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.
The new Telecommunications Act, which enters into force in June 2022, will replace the conventional Type I and II telecom licence categories (ie, facility-based and service-based operators, respectively) which were adopted in 1996 with a more liberal approach and give the National Communications Commission more scope with regard to spectrum management and licensing.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) recently published the final draft of its 5G spectrum auction rules. As part of the upcoming 5G spectrum auction, the NCC aims to publish an amendment to the existing Regulations for Administration of Mobile Broadband Businesses by the end of August 2019 and accept bids in September 2019. The auction for mobile broadband business licences operating in the 3.5GHz, 28GHz and 1,800MHz bands will commence in December 2019.
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.