Introduction to Tax Incentive Regime for SMEs

Introduction to Tax Incentive Regime for SMEs

I. Introduction

  The developments of SMEs (small-and-medium enterprises) plays an important pillar of development of industries and creation of jobs in Taiwan. In 2017, the total number of SMEs in Taiwan was 1,437,616. They offer 8,904,000 jobs, accounting for 78.44% of the workforce[1]. However, SMEs have difficulties in entering international supply chains because of their weakness in finance. Therefore, how to enhance the global competitiveness of SMEs is an important issue for the concerned authority. Chapter 4 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises prescribes the tax incentive regime based on the financial capability of SMEs and characteristics of industries in order to facilitate the development of SMEs, especially the globalization of SMEs. This paper will review the importance of tax incentives to SMEs and introduces the tax incentive regime under the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises In order to help SMES have an understanding of such regime.

II. SME Tax Incentives Scheme

  As the gatekeeper of the market, the government may intervene the market with various policies or tools to reallocate and improve the soundness of the market environment when the market competitions is impaired due to information asymmetry or externalities. At this juncture, preferential tax rates or tax deductions can be offered to specific taxpayers through legal institution. This allows these taxpayers to retain higher post-tax earnings so that they are incentified to invest more resources in the legally defined economic activities. Tax incentives targeting at risky or spillover investments to create benefits to specific economic activities will help the development of industries and markets.

  Whilst Article 10 of the Statute for Industrial Innovation has provided tax cuts for R&D expenditures, these incentives are not focus on SMEs and hence not supportive to their research and innovations. This was the reason for the 2016 amendment of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises added Article 35 to offer tax incentives in order to encourage R&D and innovative efforts and Article 35-1 to activate intellectual properties via licensing. These articles aim to accelerate the momentum of innovations and transformations which promoting investments for SMEs. OthersTo assist SMEs to cope with change of the business environment, the Article 36-2 added the tax incentives for salary or headcount increases, to contribute to the sustainability of SMEs and stabilize the labour market and industrial structures. Following is an explanation of the applicability of these schemes and the requirements to qualify such incentives.

III. Tax Incentives to Promote Investments

(I) Tax deductions for R&D expenditures

  Governments around the world seek to encourage corporate R&D activities, that Tax incentives are put in place to reduce R&D costs and foster a healthy environment of investment for more R&D initiatives. Neighboring countries such as Japan, Korea and Singapore are frequently practicing belowing tax burdens to encourage R&D efforts. Article 35 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises in Taiwan allows accelerated depreciation and offers tax cuts[2] to stimulate R&D and innovations and create an investment friendly environment for SMEs.

1. Taxpaying Entities and Requirements

(1) Qualifications for SMEs

  Article 35 of the Act is applicable to qualified SMEs and individual taxpayers, which are (1) from manufacturing, construction & engineering, mining and quarrying industries, with paid-in capital below or equal to NT$80 million or with the number of full-time employees less than 200 people; (2) from other industries with the sales of the previous year below or equal to NT$100 million or with the number of full-time employees less than 100 people. Thus, the qualifications of Small and Medium Enterprises are based on either paid-in capital/sales or number of employees under the Act[3].Meanwhile, SMEs may not have an independent R&D department due to the limit of size or operating cost.Therefore, if the taxpayers hiring full-time R&D personnel that can provide records of job descriptions and work logs to R&D activities, the SMEs can access the tax incentives provided that the R&D functions. The recognized by government agencies is increasingly flexibility for SMEs seeking policy support.  

2. Taxpayers and requirements

(1) A certain degree of innovativeness

  As the tax incentive regime strives to promote innovations, the R&D expenses should be used to fund innovative developments. According to the official letters from the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs, there is no high bar as forward-looking, risky and innovative as usually” required for other incentives previously, which is considering the size of SMEs and their industry characteristics. The “certain degree” of innovativeness shall be based on industry environments and SME businesses as determined by competent authorities in a flexible manner.

(2) Flexibility in the utilization of business income tax reductions

  To encourage regular R&D activities, The case that SMEs may not have R&D undertakings each year due to funding constraints, or start-up company may have incurred R&D expenditures but are not yet profitable and hence have no tax liabilities during the year, Corporate taxpayers were able to choose beside deduct the payable taxes during a single year, and reduce the payable taxes during the current year over three years starting from the year when tax incentives are applicable.

