In 2018, overall patent applications slightly decreased by 1% to 73,421 cases. Invention patent applications grew by 3% for the second successive year, in which both residents (18,365 cases) and non-residents (29,064 cases) rose by 1% and 4% respectively. On the other hand, 84,816 cases of trademark applications were filed, hitting an 18-year high. As to examination efficiency, the average first office action pendency was shortened to below 9 months for invention patent applications and to 5 months for trademark applications respectively; pending patent and trademark applications were both lowered to about 46,000 cases.
Breakdown by nationality, overall patent applications filed by residents (39,278 cases) declined by 4% in 2018, while those filed by non-residents (34,143 cases) went up by 4%. For the applications filed by residents, invention patents (18,365 cases) increased by 1%, while design patents (4,252 cases) and utility models (16,661 cases) dropped by 1% and 9% respectively. As for non-residents, applications filed for invention patent (29,064 cases) and utility model patent (1,249 cases) both grew by 4%, but design patents (3,830 cases) remained stable (Fig. 2, Table 1).
In the patent applications by residents, increasing invention patent applications mainly came from a 3% rise by industries and schools, in which large enterprises and small and midsize enterprises (SME) went up by 2% and 8% respectively. However, the fall of design patent filings was due to a 15% drop in individuals. For the slip of utility model applications, industries, schools, research institutes and individuals all went down by 7-13% respectively (Fig. 3).
Among the top 5 patent-filing countries (regions) in Taiwan, Japan continued to claim the top with 14,169 overall applications, followed by the US (7,345 cases) and Mainland China (3,506 cases). Japan also took the lead in the number of invention and design patent applications, and Mainland China outnumbered other countries in utility model applications (Fig. 4).
In trademark, the number of applications (84,816 cases) hit a record high in 18 years due mainly to the surge of non-resident applications. By nationality, applications filed by residents (59,840 cases) dropped by 2%, while non-residents (24,976 cases) soared by 11% (Fig. 5, Table 1).
Among the top 5 trademark filing countries (regions), Mainland China (5,770 cases, +19%) again took the lead, followed by Japan (4,728 cases, +21%) and the US (4,187 cases, +14%). In addition, four out of top five trademark filing countries (regions) were in Asia, showing their aspirations of trademark portfolios in Taiwan (Fig. 6).
In the face of increasing numbers of invention patent and trademark applications, TIPO is devoted to examination and management of processing time. Furthermore, various fast-track patent examination measures and PPH programs with other IP offices have been launched. As a result, the average first office action pendency was less than 9 months for invention patent applications and 5 months for trademark applications respectively, both reaching a 10-year low. Meanwhile, the numbers of pending applications for both patent and trademark applications were lowered to about 46,000 cases
Source: Intellectual Property Office Ministry of Economic Affairs, R.O.C