Intellectual Property Management Standards of Taiwan: Development and the Status Quo

Oct/30/2006

I. Intellectual Property Management among Taiwanese Firms: Status Quo and Problems

1. Current status of management of intellectual properties among Taiwan-based enterprises

Way from Taiwan's participation into World Trade Organization (WTO) effective January 1st, 2002, huge impacts have been brought upon our domestic enterprises, since, apart from competition coming from giant international manufacturers, they have to meet challenges coming from elsewhere in the world. Besides, the arrival of a time when knowledge became an integral part of the economy in which we find ourselves, profits realizable to an enterprise depends largely on the control of market and on R&D of key technology, such that intellectual property alone is a sure key to the earning of profits and growth of modern enterprises to which admirable economical worth may be created commensurably.

Intellectual properties owned by the enterprise should make it such that corporate know-how is thereby transformed into marketable commodities to stand in a viable position among competitors. An overall observation of the management system in our domestic enterprises or organizations indicated that management of intellectual properties is scattered among Education or Training units, R&D units, Legal Service Units, rather than detitle with collectively or through flow control. Management of intellectual property as such by and large would fail to produce immediate or admirable benefits to the enterprise, serving at most to avoid occasioning of losses, in fact and indeed it is but through strategic exploitation of an intellectual property management system would it be possible to pursue a share of the market or to realize licensed proceeds.

2. Problems facing domestic enterprises with respect to management of intellectual properties

Renowned firms based in Taiwan and active in the prosecution of management of intellectual properties do so primarily because their executive realized how grave a loss could be incurred to corporate assets and corporate operation due to infringement charges, Taking the infringement charge by an alien firm against a certain domestic firm early January, 2006, for example, to reach a compromise a payment amounting to approx, US$85,000,000 was necessary, and that claiming a share of 10% of the Company's annual revenue, that lesson has taught the Company to pour mass resources in the establishment and execution of intellectual management system. In the Knowledge-based Economy of today, no top management of any enterprise or organization would deny the importance of the management of intellectual properties, understanding alone, however, would not suffice to push the Company getting to work forthwith, because the buildup of an intellectual property management system will of necessity incur a lot of costs, seeing the want of possibility to obtain any investment return all at once, most enterprises or organizations would have their intellectual property management systems designed essential to prevent infringement upon other part's intellectual properties.

Notwithstanding that our local manufacturers have gradually come to their senses as regards the importance of intellectual properties, larger scale ones, confronted with cutthroat pricing competition in the global market, is largely harassed with litigation on infringement of intellectual properties; whereas the medium and small businesses, owing to inadequate manpower and funding resources, were largely unable to go for in-depth development of intellectual properties, still, a key to consistent development of our local industries lies in a sound planning of the intellectual property management system, amid the current of the Knowledge-based Economy featuring the 2lst century, the creation and protection of intellectual property rights is a critical index to the upholding of our national competition.

So top issues on the agenda for competent authorities in charge of industrial sectors include; assisting local businesses or organizations to implement systematic management of intellectual properties, to retain, accumulate intellectual properties produced by its employees and convert same into intellectual assets, to thereby upgrade their competitive margin, this chain of efforts must be formed in a grand cycle encompassing all the staff, to stand firm and last.

II. Formation and orientation of Taiwan's standards on management of intellectual properties

1. The origin of Taiwan's regulation of the standards on management of intellectual properties

Impacts brought to local industries in the wake of Taiwan's participation in WTO have taught both the Administration and the Industry to realize, in the long run, that protection of intellectual strength and exploitation of intangible assets can redound much to build up competitive margin, Now that our nationwide economic and trade activities have entered global, international scale, the number one issue is to emphasize protection of intellectual properties if only it accounts to move further into transnational frontier and let our national competition be felt there, what's more, protection of intellectual properties is an obligation laden upon all the member states of WTO, and that consistent with our national interests Yet protection of intellectual properties is a comprehensive, integrally interrelated task demanding nationwide consensus, calling for unreserved cooperation across governmental, civil, administrative and legislative channels, if only any effect to be expected accounts, yes indeed it is but through an environment propitious to the safeguarding of intellectual properties can R&D tank go deeply rooted in this country, therein lies rightly a sure key to permanent survival of our nation at large.

The buildup of a convenient, effective and low-cost intellectual property management system in lieu of discrete controls seen traditionally in our local enterprises or organizations, will help the enterprises to effectively control and safeguard their intellectual properties, and that sub serving to protect their proper interests, reduce risks of theft, and restraint from encroaching upon the intellectual properties of third parties, besides, roytitleies through licensing arrangement will redound to corporate revenue, that paralleled with boosted marketing competition, intellectual properties protected and exploited as such will mark a resounding foundation for lasting development in our times where know-how alone is the king. The foreground being recited above, in 2003 and 2004 the Intellectual Property Office, a department of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (IPO for short), appointed Science and Technology Law Center, a unit under Institute for Information Industry (STLC for short), to establish an intellectual property management system suitable for local enterprises (Then known as “Intellectual Property Management System Standard”, in the hope that by the implementation of standardized intellectual property management procedure and promotion of same, local enterprises may remain less likely to getting involved in infringement charges, among other benefits foreseeable with exploitation of properly owned intellectual property rights.

2. Orientation of Taiwan's intellectual rights standards

On December 9, 2004, the Ministry of Economic Affairs held a Conference on “Deliberation on the instituting and promotion of standards for the management of intellectual properties of Taiwan”, whereat a resolution was reached to work for Taiwan Intellectual Property Management System basing on the Intellectual Property Management System Standard proposed by STLC under trust for Intellectual Property Office, eventually it is hoped that through national standard certifying processing said Intellectual Property Management System Standard be instituted as our National Standard, to build up a nationally acknowledged credibility. Enterprises would then be encouraged to introduce for themselves a certifying mark once entitled through certification, and efforts will follow to see that the Intellectual Property Protection System be instilled in day-to-day realities, the whole system would by then be promoted internationally so that the image of our nation as an active protector of intellectual properties will one day be known to the world at large.