3. Tax incentive effects

  As previously mentioned, Article 35 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises accommodates the characteristics of SMEs by allowing reductions of corporate business taxes for up to 15% R&D expenditures during the current year, or spreading the tax reductions by spreading up to 10% of the R&D expenditures over three years from the first year when the incentives are applicable. It is worth noting that the tax deductions shall not exceed 30% of the payable business income taxes during a single year.

  If the instruments and equipment for R&D, experiments or quality inspections have a lifetime over two years or longer, it is possible to accelerate the depreciation within half of the years of service prescribed by the income tax codes for fixed assets. However, the final year less than 12 months over the shortened service years shall not be counted. Accelerated depreciation brings in tax benefits for fixed asset investments during the initial stage, that meets the requirements for new technologies and risk management by frontloading the equipment depreciation and creates a buffer for capital utilization.

(II) Deferred taxations on licensing/capitalization of intellectual properties

  The deferral of tax payments under the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises is meant to avoid any adverse effect on the application of technological R&Ds by SMEs. As the equity stakes via capitalization of intellectual properties by inventors or creators are not cashed out yet and the subsequent gains may not be at the same valuation as determined at the time of capitalization, the immediate taxation may hinder the willingness to transfer intellectual properties. Therefore, assisting SMEs to release intellectual properties with potential economic value, the licensing and capitalization of intellectual properties is strongly encouraged. The tax expenses shall be deferred within SME or an individual acquires stakes on a non-publicly-listed company by transferring their intellectual properties.

  This is to stimulate the applications and sharing of relevant manufacturing technologies. When an SME or an individual acquires stakes on a non-publicly-listed company by transferring their intellectual properties, their tax expenses shall be deferred.

1. Taxpayers and requirements

(1) Qualifications for individuals or SMEs

  Article 35-1 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises is applicable to SMEs and individual taxpayers. This is to foster the growth of SMEs and enhancement of industry competitiveness by encouraging R&D and innovations from individuals and start-ups. To promote the commercialize of intellectual properties in different ways, the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises provides income tax incentives to individuals and SMEs transferring intellectual properties. The purpose is to encourage different paths to industry upgrades.

(2) Ownership of intellectual properties

  To ensure that the proceeds of intellectual property is linked to the activity of intellectual properties which perform by individuals or SMEs. Only the owners of the intellectual properties capitalized and transferred can enjoy the tax benefits.

  Intellectual properties referred to in the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises are the properties with value created with human activities and hence conferred with legal rights. These include but are not limited to copyrights, patent rights, trademarks, trade secrets, integrated circuit layouts, plant variety rights and any other intellectual properties protected by laws[4].

(3) Acquisition of stock options

  The abovementioned tax incentives are offered to the individuals or SMEs who transfer intellectual properties to non-listed companies in exchange of their new shares. The income taxes on the owners of intellectual properties are deferred until acquisition of shares. These shares are not registered with the book-entry system yet. Before the transferrers of intellectual properties dispose or offload these shares, immediate taxations will impose economic burdens and funding challenges given the unknown prices of the eventual cash-out. Therefore, this legislation is only applicable to taxpayers who obtain options for new shares.

2. Taxpayers and requirements

(1) Transfer of intellectual properties

  According to Article 36 of the Copyright Act as interpreted by official letters issued by the Ministry of Finance, the transfer of intellectual properties is the conferring of intellectual properties to others, and the transferees access these intellectual properties within the scope of the transfer. In terms “transfer” of the first and second paragraphs of Article 36 does not include licensing[5], but such as granting, licensing and inheritance.

(2) Timing of income tax payments

  In general, the particular time that calculation of taxes payable is based on when the taxpayers acquire the incomes, less relevant expenses or costs. The taxes payable timing should be depending on when the taxpayers obtain the newly issued shares by transferring intellectual properties. However, the levy of income taxes at the time of intellectual property transfers and new share acquisitions may cause a sudden jump in taxes payable in the progressive system and thus a burden on the economics of SMEs and individuals concerned. Thus, to avoid disruptions to company operations or personal finance planning, Article 36 makes the exception for the incomes earned by subscribing to new shares as a result of transferring intellectual properties. Such incomes are not subject to taxes during the year when the shares are acquired, in order to mitigate the tax barriers concerned.

