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 2018 the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association and the Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association signed a memorandum of understanding on the exchange of patent file wrappers to facilitate the sharing of file histories and other relevant information sought by applicants and patent examiners between Taiwan and Japan. The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office recently announced the pilot of a shared platform for accessing patent examination documents.
'Cybersquatting' is the bad-faith registration of a domain name that contains another party's trademark. Where an unauthorised domain name is registered in a Taiwanese generic top-level domain (ie, with a '.tw' domain name) under a contract with the Taiwan Network Information Centre (TWNIC), the affected party may be able to file a TWNIC Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy proceeding, which is an efficient tool for preventing trademark infringement and cybersquatting.
The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office recently published draft amendments to certain articles of the Patent Act which substantially revise the litigation procedures for patent cases and consolidate the appeal levels. The amendments amount to the biggest change to the Patent Act in recent years. Patent owners and related professionals should pay close attention to the changes to the act and related laws and regulations to understand how their rights and interests may be affected.
Article 40 of the Plant Variety and Plant Seed Act provides legal remedies for plant variety rights holders or exclusive licensees whose rights have been infringed. The Taiwan Intellectual Property Court recently rendered a civil judgment that specifically indicates how to determine whether an allegedly infringing plant is an infringing variety.
With the development of technology, cameras and mobile phones now have various built-in shooting modes or parameters that enable photographers to shoot different scenes quickly. Traditionally, photographers would have had to adjust the parameters themselves. Notably, in two recent decisions the IP Court ruled that photographic works taken using built-in shooting modes or parameters can meet the Copyright Act's requirements for creativeness (originality).
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently approved the first application for 5G spectrum sharing under the new Telecoms Act. The application was jointly filed by FarEasTone and Asia Pacific Telecom. While it granted the approval, the NCC placed independent network management obligations on the two operators and instructed them to build a joint task force to ensure compliance with enhanced network and information security requirements.
Taiwanese mobile operators are aiming for mass user migration to 5G networks in 2021, following confirmation that a special government budget of approximately NT$15.5 billion has been allocated to a subsidy scheme for 5G network deployment between 2021 and 2022. It is forecasted that 5G users will account for 30% of total mobile broadband subscribers in 2021, compared with approximately 6% in 2020.
The National Communications Commission recently issued an official order of recall against Taiwan Mobile, one of the country's top three mobile operators. The order concerned Taiwan Mobile's self-branded smartphone (the Amazing A32), which had been supplied by a Chinese company and was sold to more than 94,191 subscribers between April 2018 and July 2020. Although not uncommon in China, this was the first security breach involving a smartphone in Taiwan.
The new Telecoms Act came into effect on 1 July 2020. The licences of incumbent telecoms operators will expire on 30 June 2023 if not earlier on their registration with the National Communications Commission (NCC). While the Taiwan telecoms regulatory regime is switching from heavy-handed regulation to light-touch administration as the NCC claims, the NCC has published a guideline on the registration of telecoms service providers and responses to FAQs on its official website.
Subsequent to the requisition of selected airtime from 213 TV channels and 161 radio stations nationwide since 22 January 2020, the National Communications Commission recently announced its subsidy policy for compensating the direct cost of labour incurred by the operators involved (ie, each TV channel operator will be paid NT$24,000 (approximately $842) per month between 22 January 2020 and 30 June 2021 and each radio station operator will be paid NT$3,000 (approximately $105)).