Ministry of Economic Affairs,R.O.C.

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2019-10-31 14:52
Intellectual Property Office, Ministry of Economic Affairs
Taiwan and Japan Strengthen Patent Examination Cooperation by Signing the MoUs on Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) and on Design Patent Priority Document Exchange (PDX)
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On October 30th, the Taiwan-Japan Relations Association and Japan-Taiwan Exchange Association signed the MoUs on Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) and on Design Patent Priority Document Exchange (PDX). Through the two cooperative programs, TIPO and the JPO will facilitate more efficient and convenient services for applicants.

In May 2012, TIPO and the JPO launched the PPH pilot program, which was then modified to PPH MOTTAINAI in 2014 and was extended for three years in 2017. As of the end of September 2019, TIPO had received 3,426 requests for expedited examination, outnumbering other five ongoing PPH programs TIPO is currently partnering with. In addition, the pilot program remarkably sped up examination process, with first OA pendency averaging at 1.21 months and disposal at 3.77 months, respectively. In view of its excellent performance, TIPO and the JPO agreed that following the expiry of the pilot program, a permanent PPH program will replace it, starting on May 1, 2020. This permanent program is aimed at continuing to provide applicants with stable and convenient PPH services.

Moreover, Taiwan and Japan in 2013 signed an MoU on PDX to facilitate electronic exchange of priority documents for invention and utility model patent applications. Since its launch, the PDX has been widely used by respective applicants. To expand the current scope of electronic exchange, TIPO and the JPO have decided to incorporate design patent priority documents. Once implemented, it will save time for applicants on mailing paperwork, streamline cross-county application procedures, as well as make the exchange mechanism for priority documents more comprehensive. In the meantime, relevant IT systems on both ends are being developed and tested. The service is estimated to be officially launched in April 2021.

Taiwan and Japan have been close in bilateral economic and trade relations. Japan tops all the other foreign countries in the number of patent applications filed with TIPO. Last year (2018), that number stood at 14,169. Of these, the numbers of invention and design patent applications respectively stood at 12,871 and 1,224, both also topping other countries. On the other hand, the number of patent applications filed annually with the JPO by Taiwanese applicants is close to 3,000. Through the above two cooperative programs, TIPO hopes to support relevant domestic industries to further develop their international competitiveness and that more applicants could be benefited.