Further to the Unmanned Vehicles Technology Innovation Experimentation Act, which entered into force on 1 June 2019, a new regulation for drone use under the latest amendment to the Civil Aviation Act will take effect on 31 March 2020. Among other requirements, under the new act, drone operators in Taiwan will need to register with and pass an exam conducted by the Civil Aeronautics Administration to obtain an operator licence.
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.
Research and development (R&D) efforts for COVID-19 diagnosis and treatment methods are in full swing. To promote and protect the results of this R&D, the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) has verified the Taiwanese patent database by comparing it with the COVID-19-related clinical trials currently registered in the US clinical trial database. Further, TIPO has released current Taiwanese patent information regarding COVID-19-related clinical trial drugs for public reference.
In December 2019 the Legislative Yuan passed a third reading of amendments to the Trade Secrets Act, expressly stipulating that any unrecognised foreign juristic person may file a complaint for public prosecution, private prosecution or civil action pursuant to the Trade Secrets Act. In addition to solving inconsistencies in past judicial practice, the amendments establish the Protective Order in Criminal Investigation system.
In disputes relating to the ownership of patent rights, rights holders can petition for a pre-final enforcement order to preserve their rights before a judgment becomes final and irrevocable in addition to requesting the title transfer recordation of the disputed patent. However, in a recent Supreme Court ruling, it was explicitly stated that the pre-final enforcement of a patent transfer recordation was unnecessary and that the enforcement court will reject any such related petitions.
According to the Patent Examination Guidelines, in order to determine whether a patent application can be easily accomplished by persons ordinarily skilled in the art in view of the citations, it is necessary to consider whether there is motivation to combine multiple citations. Further, such motivation depends on whether the multiple citations are relevant or common in their technical contents.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently published a new compliance approval regulation for telecoms devices. The regulation clarified that the NCC may void approval issued to handsets supplied by Chinese telecoms manufacturers for changing the built-in region caller ID setting from 'Taiwan' to 'Taiwan, China' if this issue is not fixed promptly.
The National Communications Commission recently reached an agreement with the Ministry of Education that due to possible school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, Channel 3 of Public Television Services will be assigned to provide support for distance learning to meet the needs of junior and high schools nationwide.
Taiwan has swiftly adopted the 'digital fence' system, whereby the location of anyone required to undergo home quarantine due to COVID-19 is monitored via their phone's cellular signal. This approach seems less intrusive than other options and has been an efficient tool for containing the virus. However, deploying these technologies on such a large scale without undertaking testing has incited criticism that law enforcement departments are bypassing the Communication Security and Surveillance Act.
The National Communications Commission has requisitioned selected airtime from 213 TV channels and 161 radio stations nationwide. Each of the selected TV channels must allocate 24 minutes each weekday and 10 minutes each weekend day to broadcast a one-minute short film with open captions every hour offering health-related information and updates from the Taiwan Centre for Disease Control in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Taiwan's 5G spectrum auction came to an end on 21 February 2020. The five incumbents secured the 5G spectrum following a competitive auction with total bids reaching NT$142.191 billion (approximately $4.7 billion) which will be paid within 30 days following the National Communications Commission's notice. The regulation governing mobile broadband services requires operators to file for an amendment to their deployment plan and information security plan subsequent to the bid price being paid.