Patent application process for Taiwan

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Demystifying the Patent Application Process in Taiwan: A Detailed Guide

Taiwan, a thriving hub of technology and innovation in Asia, has a robust intellectual property (IP) framework that nurtures and protects inventiveness. For inventors and companies looking to safeguard their innovations in Taiwan, understanding the patent application process is crucial. This guide offers a comprehensive overview of the steps, requirements, and key considerations involved in filing a patent application in Taiwan, ensuring that applicants can navigate the process with confidence and precision.

Introduction to Taiwan's Patent System

The Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) under the Ministry of Economic Affairs is responsible for the administration of patents in Taiwan. The country's patent system is designed to protect new inventions, utility models, and designs, providing a legal framework that encourages innovation and technological advancement.

Types of Patents in Taiwan

Before delving into the application process, it's important to understand the types of patents available in Taiwan:

- **Invention Patents**: Cover new, innovative, and industrially applicable inventions with a protection period of 20 years from the filing date. - **Utility Model Patents**: Protect new technical solutions applied to the shape, structure, or composition of objects, offering protection for 10 years from the filing date. Notably, utility models do not undergo substantive examination. - **Design Patents**: Safeguard new and original designs applied to products, providing protection for 15 years from the filing date.

Patent Application Process in Taiwan

The process of securing a patent in Taiwan involves several key steps:

1. Pre-filing Search

Before filing a patent application, conducting a preliminary search is advisable to ensure that your invention is novel and non-obvious. This step involves searching through existing patents and publications to verify that your invention meets the patentability criteria.

2. Preparing and Filing the Application

The application must include a detailed description of the invention, claims that define the scope of the protection sought, abstract, and drawings if necessary. The application can be submitted in either Chinese or English, although a Chinese translation may be required. Applications should be filed with TIPO either online or in person.

3. Formal Examination

Upon filing, TIPO conducts a formal examination to ensure the application complies with all administrative and formal requirements. If any deficiencies are identified, the applicant will be notified and given an opportunity to make corrections.

4. Publication

The application is published 18 months after the filing date (or priority date, if claimed). This publication allows the public to view the application details and file oppositions if necessary.

5. Substantive Examination

For invention patents, a request for substantive examination must be made within three years from the filing date. During this examination, TIPO assesses the novelty, inventive step, and industrial applicability of the invention. For utility model patents, no substantive examination is conducted unless specifically requested by the applicant or a third party.

6. Office Actions and Response

If the examiner identifies issues with the application, an office action will be issued. Applicants have an opportunity to respond to these actions, either by amending the application or providing arguments against the examiner's findings.

7. Grant of Patent

If the application meets all the requirements, TIPO will grant the patent. The applicant is then required to pay the issuance fee and the first annuity fee to finalize the patent grant.

Key Considerations

- **Priority Claims**: Taiwan is a member of the Paris Convention, allowing applicants to claim priority from an earlier application filed in another convention country within 12 months for inventions and utility models, and within 6 months for designs. - **Maintenance of Patents**: To maintain the validity of the patent, annual annuities must be paid from the third year of the patent term.


Navigating the patent application process in Taiwan requires a thorough understanding of the legal framework and procedural nuances. By following the outlined steps and paying careful attention to TIPO's requirements, inventors and companies can effectively protect their intellectual assets in Taiwan's dynamic innovation ecosystem. Engaging with experienced IP professionals or patent attorneys can provide valuable support and guidance throughout this complex process, ensuring a smoother journey towards securing patent protection in Taiwan.