As announced in an earlier update, there has recently been a
fundamental revision to the Taiwan Patent Act. The amendments entered into
force on 1 January 2013. Major changes include the following:
- Priority claim: A priority document has to be submitted
within 16 months from earliest priority date (previously: 4 months). Possibility
for reinstatement of priority claim (within 16 months) has been introduced, if
unintentionally not claimed at the time of filing.
- Introduction of dual filing: Filing of patent utility
model application (same day, same applicant). Selection of one application is
required upon notice of grant. When the patent
is selected, the utility model shall be deemed non-existent ab initio.
- Introduction of third-party observations: After publication,
any person may, before grant, present to TIPO a written statement together with
relevant evidence, stating why the patent should not be granted.
- Reinstatement of patent right: In case of
unintentional failure to pay the annual fees, reinstatement is possible by
paying triple the amount of the annuity within one year after expiry of the 6
months grace period.
- Extension of patent term for pharmaceuticals and
agrochemicals: The maximum extension is still 5 years, one extension per patent. The
minimum of 2 years has been dropped.
- Invalidation: Invalidation by TIPO ex officio has
been abolished, partial invalidation has been introduced.
The definition of designs has been extended to cover also icons, graphic user interfaces and sets of related items. Partial and derivative designs have been introduced, the previous "associative designs" have been abolished. Other changes concern, inter alia, the novelty
grace period, divisional applications, compulsory licenses, as well as
amendments during examination and after grant.
regulations concerning filing in foreign languages have
now also entered into force together with the amended Act.
An English version of the new Patent Act can be
downloaded from the "Laws&Regulations" section on TIPO's website. An official English
translation of the corresponding Implementing Regulations is not yet