  In sum, the taxes shall be paid when such shares are transferred, gifted or distributed.

3. Tax incentive effects

  Article 35-1 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises provides tax incentives to stimulate the mobilization of intellectual properties by smoothing out the impact of income taxes payable. This is applicable to (1) SMEs who can postpone the business income taxes payable from the year when they acquire new shares of non-listed companies by transferring the intellectual properties they own; (2) individuals who can postpone the individual income taxes payable from the year when they acquire new shares of non-listed companies by transferring the intellectual properties they own.

IV. Tax incentives aiming to improve the business environment

(I) Tax reductions for wages to additional headcounts

  SMEs are vital to the Taiwan, making uo 90% of the companies accounting in Taiwan, who employ more than 6.5 million people or 72.8% of the total workforce. Any economic recession may make it difficult for SMEs to maintain their labor costs given their smaller funding size and external challenges. This will cause higher unemployment rates and hurt the economy, which may cause impairment of the capacity or create a labor gap for SMEs, eventually shrink the industry scale. To lower the burden of operational and investment costs and learn from the legislatives in Japan and the U.S.[6], tax incentives are put in place as a buffer for adverse effects of external environments. The first paragraph of Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises provide tax incentives for employee salaries of new headcounts based on the assessment on the economy over a time period. This is intended to encourage domestic investments and avoid the pitfall of direct government subsidies distorting salary structures. It is hoped that investments from SMEs can stimulate the momentum of economic growth.

1. Taxpayers

  The tax incentives under Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises aim to assist SMEs through difficult times in an economic downturn. The threshold of the period time is based on the unemployment rate has been below the economic indicator predetermined for six consecutive months, which calculated by the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, Executive Yuan. In number of the unemployment rate has been below the economic indicator predetermined for six consecutive months, it is deemed that the business environment is not friendly to SMEs. In this instance, the Regulations for the Tax Preferences Provided to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises on Additional Wage Payment will trigger the tax incentives. The abovementioned economic indicator shall be published by the competent authorities once every two years.

  Moreover, to qualify for the tax incentives for new employees, SMEs should investing new ventures or instill new capital by at least $500,000[7] or hiring workforce at least two full-time headcounts compared with the previous fiscal year, that constitute at the Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, which aims to encourage SMEs investments.

2. Taxpayers

(1) Qualifications of additional headcounts

  As the dispatched human resource services typically meet temporary or short-term requirements and contractors do not enjoy employment security, this is not consistent with the spirit of the legislation to create jobs and reduce unemployment. Therefore, to avoid the one-time increase of headcounts from accessing the tax reductions during the year and the deterioration of labor relations in Taiwan. Tax incentive is not offered to the additional recruitment of part-time or contracted workers.

  Meanwhile, the tax incentives are only applicable to the additional employment of Taiwanese nationals, above or below 24 years old. A tax deduction of 50% based on annual wages is provided for the hiring of people below 24 years old. The extra tax deduction will stimulate young employment.

(2) Definition of additional employment

  The number of additional headcounts is based on permanent hires and calculated as the difference between the average number of Taiwanese employees covered by labor insurance per month throughout a single fiscal year or before and after the incremental increase of workforce. The conversion of regular contracts to indefinite employment in writing or signing up for indefinite R&D headcounts under the military service scheme can also be deemed as additional employment. It is worth noting, however, the new headcounts resulted from M&A activities or transfer between affiliated companies are excluded in this legislation.

(3) Calculation of wages

  Companies are also required to increase employment as well as the Comparable Wages. The comparable wages are estimated with the summation of 30% of the wages for the year before and after additional employment that based on the aggregate of the new hires comparable wages compared to the prior year. In other words, if the aggregate wages paid out are higher than comparable wages during the year, the companies concerned have indeed incurred higher personnel expenses. Tax incentives are thus granted because it improves the business environment and it is the purpose of this legislation.