However, as it will take years to have a national standard institutionalized, moreover, the enterprises at large are not sufficiently informed with the notion of the management of intellectual properties, the first step might well be to build up an Intellectual Property Management System Rating Scheme, to be followed with specification of supplemental procedures, and the same on completion, be recommended to the industry circle, and progression to applying for national standard would begin only if extensive consensus is obtained in the first place, paralleled with correlation with international realities, After the task was transferred to the Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (IDB for short), in 2005, it was reoriented to the positioning of industrial specification, that anyway helps local enterprises or organizations to build up a wholesome intellectual property management system.

To adapt to industrial convention respecting specifications, the Intellectual Property Management System deliberate herein is named “Taiwan Intellectual Property Management System” (TIPS for short). The TIPS which is in the charge of the IDB is indicated for autonomous introduction by individual enterprises or organizations, in the hope that a systematic model for the management of intellectual properties would help correlate existent hardware facilities with ad hoc Intellectual Property Management so that a convenient, effective and low-cost management system be easier founded for the enterprise or organization concerned, in place of traditional trivial, random management practices

3. Process of formation of Taiwan intellectual property management standards

While the establishment of Intellectual Property Management Standard was still in progress for the STLC, there was already lots of matured management standard system among international communities for consultation, including, for example, the ISO Quality Management System. So eventually in 2003, 2004, the Intellectual Bureau encrusted the STLC to analyze the ISO9001:2000 Quality Management System in terms of its spirits and structures, and to look into the possibilities for combination with Intellectual Property Management as well, so that, in the affirmative case, what needs be done is to work out an Intellectual Property Management Standard to which all kinds of business and industry may fit, and that will help to achieve procedural flow, efficiency and standardization all at the same time.

The ISO9001:2000 Quality Management System is a standard established by ISO (International Organization for Standardization), and which is currently a Quality Management System running around the world. In the year 2000 ISO combined through amendments of ISO9001, ISO9002 and ISO9003 published titleogether in 1994, to form ISO 9001:2000. ISO 9001:2000 since replaces all the previous standards and stands as the only and sole standard for certification, featuring emphasis on the consolidated functioning of Quality Management Systems and the target for comprehensive Quality Management.

The ISO 9001:2000 based the entire system structure on PDCA Management Cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Action), way up from the Management Level, setting corporate quality policies and targets as dictated by customer needs, whereby planning of corporate resources is decisive in production and service outputs, what with measuring and monitor mechanism to persistently improve functioning of the entire quality system. With respect to various operational procedures in an enterprise or organization, a four-step PDCA comprising: (1) Plan, whereby quality policy is formulated; (2) Do; (3) Check, as to the outcome of what has been done; and (4) Action, corrective and preventive by nature; will intervene to help resolve problems as they arise and hence, achieve the targets.

Abiding by aforementioned PDCA model, the STLC will firstly incorporate the Intellectual Property Management Standard into ISO 9001:2000 Quality Control System, thence consult the ISO system structure to split into 0 to 8 units: General Description, Scope of Application, Reference Standards, Definitions, Intellectual Property Management System, Management Commitment, Resource Management, Procurement, of Intellectual Proprieties, efforts as such should help the enterprises to promptly set up hard environments necessary to the management of corporate intellectual properties, and make the STLC easier in lending a hand to facilitate substantive functioning of corporate intellectual property management systems.

Intellectual Property Management Standards incorporated to ISO system will prove more structurally effective, and help the enterprise to rapidly lay a foundation for the management of their intellectual properties, so that hopefully they may more effectively manage, make use of their intellectual properties, whereby to fortify their competitive margin, so that in the long run the overall international competitive margin of our industries is upgraded. A common goal for the design and setup of intellectual property, management standards lies in searching for the maximum possible assent from the industrial society so that an auditing or certification platform be created to benefit the intellectual property management system that is working for any enterprise or organization in this country, in order for such systems one by one will necessarily conform to prescribed standards, minimum requirements from given organizations or stipulated in statutes inclusive, not to mention the ultimate goal of better protection and exploitation of intellectual properties, in a lawful and satisfying manner.

However, as yet no consensus has been reached as regards the establishment of a national standard respecting management of intellectual properties, yet there is still a need for management of intellectual property rights among local enterprises or organizations, to offer the utmost assistance possible to them all, the Ministry of Economic Affairs has taken the initiative to revise what was once Intellectual Property Management Standard into Intellectual Property Management Specifications, and such is positioned as an industrial specification. By instructive posture, subjects considered suitable to accept said Intellectual Property Management Specifications include all kinds of organizations irrespective of their category, scale, products or services offered. Even units or ad hoc groups in a given organization may qualify for inclusion, including, for example, a company in its entirety, or a specific division of that company, a laboratory or production program.

4. Anticipated Benefits

That the IDB is sparing no effort in the preparation of Intellectual Property Management Specifications is underlined with multiple objects, to offer a unified structure for the management of measurable intellectual properties, to help enterprises simplify their procedures of management of intellectual properties, to enlighten the object enterprises or organizations with the understanding and what to expect from an Intellectual Property Management System. If only management of intellectual properties is incorporated into routine operation of an enterprise whatsoever, and that concept spread afar internationally, that would certainly help to build our national image as a country that is brave enough to initiate protection of intellectual properties. In the mean while, with ever increasing demand for the setup of intellectual property management systems, a reality as such in the foreground, a good chance is struck to enlarge the service market or intellectual property management services emanation from Taiwan, and that sub serving to the development of know-how service industry, a surplus for the service industry by any rate.

An enterprise or organization by the establishment of intellectual property management system may expect the following benefits;

  • Increased competitive strength and creation of additional value. Once an Intellectual Property Management System is there, the facilitation to maximize intellectual properties will redound to corporate competition, while help creation more of additional value. Taking our sports implements industry or the vehicle lights manufacturers in Taichung area for example, intellectual properties are present in the products and in the production process as well, to make available diversified options for the purchasing parties, thereby greatly enhancing additional value to the products, interpreted to mean more profits realizable over pure OEMs.
  • Avoidance of vicious cycle, increased will to placement of purchasing order. If only optimum use is made of intellectual properties such that they are represented in the products, in the process or even in the technology itself, Taiwanese manufacturers who are basically OEMs may avoid the painful dilemma of vicious competition, and may even make it may avoid the painful dilemma of vicious competition, and cay even make it for overseas buyers to be core willing to place orders, Taking again as an example a TIPS induced manufacturer, 2005, the Universal Scientific Industrial Co., Ltd., after the USI has built internal intellectual property management system pursuant to TIPS specifications, alien clients on the point of placing orders may very soon be adequately informed with the model the USI takes respecting their management of intellectual properties, satisfied that the products being purchased are largely safe from infringement of other's proprietary rights, the alien buyer may be willing to place more and greater orders.
  • Reduced management costs, creation of greater profits. Most Taiwan-based medium and small businesses are far from being able to input mass manpower or material resources simply to build up systematically structured intellectual property management system. The meaning of introducing TIPS specifications lies simply in the close embodiment of existent hard equipments with management of intellectual properties for any intending enterprise whatsoever, so that a full set of convenient, effective and low-cost management may come into being in lieu of random and discrete management practice which has been the case for years or even for generations. Obvious benefits with such an arrangement include protection of proper interests, preclusion of encroachment upon the proprietary rights of third parties, and perhaps the possibility of granting licensing arrangements to earn roytitleies for the company.

