Question 4(Patent Rights Enforcement):

--Regarding kind of remedies given to patentee (injunction, seizure, etc.)
Injunction, seizure and damages are all available remedies but a patent infringement is no more a criminal offence. If we submit or deposit a bond being one third of the amount we desire to claim damages, an injunction or seizure can be secured in 3 days to 2 weeks from the competent court. For such a procedure, we need a power of attorney, sometimes required notarized. Following the injunction or seizure, we need to formally institute a civil suit claiming the damages. If the damages are more than US$46,000, the case will last for 3 instances to become final where the first or second instances will last from 6 months to one year and a half if there is not involved in another proceedings, e.g. suspending the suit pending results of the patent invalidation proceedings before the IPO. The third instance will last from 1 to 2 years. If the IP court can really operate recently, the first or second instance would run faster.

--Regarding tendency of judiciary or government to patent system (for example, whether judiciary has a tendency toward patentee or against patentee?)
Basically, either the judiciary or the government is pro-IP protection.

Specifically, as long as the proofs are clear and enough, the patentee can always gain desired protection, except in the administrative court system where the opinions from the IPO is always followed by the judges.


Question 5. Until when do we have to file a request for substantive examination? Is there any time restriction?

Answer:  The request for substantive examination needs be made within 3 years from the filing date or the priority date, whichever is earlier.


Question 6. You said we could file a second application claiming the inner priority from the first application. What are the requirements for filing the second application (time, scope, etc.) and can we add new matters into the second application? What kind of benifits can we have by the second application?

Answer:  The second application needs be filed within one year from the filing date of the first application without the restriction as to whether there is involved in a new matter compared to the first application. From some aspects, such inner priority system is similar to the provisional application system in some countries, e.g. the US. The main benefits for such inner priority application is to prosecute a desired or preferred claim coverage in a single application.


Question 7. What are the requirements for the utility model patent? Can we file a utility model patent claiming priority on the regular pending patent application? Can we institute a law suit with a utility model patent?

Answer:  The requirements for the utility model patent are basically the same as a patent except that it is generally accepted that the creative level of a utility model patent is somewhat lower than that of a regular patent. Yes, we can file a utility model patent application claiming the priority from a regular patent application. It is to be noted that before we intend to claim damages with a utility model patent, we need to petition with the IPO a technical report therefor, which is obtainable within 6 months to 1.5 years. As long as we have obtained a positive technical report from the IPO, a utility model patent is as good as a regular patent.


Question 8. You said that an injunction or seizure can be secured in 3 days to 2 weeks. It seems that in that procedures, there is no step to determine patent infringement, is it correct?

Answer:   You are correct that in an injunction or seizure, there is no step to determine whether there is a real patent infringement.


Question 9. When the second application is filed, is the first application withdrwan?

Answer:   Yes, the first application is deemed withdrawn.


Question 10. If a new matter can be added in the second application, is the priority given only to the scope identically described in the first application? In other words, can the applicant claim no priority with the new matter?

Answer:   Yes, the priority needs be restricted to the contents in the first application.


Question 11. Please explain the injunction and seizure. What are the requirements each for the injunction and seizure. When the injunction or seizure is ordered by a court and administrative office, can the patentee enforce the order immediately? You wrote that patentee institute a civil suit after injunction order. Does it mean that the injunction order is invalidated if a civil suit is not filed?

Answer:   An injunction is a court order enjoining that a debtor shall conduct or not conduct an action or actions. A seizure is a court order seizing articles owned or held by the debtor. The requirements for petitioning an injunction or seizure are prima facie evidences that the creditor has the rights to make such petition, and a bond equivalent to one third of the amount or the value the creditor desires to seize or enjoin against the debtor.

Only the court, rather than the administrative office, can issue an injunction or seizure order, which can be enforced immediately provided that the debtor could petition a counter-bond in a full amount or value to get rid of the injunction or seizure. Yes, the injunction or seizure order will be dismissed if a civil suit is not filed in two weeks to two months.