Bid to Join CPTPP: Legislative Yuan Approves Draft Amendments to the Copyright Act, Trademark Act, and Patent Act

The Legislative Yuan passed draft amendments to the Copyright Act, the Trademark Act, and to Article 60-1 of the Patent Act on April 15, 2022. The amendments, which cleared the third reading, ensure that Taiwan’s IPR laws comply with the CPTPP’s regulations and will hopefully facilitate future negotiations for Taiwan to join the CPTPP.

I. Main amendments to the Copyright Act:

1.Instances of illegal digital piracy, distribution, and public transmission which constitute serious infringement are now considered offenses indictable without complaint. “Serious infringement” is determined by the following three criteria: infringement of work provided not for free by another person; reproduction in their original form (100% reproduction); and infringements causing damages exceeding NT$1 million.

2.Optical disc piracy is no longer a major source of infringement and will therefore revert back to general liabilities for reproduction and distribution. As such, provisions which increased penalties for the reproduction and distribution of pirated optical discs, as well as for confiscation and forfeiture thereof, have been deleted accordingly.

II. Main amendments to the Trademark Act:

1.To increase the sales and profit of trademark owners and enhance the protection of trademarks, criminal provisions for counterfeiting labels of trademarks or collective trademarks have been added, and criminal liabilities now apply to some preparatory and contributory acts of infringement including the importation of counterfeit labels and packaging of trademarks.

2.According to the existing Trademark Act, the subjective condition for counterfeiting labels to be held civilly and criminally liable is that the acts were carried out “knowingly.” This condition has since been deleted and civil liability will revert to “intentional” and “negligent” acts, whilst criminal liability will be determined by “intentionality”.

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Source: TIPO