III. Implementation of Taiwan Intellectual Property Management Standards: History and Current Situation

From 2006, the way to promoting the Intellectual Property Management System is prosecuted in the form of specifications submitted to industries in the hope that industries would establish their own intellectual property management systems using such specifications, through systematic flows, efforts as such should help to boost corporate competition, and the keynote has therefore shifted from once where it was, that was, verifying if a given industry had introduced and honestly follow specified Intellectual Property Management System against given standards. What follows below is a phase-wise account of the history of implementation of Taiwan's Intellectual Property Management Standards:

1. Trial Phase

Emphasis placed on Intellectual Properties following Taiwan participation in WTO has driven the IPO to appoint the STLC to formulate a full set of standards for the management of intellectual properties based on a structure and morale embodying ISO 9001:2000 Quality Control Systems, and the same intended for trial introduction into local industries in addition to personnel training and promotion purposes. In this phase important businesses on the agenda include:

  • To launch the institution, the intellectual property management standard will be firstly introduced into three manufacturers beginning in 2004, whereby manufacturer's comments collected in the counseling process will turn to account for reference for amendment considerations respecting said Intellectual Property Management Standard, with outcome of the introduction serving as a model for other manufacturers.
  • As regards promotion, suitable promotion scheme will be put into effect to introduce Intellectual property Management Standard to enterprises or organizations to which predecessor experiences will be supplied as well, whose newly gained experiences would be shared among other enterprises for reference in Outcome Sharing Party activities.
  • As regards counseling input, there have been 3 manufacturers in 2004, Asia Optical Co., Inc., Cheng Uei (Foxlink) Precision Industry Co., Ltd. and HiTRUST Inc., receiving trial introduction of Intellectual Property Management Standard whereby each has had their own Intellectual Property Management System established.
  • As regards personnel training, seeds have been chosen who, after having received training on relevant curriculums, betook themselves to assisting enterprises or organizations introducing Intellectual Property Management Standards, this in turn benefits the seeds with on-job experiences such that they turned out better prepared to demonstrate counseling, assessment capabilities in the face of future promotion tasks,
  • As regards R&D tasks, consistent brainstorming for the working of supplemental or operating procedures necessary for the promotion of Intellectual Property Management Standards, prepping up comprehensive implementation programs based on experiences accumulated over practical and personal involvements.
2. Demonstrative Introduction Phase

Since promotion task is passed to the IDB in 2005, efforts to institute Intellectual Property Management Standard switched to introducing Intellectual Property Management Specifications where the top concern is to be helpful for the industries concerned. On the basis of as is Intellectual Property Management Specifications and prep up verification mechanism;

  • Seen in the result of institutional promotion, out of stipulations and regulations conditioning the promotion of intellectual property management system that is persistently deliberated by the STLC on behalf of the IDB, a total of 11 documents nave been released pertinent to supplemental procedures and relevant date, plus up to 10 errands comprising reviewing of statutory provisions and effecting of major amendments.
  • As regards promotion efforts; done are printing of notes on application of counseling services, brief introduction of Intellectual Property Management System, Specification of Intellectual property Management System, Paragon of Management Handbook and Guide to Assessors. Promotion efforts were consummated in 3 promotion seminars which took place in the north, central and southern part of Taiwan respectively, also done is an outcome share party where the protagonist is paragon manufacturer introducing the system in question; cooperation has been an event with Economic Daily News which has given an in-depth coverage on paragon counsel case. Forum on the media Economic Daily News whereat reputed scholars on intellectual property issues and experts in practice, such as Professor Ming-Yan Shieh of National Taiwan University, Professor Chung-Jen Cheng of Shih Hsin University, have been attending.
  • As regards counseling for introduction, a total of 8 middle or smaller businesses have been successfully counseled into introduction for exemplification purposes in 2005, they are: Yulon-Nissan, Asia Optical Co., Inc., Advanced Connectek Inc. (ACON), Meifu Technologies, Universal Scientific Industrial Co., Ltd. (USI), Cycling & Hetitleh Tech Industry R&D Center (CHC), Apex Nanotechnology Corporation, and AURORA Office Automation Corp. 4 counsel execution meetings have been held, plus one Pre-assessment Seminar, on-the-spot written evaluation has been conducted with respect to 8 exemplary induced manufacturers.
  • As regards personnel training, a total of 98 person-rounds have benefited under training programs encompassing: induction seeds, internal auditors, exemplary counselors, reserved seeds.
3. The Weighted Promotion Phase

Following conclusion of infrastructural consolidation in 2005, diagnostic service was given to have a close check on existent intellectual property management system that was working in enterprises and organizations, this effort in concert with experiences accumulated through exemplary inducement, in 2006, in order to find out actual needs against differentials in place for promotion and rectification of the specifications in use of the management of intellectual properties:

  • Institutionally, way from 2006 the unified designation “Taiwan Intellectual Property Management System” (TIPS) will apply as a common technical specification in sectors including: industry, government, schools, R&D interests, Follow-up promotion tasks will continue in the form of a team comprising interested scholars, experts invited by the grace of the Industry Bureau, in charge of strategic planning, execution, supervision, and literature screening.
  • As regards promotion and propagation, in 2006 it is largely through self-assessment and evaluation, to which participation is on a voluntary basis with notices served on induced enterprises of organizations, To spread afar the inducement movement so that more and more people are adequately enlightened with what is all about TIPS, a total of 3 instruction seminars have been sponsored in the north, central and south to go pursuant to the inducement experience concluded in 2005, plus several occasions of manufacturers’ conceptual exchange meetings.
  • As regards counseled inducements, a total of 30 manufacturers have benefits under the TIPS diagnostic service as offered, they are: Tatung Co., Taiwan Design Center (TDC), King Car Industrial Co., Ltd., Systex Corporation, National Nano Device Laboratories (NDL), National Center for High-Performance Computing (NCHC), Chi Mei Frozen Food Co., Ltd., Eastech Electronics (Taiwan) Inc., Lee Chi Enterprise Co., Ltd., WisTek, PRIT Biotech Co., Ltd, Intech Taiwan Corporation, Yeastern Biotech Co., Ltd., Yangsen Biotechnology Co., Ltd., Apex Biotechnology Corp. (ApexBio), Taiwan Electric Voice Co., Ltd. (TEV), Gewise Industrial Inc., SportsArt Industrial Co., Chien Yuan Food Chemicals Co., Ltd., Unicare Biotechnology Corp., Tek Maker Corporation, Chi Lin Technology Co., Ltd., Ihetitleh Co., Ltd., A3000 System Co., Ltd., Standard Chem. & Pharm. Co., Ltd., Jwo Ruey Technical Co., Ltd., Omni Hetitleh Group, Alinc Taiwan Co., Ltd., Marie International Co., Ltd., S.Z.S. Co., Ltd., each of them outstanding and highly revered in their respective field of avocation. From them 5 manufacturers have been chosen to account for exemplary TIPS inducement cases, these are: TDC, King Car Industrial Co., Ltd, Systex Corporation, Yeastern Biotech Co., Ltd., SportsArt Industrial Co., to demonstrate how the recommended Intellectual Property Management Specification works in reality,
  • As regards personnel training services: one round of Tips inducement trainee course and one round of TIPS self-assessment trainee course have been sponsored to benefit a total of 91 person-rounds 16 professionals have been entered on registration as counselors, one round of assessment commissioner pre-task seminar has been sponsored.

IV. Outlook of Future Planning

Based on the consensus reached in “Conference to Work for the Instituting and Promotion of Taiwan Intellectual Property Management Standard” sponsored by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, universal promotion of the intellectual property management system will be implemented continually in phases so that same may be introduced to industries different in scale or fields of interest with more flexibilities, comprising both enterprises and organizations:

  • Institutionally, specifications will adapt to the scale and classification of the industry concerned, with possibilities to allow for the planning of simplified versions and industry-specific versions, besides, the introducing of TIPS specifications will inevitably incur the necessity of integrality with existent ISO systems, owing to limited timing allowed for counseling intervention, the Industry Bureau will firstly strive for the buildup of TIPS with as many as possible manufacturers. Embodiment of ISO with TIPS is a precondition to introducing the latter, since ISO is an internationally recognized standard, in so far as TIPS fails to be combined with ISO, to target industries the inducement task is always a mission impossible,
  • As regards promotion and propagation, the government is planning to qualify industries to which the suggested intellectual property management system has been introduced successfully as eligible for extra score when they go applying for benefit under Creative R&D Counsel Plan, or for favorable terms in closing same plan, this as an incentive to induce more manufacturers, Being considered is the editing of Inducement Manual which would include introduction of exemplary cases, exemplary inducement procedures, to help build up interchange of inducement experiences among manufacturers, More concrete encouragement means will be offered to pilot manufacturers who are willing to set themselves as paragon in the inducement movement, and manuals disclosing governmental resources relevant to the issue of intellectual properties will be compiled for manufacturers' reference; sponsoring promotion seminars addressed to specific group of manufacturers, whereat pilot manufacturers will give an account of their own initiation experiences.
  • As regards inducement counseling, a review of the background of manufacturers to which TIPS has been introduced will yield the notion that most of our traditional industries or medium and small technique R&D oriented concerns fell short of the manpower and experience necessary for management of intellectual properties, so they very much need and wish that the government assist them to build their own Intellectual Property Management System. To alleviate cost burden on the intending enterprises or organizations, being envisioned is enlargement of scope of reach of services in coordination with e-mail dominant autonomous verification system, phase-wise inducement mode may be introduced eventually to help reinforce the autonomous verification software capabilities, and to assist induced plants in operation. Currently the target is set at reaching titleogether 300 manufacturers who are able to run autonomous verifications under TIPS by the year 2008, meanwhile 50 rounds of TIPS external assessments are completed for the manufacturers and titleogether 120 clients having received TIPS diagnostic services.
  • As to personnel training, being continually sponsored are training courses, under planning are certifying training agency buildup programs so that the training service may spread wide afar, by the year 2008 a total of 280 TIPS professionals will have been turned out due to training efforts; it is believed that more individuals would be attracted by appealing on the importance of intellectual properties with respect to corporations and individuals alike, so as to prolong and spread benefits by reason of resource input.
  • As regards R&D progressions, as incessant improvements, researching efforts are indispensable to the buildup of impeccable intellectual property management system; current status of intellectual property management among local industries will be surveyed persistently in parallel with studying of present status of intellectual property managements around the world.

It is hoped that through personnel training, what with publication, exchange and transmission of experiences accumulated with intellectual property management system or institutions, incessant improvement of intellectual property management system, setup of evaluation scheme respecting and so as to make more wholesome intellectual property management systems, the day will come sooner for “Wholesale and universal institutionalization of generalized intellectual property management systems across the manufacturers, legal persons, consortium in particular, researching institute throughout Taiwan” to come true.

V. Conclusions:

A Reliable statistic source in 2006 claimed that the percentage of commercialization by local manufacturers to whom patent rights have been granted against application is merely 0.3%, which figure is 10 times behind the corresponding average in international communities, the latter being 3% It is advisable for our manufacturers to realize that innovation and intellectual property management are independent of capital resources, management subsequent to the acquisition of patent privileges must never go slow or put aside. The prime object of implementation of TIPS by the government is to push for universal buildup of intellectual property management system so that local manufacturers whose interests are associated therewith may best exploit as well as protect their properly owned intellectual privileges thanks to subsequent relevant planning, that they be alerted to application of patented rights once granted to them.

