Taiwan IPO had received a total of 73,421 patent applications throughout 2018, which marks a slight 1% decrease from those filed in 2017. The number of invention patent applications increased by 3% for the second consecutive year. Breakdown by nationality, the invention patent applications in 2018 comprised 18,365 cases filed by Taiwanese nationals and 29,064 cases filed by foreign nationals, both of which saw their respective rise by 1% and 4%. On the other hand, there had been 84,816 trademark applications filed with Taiwan IPO throughout 2018, reaching an 18-year record high. As to examination efficiency, the average first office action pendency for invention patent applications are shortened to less than 9 months, and the total disposal of trademark applications now takes only around 5 months. Also, pending applications are down to about 46,000 cases. The overall examination service presents accelerated and quality performance.
If analyzed by nationality of applicants of overall patent applications in 2018, 39,278 applications were filed by Taiwanese nationals, declining by 4%. On the contrary, there had been a total of 34,143 patent applications filed by foreign nationals, which marks a 4% grow. Among the applications filed by Taiwanese nationals, invention patent applications went up slightly by 1%, totaling 18,365 cases, while the design patent applications and utility model patent applications dropped by 1% and 9%, respectively, each amounting to 4,252 cases and 16,661 cases in number. The patent applications filed by foreign nationals in 2018 consisted of 29,064 for invention patents, 1,249 cases for utility model patents, and 3,840 cases for design patents. The number of invention and utility model patent applications grew by 4%, but the number of design patent applications remained stable.
According to the further analysis of the patent applications filed by Taiwanese nationals, the rise of invention patent applications resulted from a 3% increase in the number of applications filed by enterprises and schools. There is a 2% and 8% growth in the number of applications filed by large enterprises and small and medium-size enterprises, respectively. The slight slip in the number of design patent applications was attributable to the 15% decrease in the applications filed by individuals. Further, the applications for utility model patents filed by enterprises, schools, research institutions, and individuals all went down by 7~13%.
Further, the analysis by country (region) shows that Japan continued to head the list of foreign applicants by filing the most applications for all three kinds of patents in Taiwan with 14,169 applications, surpassing the US at the 2nd spot (7,345 applications) and China at the 3rd place (3,506 applications). In terms of category of patents, Japan also claimed the top by filing the most invention and design patent applications, while China outshined other countries in utility model patent applications.
In trademark applications, a total of 84,816 trademark registration applications had been filed throughout 2018, hitting an 18-year record high and mainly attributable to the upward number of non-resident applications. By nationality, Taiwanese nationals had filed 59,840 applications, 2% down compared with last year, and foreign nationals had filed 24,976 applications, a leap by 11%.
The top five filing countries (region) of trademark applications are China at the top with 5,770 applications (a 19% yearly rise), followed by Japan at the 2nd position with 4,728 applications (a 21% yearly rise), and the US at the 3rd spot with 4,187 applications (a 14% yearly growth), which shows their active trademark portfolios in Taiwan. Besides, four of the top five filing countries (region) are in Asia.
Faced with the continued growth in the number of patent/trademark registration applications, the Taiwan IPO has been putting efforts to fulfill examination efficiency and implementing lots of accelerated examination measures and also inking PPH pilot programs with other patent offices, which has successfully shortened the first office action pendency for invention patent applications to less than nine months; the total disposal of trademark applications now takes only about five months, the lowest point for the past ten years. In addition, pending patent/trademark applications are lowered to 46,000 cases approximately. The foregoing would serve as a big push to facilitating applicants’ industrial arrangement and business management. (January 2019)