Search terms: Intellectual Property, Taiwan
To help stave off the risk of trade sanctions, and in view of increasing recognition of the close link between fair and consistent enforcement of Taiwan's IP laws and further development of the island's hi-tech industries, the Judicial Yuan recently announced its intention to launch a study on the feasibility of establishing special courts to hear IP-related cases.
Recent legislative amendments aim to bring Taiwan's trademark regime further into line with international standards. Among other things, the amended law sets out more detailed rules on the opposition procedure, and eliminates several provisions on application review procedures which grant discretionary authority to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.
Taiwan's Legislative Yuan recently passed amendments to the Copyright Law in response to pressure from the United States. However, US officials are unhappy that Taiwan refused to extend the term of copyright protection from 50 to 70 years and has allowed for shorter prison sentences, among other things.
In a move that has drawn the ire of the United States, the Taiwan Legislative Yuan recently passed an amendment to the Copyright Law which not only failed to incorporate key provisions demanded by the United States, but also decriminalized unauthorized parallel imports of copyrighted materials.
Last year was not a good year for copyright protection and enforcement in Taiwan. However, pending legislation is a step in the right direction: copyright infringement is set to become a public crime, while increased rewards will lead to more tip-offs about counterfeiting facilities. Increased border inspection should also lead to greater detection of attempted exports.
Local companies that sell ringtones to consumers must obtain a Type II telecommunications licence; but this licence does not grant the recipient any right to use the copyrighted works of others without permission from the right holders. Many sales of ringtones which are similar to existing songs are made without authorization and thus risk attracting liability for copyright infringement.