3. Tax incentive effects

  The first paragraph of Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises provides deductions of business income taxes during the year to qualified SMEs at an amount equivalent to 130% of the incremental wages paid to new headcounts who are Taiwanese nationals. The deductible amount is equivalent to 150% of the incremental wages if new headcounts are Taiwanese nationals below 24 years old.

(II) Tax incentives for companies that increase salaries

  Companies are subject to the effect of changes in the external factors such as global supply and demand on the international market, as well as the domestic business environment as a result of risk aversion from investors and expectation from customers. These uncertainties associated with investments and the rising prices for consumers will suppress the wage levels in Taiwan. This the reason why the second paragraph of Article 36-2 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises grants tax deductions for the companies who increase salaries, to encourage companies share earnings with employees and enhance private-sector consumption. SMEs may deduct their business income taxes payable during the year up to 30% of salary increase for existing entry-level employees who are Taiwanese nationals, not as a result of statutory requirement for basic wage adjustments.

1. Taxpayers

  The tax incentives are applicable to SMEs as defined by the Regulations for the Tax Preferences Provided to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises on Additional Wage Payment and based on the same economic indicators previously mentioned.

2. Qualification for tax incentives

(1) Definition of entry-level employees

  The object of taxation under this act is the enterprise's average wage payment to the entry-level employees. The entry-level employees referred to in this act are authorized by the "Small and medium-sized enterprise employee salary increase, salary deduction act " that refers to employees of local nationality with an average monthly recurring salary below nt $50,000[8] whose were entered into indefinite employment contracts with SMEs. Through such conditions, the effect of tax concessions will be concentrated on promoting the salary level of grassroots staff and helping enterprises to cope with changes in the industrial environment.

(2) Average salaries

  The salaries to entry-level employees refer to the basic salaries, fixed allowances and bonuses paid on a monthly basis. Payment-in-kind shall be discounted based on the actual prices and included into the regular salaries. Meanwhile, regular salaries should be calculated with annualized averages, as this legislation seeks to boost salary levels. The regular salaries to entry-level employees during the year are estimated with the monthly number of entry-level employees during the same year. Only when the average basis salaries during the year are higher than those in the prior year can the tax incentives be applicable.

3. Tax incentive effects

  Applying this article, SMEs can deduct their business income taxes each year up to 130% of salary increase for existing entry-level employees who are Taiwanese nationals, which are not as a result of statutory requirement for basic wage adjustments. However, it is not allowed to double count the increased personnel expenses for new headcounts applicable to the first and second paragraphs of the same article.

V. Conclusions

  The funding scales and relatively weak financial structures are the factors that led SMEs be susceptible influenced by supply change dynamics and business cycles. To the extent that is suppressing the flexible in capital utilization for SMEs, also influencing on the sustainability of SMEs. Differ from government subsidies require budgeting, reviewing and implementations, there are complications regarding the allocation of administrative resources. Therefore, it is important to plan for tax incentives in order to stimulate R&D, innovation and job creation by SMEs and ultimately make SMEs more competitive.

  The tax incentives to SMEs amended in 2016 by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration are known for the following:

(I) The lowering of thresholds for tax reductions of R&D expenses in order to encourage SMEs to invest in R&D activities with a “certain degree” of innovativeness and enhance the momentum for SMEs to upgrade and transform themselves;  

(II) Deferral the income taxations on the transfer of intellectual properties for equity, in order to encourage application and utilization of such intellectual properties, provide incentives for R&D programs or innovations by individuals and SMEs. This also creates a catalyst for industry upgrade;

(III) Tax deductions for the employment of new headcounts or the increase of employee wages during the time the economic indicators have reached a certain threshold and based on the health of the investment environment. This is to encourage company investments and capital increases in Taiwan and mitigate the volatility of economic cycles, in order to get ready for business improvement.

  The above tax incentive programs, i.e. tax deductions for R&D and innovations; deferral of taxations on the transfer of intellectual properties for equity; tax deductions for the hiring of new headcounts and the increase of employee salaries, are meant to boost the investment from SMEs and the competitiveness of SMEs. The Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises seeks to reduce tax burdens of SMEs actively investing for their future and competitive advantages. Tax incentives help to mitigate the adverse effect of the economy on the business environment. It is also the fostering of the sources of business income tax revenues for the government. This is the very purpose of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises.

