Deep & Far Newsletter 2022 ©
Taiwan IP Updates ˇV February 2022
DNS RPZ Mechanism Introduced to Seize Piracy Websites in Taiwan
Local rights holders of IP content have previously faced difficulties in dealing with cases of infringement and piracy in Taiwan. One of the biggest difficulties was dealing with websites that were registered in other countries without the .tw suffix showing Taiwanˇ¦s country code. Even though the judiciary has the laws in place to deal with infringers, there hasnˇ¦t been an effective way to shut down the sites in question. Recently, the Taipei District Court issued a seizure order to put some piracy websites out of business. The Taiwan Network Information Center, the relevant authority for internet matters, used DNS (Domain Name System) Respond Police Zone (RPZ) technology to block local viewers from accessing the infringing websites through the help of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in Taiwan. The IP Court upheld the District Courtˇ¦s Seizure Order. Previously, it would have taken a lot of time and effort involving complicated mutual legal assistance to block such websites with registration in foreign countries. With the new method, the Taiwan Network Information Center will enact the seizure order by stopping the DNS resolution of the website, thereby preventing potential viewers from accessing the site. As this is a recent innovation, there will undoubtedly be further refinements to the process so as to catch the perpetrators more easily.
TIPO Issues Music Licensing: A Guide for the Startup Industry
To assist startups that use music in their productions such as podcasters and music application developers to familiarize themselves with the various issues involved in obtaining licenses, the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office has created a document - Music Licensing: A Guide for the Startup Industry. It consists of 5 chapters as follows:
1. The Current Situation and Development of Music Exploitation in the
Startup Industry. This section enumerates the types of copyright
currently in use in the industry.
The aim of this guide is to let startups get a clear picture of the various ways that musical works can be used commercially and also understand the licensing practices and legal ramifications involved in dealing with individual rights holders and collective management organizations.
The Effect of Covid-19 on Trademark Use in Taiwan
Although the Covid-19 pandemic has had only a limited effect on businesses in Taiwan, some trademark owners have suspended or discontinued use of their marks as they had to adjust their business models. Under Taiwanˇ¦s Trademark Law, a registration more than 3 years old can be cancelled if it has not been put to use unless there is a justifiable reason. The Covid-19 pandemic outbreak occurred less than two years ago, so legally no cancellation due to Covid-19 as a justifiable reason is possible at this time. However, some trademark owners might have shifted their mode of business but still use their trademarks. For example, a bar owner might have shifted his business from in house drinks and entertainment services to food and beverage delivery service in order to sustain trade when a Covid-19 outbreak has resulted in a ban on in house customers. This change in use of the mark will not necessarily transfer the same level of protection especially if there is a possibility of infringing on the rights of another mark. To best protect their marks, owners should try to avoid the risk of non-use cancellation actions by using their marks via appropriate marketing and not assuming that a shift in business model will not affect their situation. For foreign registrants, they should not assume that if the epidemic effects continue for a long time in their country and disrupt their business model, this will mean that it will serve as a justifiable reason for non-use of its registered mark in Taiwan. Also, those trademark holders who plan to expand or diversify their businesses under their mark, whether it is due to the pandemic or not, still need to conduct an infringement risk assessment, and if necessary, seek broader protection through new filings.