Question 1(Foreing filing license): We have an application for filing in the United States Patent Office by tomorrow for a company in the United States that has a sole Taiwan inventor residing in Taiwan.  Please let us know by immediate return e-mail if a foreign filing license will be required in order for us to file this utility application in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the tomorrow's deadline.  Please also advise if a translation of the text must be provided to your office should a foreign filing license be required.  In the event that the license cannot be obtained on short notice, is it possible for us to file a U.S. provisional application without benefit of a foreign filing license and then follow up with our utility application at a later date? 

Answer: Since Taiwan does not adopt or require the foreign filing license system, you can file a US utility application without the obtainment of a foreign filing license from Taiwan Intellectual Property Office, even if the sole Taiwan inventor resides in Taiwan.


Question 2(Divorce Agreement): I am an attorney admitted to practice law in New York and I am handling a matter outside the scope of my practice.  I would greatly appreciate any assistance in this area.  I understand that one of your areas of practice is marriage/divorce.  I would like to obtain information on the validity and enforcement of a foreign divorce agreement filed in Taiwan.
        The following background information on this case.
  Husband and wife were married in Taipei, Taiwan on 8/15/81, left Taiwan and moved to New York on 8/24/81.  On January 16, 1988, both parties entered into a divorce agreement and file this agreement with the household registration.  On the application for a divorce, both parties listed that a divorce was filed in New York.  A divorce was never filed in New York.
          As Per the divorce agreement, the wife relinquished her rights to the cooperative apartment that she jointly owned with her husband.
  The Cooperative board refuses to recognize the validity of the divorce agreement stating that the wife must sign several documents relinquishing her rights.  The Board further states that it is not obligated to recognize this agreement since they were not a party to the divorce agreement.  I have presented the divorce agreement, the household registration with affidavits verifying the truth and accuracy of the translations.  The whereabouts of the wife are unknown.  The husband has been residing in the cooperative apartment since 1981 and to date, he has paid all the maintenance charges, and other additional fees since that time.  The husband can not afford to hire a private investigator and at this point, the wife's location is not germane to this issue because the agreement clearly shows that she has relinquished her rights to the apartment.
          In New York, the court will recognize and enforce the "bilateral" divorce of a foreign country as a matter of comity stated in Rosenstiel v. Rosenstiel, 16 N.Y.2d 64 (1965).
          The questions that I have
 are what additional steps, if any, is necessary to enforce the divorce agreement in New York, whether a divorce must now be filed in New York and whether a court action should be filed in either Taiwan or New York to enforce the validity of the agreement.  I have contacted the Attorney General's office, the Tai Pa Economic and Cultural Office and your office to ascertain whether their a specific procedure that I must follow in order to be in compliance with the Taiwan government and/or New York . 
Dear Jordan, Esq.:

Answer: Your question
 needs be dealt with only by New York laws as long as the divorce agreement filed with the household registration is genuine.  Please try at your end to find out the answer from your laws.  At the worst case, we can help you to obtain a court decision affirming that the wife has relinquished her rights to the cooperative apartment that she hointly owned with her husband.  Our fees for the court action might be around US$3,000 for the first instance.


Question 3(Patent Prosecution Procedures ):

--Regarding the general patent application prosecution procedures (including examination procedures):
The required forms for a patent application subject to an earlier publication 18 months after its filing date or the priority date, if appropriate, include a copy of the assignment and an original (general) power of attorney. The application will be examined only after request for substantive examination. It costs 8 months to 2.5 years to receive a first official communication.
The first communication might be a notice of allowance, a letter requiring amendment or a pre-notification that the Office is prepared to reject an application due to some kind of reasons or cited references. We can file a response to overcome this pseudo-action. If we fail to rectify the issues raised in the pre-notification, a formal office action will be forthcoming (from 3 months to 1 year after response). We then need to petition a re-examination conducted by another examiner for the application before the IPO. It is still possible for us to receive within 6 months to 1.5 years a pre-notification for a reexamination action.
After we receive the reexamination action, we need to appeal the case to the Board of Appeals in the Ministry of Economic Affairs where it will cost about 6 months and the success rate is about 25%. Thereafter, we should appeal the case to the Administrative Higher Court where it will cost about 1 to 2 years and the success rate is lower than 5% and then to Administrative Supreme Court where it will cost about 1 to 3 years and the success rate is less than 1%.

--Regarding kind of application (such as provisional, utility, etc.)
We do not have the provisional application system but we could file a second application claiming the inner priority from the first application. We also have the utility model patent, an application of which is subject only to formality examination and could be registered in 6 to 10 months for 10 years protection from the filing date. We also have, for 12 years protection from the filing date, the design patent, an application of which is examined to its originality and ornamental features and could receive a first official communication in 1 year with the subsequent procedures similar to those for a patent application.

--Regarding whether there is a fast track to expedite the examination procedure or the fastest way to get a patent granted Article 39(1) of the Patent Law provides that “if an invention patent application is commercially practiced by a non-patent applicant after earlier publication, the patent-dedicated office may preferentially examine it upon petition.” This is the only basis for an application to be proceeded in a fast track.

--Regarding average time consumed for examination: Having been incorporated hereinbefore.