 

 

[1]White Paper on Small and Medium Enterprises in Taiwan, 2018, p21 (November 9, 2018)
published by the Ministry of Economic Affairs

[2]Pursuant to the authorization conferred by Article 35 of the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has announced the Regulations Governing the Reduction of Expenditures for Small and Medium Enterprises Research and Development as Investment.

[3]Article 2 on the definition of SMEs. The abovementioned criterion is universally applicable to the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises. It also applies to the eligibility of tax incentives to be introduced in this paper unless otherwise specified.

[4]Official Letter Economic-Business No. 10304605790, Ministry of Economic Affairs

[5]Official Letter Taiwan-Finance No. 10300207480, Ministry of Finance

[6]“Assessment of the Taxations under Article 35, Article 35-1, the first paragraph and the second paragraph of Article 36-2, the Act for Development of Small and Medium Enterprises” published by the Small and Medium Enterprise Administration, Ministry of Economic Affairs, pages 15-17, https://www.moeasmea.gov.tw/files/2670/93B9AF54-84E2-4293-A5CA-EA7DD9FAA05A(most recently browsed date September 9, 2019).

[7]Order of Interpretation Economics-Business No. 104004602510 from the Ministry of Economic Affairs: “Second, on the day when the economic indicator has reached the threshold, the paid-in capital of the new business should be at least NT$500,000 and there is no need to instill additional capital during the period when tax incentives are applicable. For existing businesses, there is no limitation on the number of capital increases during the applicable period. So long as the cumulative increase in capital reaches NT$500,000 and new employees are hired during the same fiscal year or during the prior fiscal year.”

[8]Paragraph 1, Article 2 of the Regulations for the Tax Preferences Provided to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises on Additional Wage Payment

