The introduction of a Fast Track Examination Program into trademark applications by the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) on May 1, 2020 on a trial basis has marked its first year.
This program offers expedited formalities examination to trademark applications that meet the following requirements set forth by TIPO, with no special requests and fees needed from the Applicant:
- The application is filed via TIPO’s e-filing system;
- The applied-for mark is a two-dimensional mark (rather than a non-traditional trademark, certification mark, collective mark, or a collective trademark);
- All designated goods/services in the application are listed in TIPO’s e-filing system;
- The application is linked to a pre-designated bank account for payment of government fees; and
- A signed Power of Attorney is submitted concurrently with the application.
According to the official statistics, up to the end of February, 2021, over 49,000 trademark applications, or roughly 60% of trademark applications filed in this period, have been admitted to the FTE Program. This shows that applicants are fully aware and keen to take use of the FTE program.
The TIPO observes that the time frame to enter the substantive examination stage for trademark applications admitted to the FTE Program is shortened by 1.4~1.6 months as compared to applications undergoing the standard proceeding. Given the fruitful results, the TIPO decided to formally implement the FTE program on May 1, 2021.
With an average workload of over 100,000 new applications (by Class) to be examined annually, the TIPO wishes to achieve through the FTE Program a win-win situation by reducing the examination time and workload, which in turns enables applicants to obtain an earlier examination results.
While only trademark applications that satisfy the above requirements are admitted to the FTE Program and this Program is applied without the need to file a request or pay a fee, the TIPO has proposed to introduce into the Trademark Act an all-inclusive “Expedited Examination Program” available for a fee to all types of applications. The proposed amendments to the Trademark Act are scheduled to be sent to Taiwan’s Congress for discussion this year.