Deep & Far Newsletter 2023 ©
Taiwan IP Updates ˇV April 2023
TSMC Tops List of Patent Applications in Taiwan
For the seventh consecutive year, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC), the worldˇ¦s largest contract chipmaker, took the top spot among patent applicants in Taiwan. The latest figures just in are for 2022, and TSMC filed a total of 1,534 applications, which was actually a 21% drop from 2021. All of TSMCˇ¦s patent applications were for invention patents. Last year, the total number of invention patent applications stood at 50,242 cases, which was a 10-year high. Of the foreign applicants, US-based semiconductor equipment supplier Applied Materials Inc. last year was Taiwanˇ¦s largest patent seeker, filing 881 applications comprising 847 invention patents, 2 utility model patents and 32 design patents. Qualcomm dropped from first to second place with 763 applications, which was 10% lower than 2021. South Korean conglomerate Samsung Electronics Co. took third place in the foreign applicantsˇ¦ rankings with 675 applications, an increase of 30%, followed by Japan-based semiconductor supplier Tokyo Electron Ltd. with 487 applications. Most of the foreign patent applicants were from the semiconductor, information technology and chemical industries. Categorized by country, Japan held the top spot with 13,128 applications, the US was second with 8,517 and China third with 4,424. Amongst local applicants, PC brand Acer was second last year with a total of 530 patent applications, which was an increase of 15%. Third was flat panel maker AUO Corp. with 505, up 7% and ahead of smartphone IC designer MediaTek Inc. with 412 applications in fourth position. It should be noted that Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. was not in the leading ranks of applicants because a lot of its research and development is done overseas, with the US accounting for 30% of its applications, Japan 30%, China 20% and Taiwan 10%.
Taiwan Amends Patent Examination Guidelines
The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office issued amendments to the Patent Examination Guidelines on November 8, 2022, and they came into force on December 1, 2022. Here are two of the highlights:
1. To change the name of the inventor after the initial application has
been filed, under the current patent examination practice, documentary
evidence or supporting documents will need to be submitted. The current
guidelines state that the submitting entity is unchanged and reasons
such as renaming, typographical errors or translation errors are the
only acceptable ones. In the new amendments, in the case whereby there
are several different applicants belonging to the same entity, a change
in designation of an applicant will be acceptable if a factual statement
is submitted with supporting documents.
TIPO Announces Amendment to the Enforcement Rules of the Patent Act
The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office announced a draft amendment to the Enforcement Rules of the Patent Act on January 3, 2023. Two of the key points are as follows:
1. To determine whether any amendments are made in divisional
applications, TIPO shall carefully review whether their subject matter
has extended beyond the content of the earlier application as filed.
Applicants are required to attach a marked document indicating
differences or changes in the application, with added subject matter
underlined and deleted subject matter struck through, along with a
relevant explanation of any and all alterations made, thus improving
efficiency in the examination of divisional applications.