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The execution policy of the Intelligent Machinery Promotion Program is to integrate the intelligent functions such as malfunctions predictions, accuracy compensation, and automatic parameter setting into the machinery industry so as to have the ability to render the whole solutions to the problem. Simultaneously, the program employs three strategies, which are connecting with the local industries, connecting with the future, and connecting with the world, to develop the mentioned vision and objectives. Especially, the way to execute the strategy of connecting with the local industries consists of integrating the capabilities of industry, research organization and the government. At the meantime, the government will encourage the applications of smart vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles and train the talents as well. The thinking of connecting with the future lies in the goal of deepening the technologies, establishing systematic solutions, and providing a testing areas, which focus on the related applications such as aerospace, advanced semiconductor, smart transportation, green vehicles, energy industry, whole solutions between factories, intelligent man-machine coordination, and robots of machine vision combined with intelligent machinery applications. The government would strengthen the cross-cutting cooperation to develop machines for aerospace and integrate the system of industrial division to form a cluster in order to create Taiwanese IoT technology. Eventually, Taiwan will be able to connect with the world, enhance international cooperation, expand export trade and push industry moving toward the age of information and digital economy and break the edge of industry technology to make the industry feel the goodwill of the government. 4. Green energy innovations   The government’s “five plus two” innovative industries program includes a green energy industrial innovation plan passed October 27, 2016 that will focus on Taiwan’s green needs, spur extensive investments from within and outside the country, and increase quality employment opportunities while supporting the growth of green energy technologies and businesses.   The government is developing the Shalun Green Energy Science City. The hub’s core in Shalun will house a green energy technology research center as well as a demo site, providing facilities to develop research and development (R&D) capabilities and conduct the requisite certification and demonstration procedures. The joint research center for green energy technologies will integrate the efforts of domestic academic institutions, research institutes, state-run enterprises and industry to develop green energy technologies, focusing on four major functions: creating, conserving and storing energy, as well as system integration. Development strategies include systems integration and finding better ways to conserve, generate and store energy by promoting green energy infrastructure, expanding renewable energy capabilities and cooperating with large international firms.   The emergence of the green economy has prompted the government to build infrastructure that will lay the foundation for Taiwan’s green energy sector, transform the nation into a nuclear-free society, and spur industrial innovation. For innovative technology industries, green energy industries can drive domestic economic development by attracting more venture capital and creating more employment opportunities. 5. Biomedical Industry Innovation Program   To facilitate development of Taiwan’s biomedical industry, the government proposed a “biomedical industrial innovation promotion program” on November 10, 2016 to serve as the nation’s new blueprint for innovative biomedical research and development (R&D). To facilitate development of the biomedical industry, the government proposed a “biomedical industrial innovation promotion program”. The program centered on the theme of “local, global and future links,” “the biomedical industrial innovation promotion program” includes four action plans:   (1) Build a comprehensive ecosystem   To address a rapidly ageing global population, Taiwan will enhance the biomedical industry’s capacity for innovation by focusing on talent, capital, topic selection, intellectual property, laws and regulations, and resources.   (2) Integrate innovative business clusters   Established by the Ministry of Science and Technology and based in Hsinchu Biomedical Science Park, the center will serve as a government think tank on related issues. It is also tasked with initiating and advancing exchanges among local and foreign experts, overseeing project implementation, promoting investment and recruiting talents. Equally important, it will play a central role in integrating resources from other biomedical industry clusters around the country, including Nangang Software Park in Taipei City, Central Taiwan Science Park in Taichung City and Southern Science Park in Tainan City.   (3) Connect global market resources   Building on Taiwan’s advantages, promote M&A and strategic alliances, and employ buyout funds and syndicated loans to purchase high-potential small and medium-sized international pharmaceutical companies, medical supply companies, distributors and service providers. Use modern mosquito-borne disease control strategies as the foundation of diplomatic cooperation, and promote the development of Taiwan’s public health care and medical services in Southeast Asian countries.   (4) Promote specialized key industries   Promote niche precision medical services, foster clusters of world-class specialty clinics, and develop industries in the health and wellness sectors. 6. DIGITAL NATION AND INNOVATIVE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PLAN    On November 24, 2016, the Executive Yuan promote the Digital Nation and Innovative Economic Development Plan (2017-2025) (DIGI+ program), the plan’s main goals for 2025 are to grow R.O.C.’s digital economy to NT $ 6.5 trillion (US$205.9 billion), increase the digital lifestyle services penetration rate to 80 percent, speed up broadband connections to 2 Gbps, ensure citizens’ basic rights to have 25 Mbps broadband access, and put R.O.C. among the top 10 information technology nations worldwide.    In addition to the industrial economy, the program can jump off bottlenecks in the past industrial development, and promote the current Internet of things, intelligent machinery, green energy, medical care and other key national industries, but also attaches great importance to strengthening the digital infrastructure construction, the development of equal active, as well as the creation of a service-oriented digital government. It is also hoped that through the construction of a sustainable and intelligent urban and rural area, the quality of life will be improved and the people will enjoy a wealthy and healthy life. Over the next 8 years, the government will spend more than NT $ 150 billion.   The plan contains several important development strategies: DIGI+Infrastructure: Build infrastructure conducive to digital innovation. DIGI+Talent: Cultivate digital innovation talent. DIGI+Industry: Support cross-industry transformation through digital innovation. DIGI+Rights: Make R.O.C. an advanced society that respects digital rights and supports open online communities. DIGI+Cities: Build smart cities through cooperation among central and local governments and the industrial, academic and research sectors. DIGI+Globalization: Boost R.O.C.’s standing in the global digital service economy.   The program aims to build a favorable environment for digital innovation and to create a friendly legal environment to complete the draft amendments to the Digital Communications Law and the Telecommunications Act as soon as possible, foster cross-domain digital talents and develop advanced digital technologies, To create a digital economy, digital government, network society, smart urban and rural and other national innovation ecological environment in order to achieve "the development of active network society, promote high value innovation economy, open up rich countries of the policy vision.    In order to achieve the overall effectiveness of the DIGI + program, interdisciplinary, inter-ministerial, inter-departmental and inter-departmental efforts will be required to collaborate with the newly launched Digital National Innovation Economy (DIGI +) Promotion Team. 7. “NEW AGRICULTURE” PROMOTION PROJECT    At a Cabinet meeting On December 08, 2016, Premier Lin Chuan underscored the importance of a new agricultural paradigm for Taiwan’s economic development, adding that new agriculture is an integral part of the “five plus two” industrial innovation projects proposed by President Tsai Ing-wen. The “new agriculture” promotion project uses innovation technology to bring value to agricultural, and build new agricultural paradigm, agricultural safety systems and promote agricultural marketing. This project also takes resources recycling and environmental sustainability into consideration to promote agricultural transformation, and build a robust new agricultural system.   This agricultural project is expected to increase food self-sufficiency rate to 40%, level up agricultural industry value by NT$43.4 billion, create 370,000 jobs and increase portion of total agricultural exports to new overseas markets to 57% by 2020.   This project contains three aspects:   First is “building new agricultural paradigm”: to protect farmers, agricultural development and ensure sustainability of the environment.   Second is “building agricultural safety systems”: Ensuring product safety and quality, and building a certification system which can be trust by the consumers and is consistent with international standards.   Last but not least is “leveling up agricultural marketing and promotions”: enhancing promotion, making the agricultural industry become profitable and sustainable.   Council of Agriculture’s initiatives also proposed 10 policies to leverage agricultural industry, not only just use the passive subsidies measure of the past. These policies including promoting environmentally friendly farming practices; giving farmers that are beneficial(green) to the land payments; stabilizing farmers’ incomes; increasing the competitiveness of the livestock and poultry industries; using agricultural resources sustainably; ensuring the safety of agricultural products; developing technological innovation; leveling up food security; increasing diversification of domestic and external marketing channels; and increasing agriculture industry added value.    In this statutes report, Council of Agriculture said this project will accelerate reforms, create new agricultural models and safety systems, but also build a new sustainable paradigm of agricultural. Premier Lin Chuan also backed this “five plus two innovative industries” program and “new agriculture” project, and asked Council of Agriculture to reviewing the possible legal changes or amendment that may help to enhance the transformation of agricultural sector.

