The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) recently published draft amendments to 53 articles of the Trademark Act. Among other changes, the amendments introduce a new TIPO Appeal and Dispute Board, which will be responsible for deliberating on trademark remedy cases. This article summarises the main changes that the amendments introduce.
A brand owner filed an invalidation action against the trademark 約克夏茶YORK SHIRETEA and a device mark in respect of services in Class 42 for a violation of the Trademark Act. After examination, the defendant (ie, the IP Office) cancelled the trademark's registration. Dissatisfied, the plaintiff filed an administrative appeal with the Ministry of Economic Affairs, which was dismissed. The plaintiff then filed an administrative suit with the IP Court.
In January 2020 the Intellectual Property Office announced draft amendments to the Copyright Act which aim to address the exploitation of copyrightable works in the era of digital convergence and cloud technology, the regulation of fair use, the reconciliation of rights and the perfection of copyright regulations. This article discusses the main points of the draft amendments.
With respect to the question of whether the reproduction by libraries of out-of-print materials for archive purposes violates the Copyright Act, the Intellectual Property Office recently explained that if the materials to be archived by a library were out of print or difficult to purchase, the library could ask for reproduction of such materials from another library, and the latter could claim fair use pursuant to the act.
According to the Civil Code, the term 'usucapion' means the acquisition of a right or title to another's property by means of possessing that property for a prolonged period of time. However, as the Copyright Act was enacted to protect authors' rights and interests in their works for the common good of society, the Intellectual Property Office has stated that usucapion is not applicable to the economic rights in a work.
The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office recently restated that as the recording of a song onto compact disc involves the reproduction of the work concerned, unless it complies with the definition of 'fair use' specified in the Copyright Act, the economic rights owner's prior consent or authorisation should be obtained; otherwise, such activity may be deemed to infringe the owner's right of reproduction.
The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office has designated the Taiwan Association for Copyright Protection (TACP) as the copyright certification institute for Taiwanese audio and video products. If a Taiwanese operator desires to release any audio and video products in China in the future, it can directly apply to the TACP for the certification procedure in Taiwan.
The installation of satellite antennas and satellite television reception equipment for programme viewing is common. As the court and the Intellectual Property Office hold different opinions on whether such behaviour infringes the right to publicly broadcast a work, further clarification based on other cases and by the superior court is needed.