For any enterprise or organization to establish their own intellectual property management system after TIPS, they will have to understand in the first place their own strengths and weaknesses and orientation for future operations, they will then fix defined policy and corporate objective, and that supported by the top management level, the next step, is to decide as to whether an ad hoc unit be installed by taking into consideration corporate scale and resources, or if it is more desirable to commission intellectual property management to outside concerns. Creation of intellectual property depends upon the character of corporate products, the setup of an intellectual property management system is meant to manage the creation, up keeping and application of intellectual properties, the training mechanism functions to promote conceptions about intellectual property by instilling same among corporate employees, concrete safety guarding measures are required to physically protect intellectual properties. Safeguarding operations to provide protection of intellectual properties must be checked periodically, the PDCA model will intervene to appropriately amend both policy directive and systems of intellectual properties so that the system may best achieve its intended purposes by incorporating the auditing, accounting and financial management of intellectual properties at the same time.

Fair and just verification scheme will be built to verify what happens to an industry to which the system has been introduced for some time, so that the industry may remain alert as to where it stands in the system; the need for counseling services arising as a result of corporate aspiration to pass evaluation will help create a market of counseling service addressed to service industries intending to offer systematic management services to needy clients, Then corporations or organizations will sooner pay more attention to the management of intellectual properties, while knowledge service industry will develop and prosper in like measure, the causes interacting with each other to bid birth to more innovation and growth, and Taiwan is brought closer and closer to fulfilling its affectionately nicknamed designation: Intelligence Island.

※Intellectual Property Management Standards of Taiwan: Development and the Status Quo,STLI, https://stli.iii.org.tw/en/article-detail.aspx?no=105&tp=2&i=171&d=6120 (Date:2024/06/20)
Quote this paper
You may be interested
Utilizing TIPS 1 to Establish a Comprehensive Intellectual Property Management System

