PROTECT YOUR DESIGN IN TAIWAN (REPUBLIC OF CHINA)Taiwan is the EU’s 7th biggest trading partner in Asia and has observed a large growth in the textile industry over the last decade.
With the expansion of their manufacturing system it is not a surprise to see copies and counterfeits surfacing. This is why it is key for businesses to register clear protection of their designs and products. First it is important to clarify that Taiwan is not a member of the WIPO and most of their administered agreements. But they did join the WTO. Even though they are not member of multiple international conventions, they do try to follow their work scheme in order to stay as close as possible to those conventions. Even so they still have a dedicated Intellectual Property Court.COPYRIGHTSCopyright protection in Taiwan appears as soon as the product is created, with no registration required. Product that are first introduced on the taiwanese market or introduced within the 30 days of their first publication in a foreign country will be protected under the Copyright Act of Taiwan.
Legal protection stands as long as the author of the work lives and 50 years after their deaths. In Taiwan only the product itself is submitted to Copyrights protection, which means that you can’t have protection on ideas, discoveries or methods of production. PATENTSIn order to have your design patented the application process will take from 6 to 12 months to be admitted. But if this concerns an invention patent this process will take 2 to 3 years.
The « First-to-file Principle » is used in Taiwan, in case of multiple patent applications for the same design or invention. But the case of « priority date » is still applicable in Taiwan even though Taiwan is not member of the paris convention, because claims from members of the paris convention are recognised in Taiwan. It is important to note that Taiwan is not part of the Patent Cooperation Treaty. Additionally to this, Legal protection for invention patents last 20 years and 12 years for Design patents.TRADE MARKSTaiwan is following the nice convention of trade mark classes, but most of the time still require applicants to be more specific on the type of goods, meaning not only the material of goods but also the type it is (shoes, handbag, luggage,…) Furthermore, it is possible to use Customs protection to fight against counterfeits being imported into Taiwanese Territory. After being registered with the Customs Administration, the process in which Customs will hold-up the potential counterfeit is only of 3 days. During this duration the IP owner will need to do a verification of the doubtful product, by additionally providing pictures of the original product to the Customs who will be assisting in the identification process. In comparison to China, Taiwan Customs protection are not in power to stop any exported shippings.
To finish, it is important to specify that the official language in Taiwan is Mandarin and that the official script is Traditional Chinese and NOT simplified Chinese such as their Neighbouring country, China. This is a mistake that should not occur during any type of registration for Copyrights, Patent, Trade Marks, Trade secrets or Customs protection. Make sure to provide accurate language for all the tasks .