Taiwan has a relatively limited land area; however, it possesses abundant natural resources and cultural features, as well as a diversified Industrial development. Since the 1970s, various industries in Taiwan have been active on the world stage, and the protection of intellectual property rights has also been highly valued.
Intellectual property is the product of wisdom. It can be inventions, literary and artistic creations, special names and graphics used in transactions, or original designs. Taiwan applies a variety of laws to protect these intellectual properties. Several types of intellectual properties require registration procedures to obtain protection of rights, such as innovative invention or utility model patents, design patents for the appearance of articles, and trademarks used to indicate the source of different goods/services in transactions. Other types of intellectual properties do not require registration to obtain protection, including copyrights and trade secrets.
The competent authority for intellectual property rights in Taiwan is the Intellectual Property Office. Regarding the patent and trademark applications, Taiwan adopts the first-to-file principle as in most countries. Patent applications in Taiwan must meet the requirements of novelty, inventive step, and industrial use. In the past, Taiwan’s requirements for novelty were relatively strict. In order to comply with global trend and further protect the rights of inventors, Taiwan revised the law in 2017 to loosen the requirements for the time and conditions of the novelty grace period.
There are three types of patents in Taiwan, namely invention patents under the request-for-substantive examination system, utility model patents under formal examination system, and design patents under substantive examination. Three different types of patents provide different protection categories.
The trademark protection of Taiwan contains diversified aspects. Any identifying logo, including text, graphics, marks, colors, three-dimensional shapes, dynamics, holograms, sounds, or combinations thereof, which enables consumers to identify their products or the service source can be registered as a trademark.