A post-termination restrictive covenant for non-competition restricts an employee from joining the employer's competitor or conducting business in competition with the employer following termination of employment. The employee is usually required to provide such a covenant on being hired, making it difficult for the employee to decline. As the legality of such a covenant was controversial, when the Labour Standards Act was revised in 2016, a new article was added to regulate it.
An employer may terminate an employment contract with notice or payment in lieu of notice and provide the appropriate severance payment if an employee is confirmed to be incompetent to perform the work assigned to him or her. However, employers may not terminate an employment contract if the employee is on maternity leave or suffering from an occupational injury or disease while working for the employer.
As Chinese (Mandarin) is Taiwan's national language, many foreign companies use Chinese translations or transliterations of their foreign brands (trademarks) in order to expand into the Taiwanese market. However, as Chinese characters can have different pronunciations and meanings, there are often multiple ways of translating or transliterating foreign trademarks into Chinese. The Intellectual Property Court recently addressed this issue in an administrative case relating to a trademark opposition.
The Supreme Administrative Court recently considered whether a patent lacked an inventive step due to teaching away. The disputed patent had been challenged before the Intellectual Property Office, which had rejected the appellee's invalidation action. Under Taiwan's patent examination guidelines, when determining whether a patent has an inventive step, all of the content disclosed in the prior art must be considered, including any prior art that teaches away from the applied-for invention.
The Taipei District Court recently upheld the established case law on companies' use of competitors' trademarks in keyword advertising. In general, the courts deem the use of a trademark non-actionable if it does not appear in the actual ad (ie, someone using the search terms would not assume that the ad belongs to the trademark owner). However, even if a competitor's trademark is not used in a company's ad, its use in keyword advertising might be considered a violation of the Fair Trade Act.
The Taiwan Food and Drug Administration recently published a draft version of the new regulations on patent linkage for public comment. An analysis of the regulations, which set out how patent linkage will be implemented in Taiwan, reveals several aspects that will have a significant impact on patent linkage operations in the region.
In a recent administrative litigation case regarding a trademark opposition, the Supreme Administrative Court expressed an important view on the adoption of the anti-squatting clause. Compared with previous decisions, the court took a stricter approach to the interpretation of earlier trademark use. Claimants asserting unregistered rights under this clause must demonstrate that the unregistered earlier mark was used in the ordinary course of trade and in accordance with common transaction practices.
US President Donald Trump's recent executive order which blacklists Huawei has generated a significant response from Huawei smartphone users, mobile operators and distributors in Taiwan which are handling returned purchases. One of the principal complaints from consumers is that once a Huawei smartphone is deprived of its Android operating system and Google services, it is no longer as 'smart' as it should be.
Despite the fact that Taiwan's broadband market is flooded with over-the-top (OTT) media services, the National Communications Commission has yet to regulate OTT service providers. However, the government recently issued a presidential order to amend the Copyright Act and outlaw malicious online infringement. Since the order's enactment, local cable and satellite channel operators (among others) have identified at least 42 OTT boxes and apps which may be considered illegal under the revised act.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently authorised Chunghwa Telecom, the largest telecoms operator in Taiwan, to use aggregate channels for its media-on-demand service. Unsurprisingly, local cable TV operators have protested the NCC's one-sided decision and demanded the same liberalised regulations. While the future of cable TV in Taiwan remains uncertain, over-the-top media services such as Netflix may be the only way to resurrect pay TV businesses.
Chinese telecoms manufacturer Huawei is under additional scrutiny following concerns that its close ties with the Chinese government present national security threats to Taiwan, the United States, Europe and allied countries. Further to the ban on Huawei's investment in Taiwan and the procurement of Huawei products for use in telecoms infrastructure, the Taiwan government is considering similar restrictions on 5G.
By the end of December 2018, the National Communications Commission (NCC) will expand the 5G regulatory sandbox in order to inspire experimental 5G applications and prepare Taiwan for the upcoming release of 5G spectrum for commercial use in 2020. The NCC confirmed that the 3.4GHz to 3.6GHz and 28GHz bands are available for release via spectrum auctions, while further public comments are required regarding the 1,700MHz to 1,900MHz, 2,010MHz to 2,025MHz and 2,355MHz to 2,390MHz bands.