Fri, Jan 20, 2006 - Page 11 News List

Taiwan may be taken off Special 301 Watch List

By Jessie Ho  /  STAFF REPORTER

Thanks to significant improvements in intellectual property rights (IPR) protection, Taiwan has a strong chance of being removed from the Special 301 Watch List of the Office of the US Trade Representative this year, Tsai Lien-sheng (蔡練生), director general of the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) told reporters at a gathering yesterday.

The IPO under the Ministry of Economic Affairs estimated that Taiwan's piracy rate dropped from 43 percent in 2004 to 36 percent last year, due to the passage of stricter IPR protection regulations, as well as efforts made in cracking down on pirated products in the past year, Tsai said.

A healthier environment for protecting intellectual property also encouraged patent applications, which rose to a new high last year, with Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) topping the list as it had in 2004, according to statistics released by IPO.

Local and foreign companies in Taiwan applied for 79,437 patents on inventions, innovative designs and new technologies last year, an increase of 10.2 percent from 2004, IPO said.

Hon Hai took first place by applying for 1,886 patents, followed by the government-founded Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) with 889 applications and computer maker Inventec Co (英業達) with 651 applications, it said.

Foreign firms were led by Koninklijke Philips Electronics NV, which applied for 882 patents last year.

Samsung Electronics Co placed second with 712 applications and Sony Corp ranked third with 577, IPO said.

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