Chen Yi-Chih, Chen Hung-Chih 2 I. Foreword Intellectual Property (IP) Management is a subject of recent focus in Taiwan . More than 1 million patents have been filed in Taiwan and each year, Taiwan dedicates NT $80 3 trillion in research and development. The estimated cost for IP prosecution, maintenance, litigation, conciliation, compensation and authorization amounts to NT $200 trillion (U.S.$6.5 trillion) 4. Even though many enterprises have gradually recognized the importance of intellectual property, the situation has not significantly improved based on the statistics stated above. Observation shows that only few enterprises in Taiwan have taken active steps to manage their IP and it was only after facing infringement lawsuits and tremendous amount of loyalty payments, most companies started to realize the important of IP management. Two main causes are believed to have negative impact on the lacking and ineffectiveness of most Taiwanese enterprises' IP management: Taiwanese enterprises have not taken proactive measures to handle IP management issues and IP management is only viewed as a mechanism to prevent IP infringement. Taiwanese enterprises have not sought ways to proactively and strategically use their intellectual property as a tool to yield profit. Due to limited professional knowledge and resources, Taiwanese enterprises do not know how to manage and exploit IP generated within their companies . Therefore, it is critical to assist these enterprises to develop and implement an effective IP management strategy under which the full potential of their IP can be utilized and the maximum value of the enterprises' IP can be realized. The Intellectual Property Office of the Ministry of Economic Affairs recognized the importance of governmental role to address this issue. Since 2003, it has collaborated with the Institute of Information Industry to work on a project for developing a standardized IP management system. In 2005, the project was handed over to the Industrial Development Bureau which then carried on the development and promotion of the Taiwanese Intellectual Property Management System (TIPS). Taiwanese enterprises 5 are able to use TIPS as a basis to establish their own comprehensive IP management systems. Based on our experiences in promoting TIPS and the feedbacks from those enterprises which have followed the TIPS's guidance to establish their IP management systems, we are pleased to find that TIPS is capable of assisting enterprises to develop a comprehensive IP management system. The system no only meets an enterprise's operational needs but also can be continuously improved owing to its adoption of the PDCA management cycle 6. II. The Introduction of TIPS A. The Origin and Overview of TIPS On December 9, 2004, The Ministry of Economics, in recognition of the needs to assist Taiwanese enterprises to better manage and more fully utilize their intellectual property, organized a “Taiwanese IP Management Standardization and Promotion Summit”. In order to establish a consensus on IP management among Taiwanese enterprises and to encourage the enterprises to implement an internal IP management system, the Taiwanese government positioned TIPS as an industry standard. In 2006, The Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MEA) established a TIPS promotion program and revised the 2004 draft of the Intellectual Property Management System Standard to become the Taiwan Intellectual Property Management System (TIPS). The industrial experts' opinions and comments were gathered and used to amend the draft, TIPS was then formally announced 7 on March 23, 2007 and consequently promoted. In hopes to protect Taiwanese enterprises and to improve their market competitiveness, IDB initiated extensive promotion program, encouraging Taiwanese enterprises and organizations to establish a convenient, efficient, and low-cost IP management system by following the TIPS's guidance The main characteristic of TIPS is the incorporation of the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Action) model from the ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management System. By adopting this model, not only the challenges of IP management can be resolved, but the whole system can also be continuously improved. Since TIPS shares the ISO's characteristics of being credible, comprehensive, and easily adaptable, TIPS and be easily integrated into the ISO standards within an enterprise such that the conflicts between these two systems will be minimized and it will only require minimum organizational structural changes and implementation costs. If an enterprise has already implemented ISO, implementing TIPS becomes more easily and efficient. In addition, TIPS emphasizes the concepts of using “process-oriented approach” and “systematic management” 8. Enterprises can merge their existing infrastructures and TIPS to establish a convenient, effective and efficient IP management system to reduce losses caused by IP infringement. Enterprises may also strengthen their market competitiveness and increase profits through royalty income. TIPS includes nine chapters. The first four chapters cover Summary, which describes the background of TIPS; Scope of Application and Terminologies. Clause 0.3.1 9 of TIPS states that the purpose of TIPS is to promote the utilization of IP management as one of the means to maximize an enterprise's profits. Rather than an individual or a specific department, protecting IP assets is the responsibility of all employees within the enterprises. In addition, the establishment of an IP management system is essential regardless of the scale, product or service provided by an enterprise. Clause 1.2 of TIPS clearly provides that TIPS is applicable to all enterprises, despite their types, scales, products and services provided. Therefore, TIPS is not designed solely for large enterprises. It can be applied to all kinds of organizations which include but not limit to a company, a specific department/division within a company, a laboratory or a project team. B. The Foundation of TIPS Before establishing TIPS, the government recognized that an enormous amount of resources is required to establish an IP management system. Therefore, the ISO9001:2000 quality management framework was adopted and TIPS was developed based upon the ISO's management principles. By incorporating IP managing strategies into an enterprise's operation goals and internal activities, the IP management system is no longer just a risk management system but a system that is closely aligning to the overall operations of an enterprise. Since it was found that many domestic companies implemented ISO9001:2000 Quality Management System solely for compliance purposes, people are skeptical about its effectiveness. In fact, if one understands the rigorous formulation processes behind the quality management system and its principles, one would recognize that an enterprise's IP management system can be significantly improved by adopting the management characteristics of ISO Quality Management System. The main characteristics shared between TIPS and ISO are outlined as follows: The effectiveness of an IP management system can be evaluated through clear policies and goals Chapter 5 of ISO 9001 : 2000 discusses Management's Responsibility. It states that top management should establish an enterprise's mission, vision, policies and goals, otherwise known as Visionary Leadership. An enterprise should consider its stakeholder's needs, understand the gap between its current status and the ideal state when setting its mission, vision, policies and goals. It should also decide its operational goals by considering available resources and the external environment. Traditional way of IP management only focuses on the operational and managerial processes. Strategic issues such as strategic planning and mission/vision planning are often forgotten, which often leads to a disconnection between strategy and actual operations. The concept of setting clear policies and goals used in ISO Quality Management shall be adopted to manage IP. That is to say, clear policies and objectives should be defined by the top management followed by detailed processes and steps required to realize the goals. Clear operational processes and responsibility help to achieve IP management goals ISO9001:2000 states that quality issues are caused by process, not product and process issues are caused by management since processes are carried out by people. Therefore, all personnel who is involved in carrying out the processes (in other word, all the employees within an organization) shall have the responsibility to improve quality. This concept applies to IP management as well. It is an incorrect general belief that IP management is merely for damage control or risk prevention. It is also an incorrect belief that an IP management is the sole responsibility of the legal department that other departments have no roles to play in enhancing the added-value of IP. For enterprises intending to utilize IP to enhance its competitiveness, some suggestions as listed below should be taken into account when planning their IP strategies: Set IP management as one of the company's operational goals. Organize a team to implement the IP strategy and to determine the processes required to achieve the IP goals. Clearly identify roles and responsibilities for personnel involved in all levels of IP management. Identify tasks required to be documented. Ensure the employees understand the linkage between their assigned tasks and the corresponding organizational goals. Through careful considerations of planning the organizational goals, processes and the expected outputs derived thereupon, enterprises can determine whether the processes so planned are necessary, appropriate, and effective . Consequently, minimizing the resources required to be invested into IP management. Monitoring, evaluation, and corrective actions can help to ensure the effectiveness of an organization's IP management processes Clause 8.2.1 of ISO9001:2000, “customer satisfaction”, emphasizes that customers own the right to evaluate. In the case of IP management, customers are basically the enterprise itself, therefore the performance is evaluated based on whether the set organizational goals can be achieved. It has been observed that many companies implemented the ISO Standards purely for the purpose of obtaining ISO's certification and do not consider whether the processes implemented are, in the practical sense, effective or efficient. Under this circumstance, the enterprises would not gain any actual benefits, despite that the requirements of ISO standards are met. The goal of process management is to improve the process