Newly Revised Patent Law Implemented on May 1, 2017

After undergoing three readings by the Legislative Yuan, the new Amendment to Taiwan’s Patent Law has taken effect since May 1, 2017 which affords broader protection to inventors. The key changes are highlighted below:

1. The grace period that allows for disclosure/publication of an invention prior to the filing of an invention or utility model patent application for the invention has extended from six months to twelve months. However, the grace period for design patent applications remains to be six months.

2. According to the old Patent Law, the disclosure or publication of an invention or design prior to its filing in Taiwan shall defeat the novelty of the invention or design unless the invention or design was disclosed within the six months from the filing date for experimental purposes, in any non-patent publications, or against the applicant’s intent. As a consequence of the implementation of the new Law, regardless of whether the invention or design was disclosed by the applicant or against the applicant’s intent, the grace period of six or twelve months applies provided the disclosure was not made in any patent publications

3. It is no longer necessary to make any statement or submit documentary evidence in connection with the disclosure or publication of an invention/design to claim the grace period of six or twelve months referred to above at the time of filing.

4. Article 59 of the old Patent Law stipulated that the right conferred by an invention patent shall not apply where, prior to its filing date, the invention has been practiced or the necessary preparations involved in practicing the invention have been made by a third party in Taiwan; this exception shall not apply, however, where the third party learned, less than six months prior to the filing date of the patent application, the manufacturing process from the Applicant who has announced his intent to reserve his right to apply for a patent.

The grace period of six months referred to in the above stipulation has extended to twelve months according to the new Patent Law insofar as invention and utility model patents are concerned. The grace period for design patents, however, remains to be six months.

The above contents are intended as general discussion of the subject matter only and shall not be deemed as legal advice to any particular case or issue.