applicant files a patent application in Taiwan claiming priority to the first filed Japanese application, he/she may also request for an access code issued by the JPO for the submission of the priority claim to the TIPO. In order to encourage the utilization of the PDX program, TIPO waives the government fee for the issuance of access code.
Due to close economic and trade relations between Taiwan and Japan, Japan has become the largest foreign patent filer in Taiwan, which occupied the first place by 13,978 applications among other foreign countries last year. On the other hand, the annual amount of Japanese patent applications filed by Taiwanese applicants are nearly up to 3,000. Accordingly, through the PDX program, priority documents of invention or utility model patent applications can be easily obtained, which eliminates the production time and costs. While the applicants can reduce costs of document delivery, patent examiners of both Offices can also streamline the examination procedure and improve their administrative efficiency, which is helpful for the synchronization of information for international patent families.