efficiency, effectiveness and adaptability. Clause 8.2.3 of the ISO9001:2000 discusses Monitoring and Measurement of Process and Clause 8.2.4 talks about Monitoring and Measurement of Product. They state that an organization should establish a mechanism to monitor, evaluate, and understand the organization's internal and external customers' needs. This mechanism can also help to determine whether the organization can meet or exceed the expectation of its customers (in terms of processes, products, and/or services), which is also a critical element in establishing a systematic IP management system. If the result of evaluation does not meet expectation, there is a problem. In order to prevent the problem from reoccurring, prevention is the best. The concept of prevention is to design measures to avoid the occurrence of hidden problems. Unexpected problems are inevitable to occur even if preventive measures have been taken. We should analyze the impact of the problems occurred and propose counter measures to minimize their impact. The efficiency of IP Management relies on continuous improvement There are always opportunities to improve any process. Clause 8 of the ISO9001:2000 discusses Measurement, Analysis and Improvement which includes continuous improvement processes. Clause 8.2 Monitoring and Measurement, Clause 8.3 Control of Nonconformity, and Clause 8.4 Analysis of Data discuss the issues surrounding monitoring, measurement, analysis and control of nonconformity. Clause 8.5 discusses Improvement, which covers action taken to address the causes of identified issues. There are many issues that may be identified after analysis which cannot be resolved at once. Clause 5.1 of ISO 9001:2000 Management Commitment requests that the top management team be responsible for setting policy and goals, and providing resources needed to achieve the goals. By introducing ISO9001:2000 measurement, analysis, and improvement methodologies into the IP management system, it is believed that enterprises can thus effectively manage their IP and achieve a win-win scenario with their customers. C. The expected benefits of Implementing TIPS Since TIPS shares the above mentioned characteristics of the ISO Quality Management System, it not only can reduce the risks of infringing the IP rights of the others, but also can assist an organization to achieve its operational goals provided that the organization has designed relevant processes pursuant to the requirements of TIPS and has thoroughly implemented the designed processes. Using TIPS's external evaluation mechanism 10, enterprises implementing with TIPS can prove to their customers and external stakeholders that they have the capability to manage and maintain their IP. If an enterprise follows TIPS to establish its IP management system, its expected benefits include the followings: Enhancing market competiveness and increasing the added-value of an organization An IP management system that is designed to meet the specific needs of an organization shall play a significant role in achieving the organization's operational goals. Take a fitness equipment or an automobile parts manufacturer as an example, if the manufacturer owns the IP rights (ex: new design patent or trademark) embodied within the products, it is expected that the manufacturer can profit more than a purely OEM company which does not own its own brand. This is because the IP rights embodied within the products could provide significant added-value beyond what an OEM company can offer. Increasing customer's ordering intent The guidelines of TIPS also serve as the requirements for certification purpose. A government certified IP management system will ease concerns over trade secret protection and thereby promote cooperation and trusting relationships between the suppliers and the buyers and between research collaborations which consequently would foster better research results and potentially more purchasing orders. Minimizing resource wasting and actively creating profits Most small and medium enterprises in Taiwan do not have adequate labor and financial resources to develop a comprehensive IP management system. It is the hope of the government that a simple, effective, and low-cost IP management system can be established which tailors to the specific needs of every enterprise by adopting the TIPS framework. Once enterprises are capable of systematically manage their IP, it is expected that the IP generated and their exploitation can really match the enterprises' requirements and expectations, so that no resource is wasted to produce unwantable IP. The enterprises may further increase their profits by licensing or assigning their IP rights. Fostering an organizational culture that values the importance of intellectual property and the ability to continuous improve Establishing IP management policies, coupled with ongoing IP management seminars and education and training programs for new employee would enhance the awareness of the importance of IP management to the organization among the employees. The employees may further change their attitudes from passively complying with the policies to actively participate the system such as paying particular attention to potential IP risks and offer suggestions for process improvement. One company which implemented TIPS commented that the regular and ad hoc audits requirement and the necessity of assigning roles and responsibilities as required by TIPS assist it to identify problems concerning management issues. Corrective and preventive actions can be rapidly taken to address the problems identified, allocate the liabilities and improve the whole system. As a consequence, the IP management system can be effectively carried out to ensure that the planned objectives are met. It was found that most companies do not have internal audit and continual improvement programs to detect the hidden problems concerning management. Enhancing risk management and the capability to respond Currently, the fundamental and most important goal for an enterprise's IP management is to reduce the risks of infringement. Enterprises which have implemented TIPS found that TIPS is capable of enhancing data sharing across the departments which allows the IP department to detect potential risks at the earliest time. Further, the establishment of risk management mechanism and processes in response to infringement allegations as required by TIPS helps to institutionalize an enterprise's management system in handing legal risks. III. A holistic approach to IP management The Taiwanese government hopes that enterprises can systematically manage their IP through the implementation of TIPS. In other words, following TIPS's guidance, the Taiwanese enterprises should establish an IP management system that incorporates the usage of the PDCA management cycle (Plan-Do-Check-Action) and process management approach and such system must be built by taking into account the enterprise's business operation strategies and objectives. Enterprises should have clear processes and related rules for handling all IP related issues. For example, prior to filing a patent application, there should be a plan for the ways to acquire the targeted IP and prior art research shall be conducted. Based on the search results, enterprises can then decide whether they would like to internally develop the targeted IP or to seek licensing opportunities. Effective IP management processes shall be able to answer the following questions: Whether records are stored property? Who should conduct the audit? Whether the current system meets the IP management policy or goals? What are the roles and responsibilities? The following section aims to explain how Taiwanese enterprises can establish or modify their current IP management system to achieve its full potential: A. Roles and Responsibilities for Implementation All employees within an organization shall participate in order to realize the most benefits out of the IP management system. Leadership responsibilities, roles and responsibilities allocation, training and education programs and the subsequent auditing processes on the performance of operation shall be clearly defined and planned. Establishing a successful IP management system shall not be the sole responsibility of the legal department. During the implementation stage, the following personnel should participate and complete the related tasks: Executive management team (Management executives, ex. CEO, President, COO) a. Establish IP management policy and goals; b. Communicate the importance of compliance to the IP management policy; c. Evaluate and review the effectiveness of the IP management system; and d. Ensure the readiness of the resources available for establishing the IP management system. IP Management System Representatives (Managers who have decision-making authority, ex. EVP, VP) a. Ensure that the required processes for the IP management system are established, implemented, and maintained; b. Report to the executive management team on the performance and improvement needs for the existing system; and c. Ensure employees understand the IP management policy and goals. Department Representatives (All department representatives) a. Execute tasks assigned by the IP management system representatives; b. Execute action items reached by the steering committee meetings; c. Ensure the achievement of IP management goals, and d. Responsible for the Maintaining and improving the IP management system. B. Steps of Implementation Plan Establishing a systematic IP management system requires the participation of all employees and it requires reengineering of the existing processes. It is not an easy task to be established and planned solely by the legal department. All other departments within an enterprise shall participate and offer their suggestions. The followings are the recommended stages for implementing an IP management system: Stage Tasks Description Responsibility Remark 1. Preparation 1). Review of current status Understand resources available and the status of operation Data collection; define roles and responsibilities 2). Establish implementation team Identify team members and team leader Confirm organizational structure for implementation 3). Set goals and establish all management programs Evaluate current situation to formulate IP management policy, and define measurable goals. Processes planning shall be made by taking into account the management responsibility, resource management, product development, and performance analysis and improvement. This helps to identify the position of a process within the overall IP management system and its inter-relationships between the processes themselves. Provide evaluation report; organize IP management deployment document Documentation: IP Management Manual à Procedures à Guidelines à Records 2. Training and Education & System Integration 4). Relevant training and education Understand the direction, method, and spirit of standardization. Participated by the implementation team and management representatives. 