Sat, Jan 01, 2011 - Page 12 News List

Progress made on IPR protection

MINE, NOT YOURS:It became critical that a cross-strait protection agreement be signed as about 21,000 patents are filed by Taiwanese companies in China every year

By Jason Tan  /  Staff Reporter

Taiwan and China have made progress in cross-strait intellectual property rights (IPR) protection and cooperation after both sides inked an agreement in June to beef up efforts in the area, the Ministry of Economic Affair’s Intellectual Property Office said yesterday.

China has received 72 cases from Taiwan for the acknowledgment of priority rights, while Taiwan has received 11 cases from China since the official operation mechanism started on Nov. 22, the office said.

Mutual cross-strait acknowledgment of priority rights protects IPRs formally registered by companies.

That is, if a Taiwanese firm has registered a patent at home, its priority rights will be recognized in China, meaning its patents will also be honored there.

In the past, Taiwanese firms had to register patents in Taiwan and China at the same time to ensure their IPRs were fully protected when they carried out business activities across the Taiwan Strait.

The signing of the cross-strait IPR protection agreement became critical as about 21,000 patents are filed by Taiwanese firms in China every year, the office said.

These firms are mostly in the semiconductor, communications and electronics industries.

On the other hand, Chinese firms are only filing about 700 patents in Taiwan every year, according to the office’s statistics.

“The priority acknowledgment mechanism will help protect the research and development efforts of Taiwanese companies, especially those involved in -technology-intensive sectors such as handsets, panels and LEDs,” Wang Mei-hua (王美花), director-general of the Intellectual Property Office, told reporters.

Meanwhile, the office said it has received 34 requests for assistance from Taiwanese enterprises as they have faced difficulties in applying for IPR protection in China.

Nine cases have been resolved so far and 25 more are ongoing, the office said.

Wang also said that starting from last month, Taiwanese -record companies could apply for copyright recognition with the Taiwan Association for Copyrights Protection (TACP, 台灣著作權保護協會), before marketing their albums in China.

TACP will process the cases within three days.

In the past, record companies had to file their copyright recognition through Hong Kong, which would take three to five months to process and thus delay the launch of Taiwanese albums in China, Wang said.

In addition to patents and copyrights, other IPRs covered in the cross-strait agreement include trademarks and plant variety rights.

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