Observing Recent Foreign Developments upon Bio-medicine、 Marketing Medical Devices、Technology Development Project and the Newest Litigation Trend Concerning the Joint Infringement of Method/Process Patents

1、Chinese REACH has put into shape, how about Taiwan REACH? - A Perspective of Chinese Measures on Environmental Management of New Chemical Substances Taiwan food industry has been struck by the government agency's disclosure that certain unfaithful manufacturers have mixed toxic chemicals into the food additives for the past 30 years, and the chemicals may seriously threaten public health. This event has not only shocked the confidence of the customers to the industry, but also drew public attention on the well-management and the safe use of chemicals. In order to manage the fast advancing and widely applicable chemical substance appropriately, the laws and regulations among the international jurisprudences in recent years tend to regulate unfamiliar chemicals as “new chemical substances” and leverage registration systems to follow their use and import. REACH is one the most successful models which has been implemented by European Union since 2006. China, one of our most important business partners, has also learned from the EU experience and implemented its amended " Measures on Environmental Management of New Chemical Substances" (also known as "Chinese REACH") last year. It is not only a necessity for our industry which has invested or is running a business in China to realize how this new regulation may influence their business as differently , but also for our authority concerned to observe how can our domestic law and regulation may connect to this international trend. Therefore, except for briefing the content of Chinese REACH, this article may also review those existing law and regulations in Taiwan and observe the law making movement taken by our authority. We expect that the comparison and observation in this article may be a reference for our authorities concerned to map out a better environment for new chemical management. 2、The study on Taiwanese businessmen Join the Bid Invitation and Bidding of Science and Technology Project China government invests great funds in their Science and Technology Project management system, containing most of innovated technology. It also creates the great business opportunity for domestic industry. China government builds up a Bid Invitation and Bidding Procedure in the original Science and Technology Project Regime recent years, in order to make the regime become more open and full of transparency. It also improves Regime to become more fairness and efficiency. Taiwan industry may try to apply for those Science and Technology Project, due to this attractive opportunity, but they should understand china's legal system before they really do that. This Article will introduce the "Bid Invitation and Bidding Law of the Peoples Republic of China", and the "Provisional Regulation on Bid Invitation and Bidding of Science and Technology Project", then clarify applied relationship between the "Bid Invitation and Bidding Law of the Peoples Republic of China", and "Government Procurement Law of the Peoples Republic of China". It also analyzes "Bid Invitation and Bidding Procedure", "Administration of Contract Performance Procedure", "Inspection and Acceptance Procedure", and "Protest and Complaint Procedure, providing complete legal observation and opinion for Taiwan industry finally. Keyword Bid Invitation and Bidding Law of the Peoples Republic of China; Government Procurement Law of the Peoples Republic of China; Provisional Regulation on Bid Invitation and Bidding of Science and Technology Project; Applying for Science and Technology Project Regime; Bid Invitation and Bidding Procedure; Administration of Contract Performance Procedure; Inspection and Acceptance Procedure; Protest and Complaint Procedure. 3、Comparing the Decisions of the United States Supreme Court regarding Preempting Marketing Medical Devices and Drugs from State Tort Litigations with the Decision of a Hypothetical Case in Taiwan The investment costs of complying with pertinent laws and regulations for manufacturing, marketing, and profiting from drugs and medical devices (abbreviated as MD) are far higher than the costs necessary for securing a market permit. The usage of MD products contains the risk of harming their users or the patients, who might sue the manufacturer for damages in the court based on tort law. To help reduce the risk of such litigation, the industry should be aware of the laws governing the state tort litigations and the preemption doctrine of the federal laws of the United States. This article collected four critical decisions by the United States Supreme Court to analyze the requirements of federal preemption from the state tort litigations in these cases. The article also analyzed the issues of preemption in our law system in a hypothetical case. These issues include the competing regulatory requirements of the laws and regulations on the drugs and MDs and the Drug Injury Relief Act versus the Civil Code and the Consumer Protection Law. The article concluded: 1. The pre-market-approval of MD in the United States is exempted from the state tort litigations; 2. Brand-name-drug manufacturers must proactively update the drug label regarding severe risks evidenced by the latest findings; 3. Generic-drug manufacturers are exempted from the product liability litigations and not required to comply with the aforementioned brand-name-drug manufacturers' obligation; 4. No preemption issues are involved in these kinds of product liability litigations in our country; 5. The judge of general court is not bound by the approval of marketing of drug and MD; 6. The judge of general court is not bound by the determination and verdict of the Drug Injury Relief Act. 4、Through Computer-Aided Detection Software, Comparing by Discussing and Analyzing the Regulatory Requirements for Marketing Medical Devices in the United States and in Taiwan Computer-Aided Detection (CADe) software systematically assists medical doctors to detect suspicious diseased site(s) inside patients' bodies, and it would help patients receive proper medical treatments as soon as possible. Only few of this type of medical device (MD) have been legally marketed either in the United States of America (USA) or in Taiwan. This is a novel MD, and the rules regulating it are still under development. Thus, it is valuable to investigate and discuss its regulations. To clarify the requirements of legally marketing the MD, this article not only collects and summarizes the latest draft guidance announced by the USA, but also compares and analyzes the similarities and differences between USA and Taiwan, and further explains the logics that USA applies to clarify and qualify CADe for marketing, so that the Department of Health (DOH) in Taiwan could use them as references. Meanwhile, the article collects the related requirements by the Administrative Procedure Act and by the Freedom of Government Information Law of our nation, and makes the following suggestions on MD regulations to the DOH: creating product code in the system of categorization, providing clearer definition of classification, and actively announcing the (abbreviated) marketing route that secures legal permission for each individual product. 5、A Discussion on the Recent Cases Concerning the Joint Infringement of Method/Process Patents in the U.S. and Japan In the era of internet and mobile communication, practices of a method patent concerning innovative service might often involve several entities, and sometimes the method patent can only be infringed jointly. Joint infringement of method/process patents is an issue needed to be addressed by patent law, since it is assumed that a method patent can only be directly infringed by one entity to perform all the steps disclosed in the patent. In the U.S., CAFC has established the "control or direction" standard to address the issue, but the standard has been criticized and it is under revision now. In Japan, there is no clearly-established standard to address the issue of joint infringement, but it seems that the entity that controls and benefits from the joint infringement might be held liable. Based on its discussion about the recent development in the U.S. and Japan, this article attempts to provide some suggestions for inventors of innovative service models to use patents to protect their inventions properly: they should try to avoid describing their inventions in the way of being practiced by multi-entities, they should try to claim both method and system/apparatus inventions, and they should try to predict the potential infringement of their patents in order to address the problem of how to prove the infringement.

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