I. Remote Patent Application Interviews Available March 1, 2022
The Ministry of Economic Affairs has amended the sixth point of the "Operation Directions of TIPO, MOEA for Patent Interviews" and implemented the new measure of Remote Video Interviews for Patent Applications on March 1, 2022. Applicants and patent agents are able to select a remote location to conduct trilateral video interviews at their convenience. For example, a video interview can still be held when the patent applicant is in Japan, the agent at their own office in Taiwan, and the examiner at TIPO. This measure applies to patent application and reexamination cases but does not apply to invalidation cases. According to the amended 6th point of the “Operation Directions of TIPO, MOEA for Patent Interviews”, the main points of new measures are:
(1) For patent cases (except invalidation actions), the remote interview could be held when a party files a request for a remote interview with an appropriate location from the TIPO’s office, and the request is permitted by the TIPO.
(2) An appropriate location for a remote interview should meet the requirements as follows, otherwise the interview will not be permitted: (a) The location should be a non-public place. (b) The place should have the software and hardware equipment specified by the TIPO, and it’s capable to maintain the quality of video transmission.
(3) In the remote video interview, the staff of the bureau should read out the issues and key points of the interview, transmit the interview record to the person(s) participating in the interview for signature or seal, and then return it to the TIPO.
In order to protect innovation and establish clear standards for patent examination, TIPO has updated Part II, Chapter 12 of the Examination Guidelines for Computer Software-Related Inventions, in response to industry changes. The revisions came into effect on July 1, 2021. TIPO also provides 20 case studies across the five major fields of IT – AI, IoT, blockchain, cloud applications, and big data – to help applicants better understand the basis on which patent applications are assessed and ensure that patent examiners utilize the same concepts during the examination. The compendium of case studies, Case Studies on IT Patent Examination, is available to the public and includes both patentable and non-patentable requests to illustrate, step-by-step, how the patentability of each request is considered. Case Studies on IT Patent Examination explains patentability criteria such as the definition, clarity, and inventive step of the invention, as well as whether it can be carried out by a person ordinarily skilled in the art. Also included within the compendium are detailed, step-by-step descriptions of how each criterion is considered, making it easy for IT patent applicants to follow the process and facilitate their own application. This will also ensure better quality software-related patents for Taiwan in the future.
III. TIPO Sets Up Net Zero Emissions IP Info Section to Facilitate Industry Use of Carbon Reduction Technologies
Reaching net zero emissions by 2050 is considered a collective goal by the global community, and as such, TIPO has set up a dedicated Net Zero Emissions IP Info section to provide information on green technologies and AEP requests for related patents, including:
2. AEP Requests for Green Technologies: The scope of eligibility for the Accelerated Examination Program has been revised and expanded from “green-energy technologies” to encompass “green technologies”. The examination time has been shortened from 9 to 6 months.
3. Quick Green Technology Patent Search: Established the “Green Technology Section” in the Global Patent Search System (GPSS). The new section includes search criteria such as biofuel, wind energy, and thermal energy storage.