5).Drafting documentation Decide documentation framework, format, table of contents, numbering principles, and appoint editors and the completion date. Management team assigns tasks 6). Establishing documentation Drafting and revising procedural documentation Internal discussion and review IP management principles (refer to prior text) Define the scope and content of standard format. Appoint editors and the completion date. Establish standard format as an example before documenting Prepared IP management manual to aid employees and customers to understand the organization's IP management system Implementation team and management team 3.Implementation 7). Provide training & education specifically for the internal audit personnel Explain the purpose of auditing and execution details Participated by Internal audit committee Prepare checklist for auditing to be used by auditing personnel 8). Conduct system implementation and internal audits Execute documentation processes for the management system and conduct internal audits and review the performance Implementation, review, correction and prevention. Participated by all employees 9). Conduct overall examination of the intellectual property management system Implement IP management system Participated by all members of the implementation team C. Implementation Chapter five through chapter eight of TIPS define the core of the guidelines which cover the basic requirements of IP management requirements; top management's responsibilities; resource management; the acquisition, protection, maintenance and exploitation of IP, as well as performance evaluation and improvement. To facilitate Taiwanese enterprises' understanding of TIPS and how to use it to establish a comprehensive IP Management system, we provide the following main steps of establishing an IP management system based on the TIPS's requirements: Define the company's IP management goals Enterprises that would like to establish an IP Management system have to understand their unique features and future operation strategies to evaluate the needs for managing their IP. Clauses 4.1, 5.2, and 5.3.1 of TIPS stipulate that the management team has the responsibility to set clear IP management policy and goals. For example, one policy can be to increase R&D efficiency and the goal can be to reduce the product development cycle by 10%. Defining appropriate IP Management policies can help to establish a IP management system that meets an enterprise's practical needs. It can also be used as basic principles for formulating IP strategies and subsequently the implementation processes of IP management system. The management team should utilize intranet or bulletin boards to inform its employees of the organization's IP management policies, goals, and relevant responsibilities assigned to each department. This will help employees to understand their roles and responsibilities and the importance of their participation in achieving the organization's goals. Develop required processes for achieving enterprise's IP management goals The ultimate purpose of establishing an IP management system is to maximize profits and to minimize losses. To ensure successful acquisition of targeted IP, companies should plan and develop processes and operating procedures based on their needs and business development strategies. During this stage, companies should focus on the followings in order to meet TIPS's requirements: Understand statutory and regulatory requirements concerning IP The management target of TIPS is intellectual property, which includes trademark, patent, copyright, trade secrets and etc. Different IP acquisition approaches apply to different IP targets. Complying with Clause 7.1, companies must firstly understand all the statutory and regulatory requirements before a plan is made for the acquisition of targeted IP. For example, according to the relevant legislations in Taiwan, once a work is created, the authors obtain the copyright in the work. However, the right to patent or trademark can only be acquired through registration. Evaluate options for acquiring the targeted IP Enterprises shall evaluate different options (i.e. self-development, purchase or outsourcing) for acquiring their targeted IP by taking into account of their business operation objectives and the characteristics of their products as the methods of acquiring IP will influence the subsequent processes concerning the protection, maintenance and exploitation of the acquired IP. Clause 7.2 of TIPS requires enterprises to implement processes regarding to the evaluation of the options for acquiring the targeted IP. Clause 7.3.5 further requires enterprises to set up an assessment procedure for every IP application and suggests to incorporate an invention incentive program. Define roles and responsibilities After completing the feasibility study concerning various options to acquire the targeted IP, enterprises have to decide whether to establish an IP management specialized department (ex. legal or IP department) and to define clear roles and responsibilities based on the company's scale and resource available. Companies should pay particular attention on preparation work, such as conducting patent or trademark prior art search, to avoid wasting of resources and voided applications. If enterprises outsource IP management related activities to external bodies, Clause 7.4.1 of TIPS requires them to have a clear knowledge of the service quality provided by the outsourcing bodies and to establish a controlling mechanism over the outsourcing activities (ex. evaluation → outsourcing → contract → periodic evaluation…etc.). Special attention has to be paid to the contractual terms concerning obligations and ownership of IP. Determine Resources Required Enterprises that would like to establish an IP management system not only have to ensure that they have enough resources, but also need to ensure that the resources can be utilized in an effective way. The management team, in accordance of the requirements for Clauses 5.4.2 a nd 6.1 of TIPS, should provide resources (including labor and equipment) required for the implementation of the IP management system. Examples include the continual recruitment of manpower and the purchasing of computer software and hardware equipments and etc. As far as labor is concerned, enterprises, in accordance with Clause 6.2.1 , have to ensure that their employees have adequate abilities to assume their responsibility. Clause 6.2.1 states that companies should provide basic IP education and training to equip the employees with necessary knowledge. Pursuant to Clause 6.2.3, enterprises should provide their patent engineers and legal staff with advanced training, such as intellectual property litigation and arbitration, intellectual property licensing and contracts, techniques for patent design around, IP valuation and so on. In summary, enterprises should enhance the employees' (both new and existing employees) awareness of IP, the importance of complying with statutory requirements and the enterprises' internal IP policies and goals through education and training. Establish an IP Management System After determining the resources required, enterprises need to establish a basic system to manage their IP. The system shall include a documentation control system, an audit program, an internal communication channel and so on. We provide a summary explaining the details of each program required to establish a basic IP management system: Basic IP Management System (1) Documentation Control System: Enterprises should establish a systematic documentation control system based on their IP management policies and goals, such as document control procedures, internal audit process and etc. Among those, the most important one is an IP management manual. Clause 4.3 of TIPS requires the enterprises to state all the following items in their IP management manual: IP management policies and goals; roles and responsibilities; processes and procedures; and flow charts or grid charts to explain the interrelationships between the processes and procedures. Further, Clause 4.4 also states that all documents, no matter whether they are internally generated or externally acquired (ex. court notice, invitation to tender, official documents) should be properly managed. The source, level of confidence, method of management should be clearly labeled for future purposes. (2) Audit Program: Clause 5.4.2 states that top management has to be responsible or otherwise shall designate a management representative (the most senior staff that is responsible for intellectual property matters, such as vice president or director of IP management department) to manage a company's IP related issues. The top management team is also in charge of establishing a management review meeting, and setting agenda for each meeting such as discussing or revising the IP management policies and goals. Through management review meeting, pursuant to Clause 5.5, management representative must confirm that the set IP goals are met or if not, whether to revise the original policies or goals. All departments or responsible personnel (ex. legal, IP, general administration, accounting, human resource) shall participate the management review meeting. (3) Confidentiality Control Program: Enterprises in accordance with Clauses 4.4.1 a nd 7.4.4, should enhance feasible safety controls to protect their IP, such as setting document confidential criteria, physical access control, and control over replication of confidential documentation to limit exposure of important data. Supplemental IP Management System In addition to the above mentioned programs, supplemental IP management programs are required to assist in establishing an effective IP management system. They are outlined as follows: (1) Outsourcing Program: Due to cost or resource concerns, enterprises may outsource its R&D or IP prosecution activities to external professional agencies. Clauses 4.1 and 7.4.1 of TIPS require that the contracts entered into must clearly identify the ownership of IP involved and include a term of confidentiality obligation. This is to ensure that the outsourcing activities can be properly monitored and to prevent the leakage of important data. (2) Contract Review and Human Resource Management Programs: In order to prevent and avoid intellectual property infringement, in accordance with Clause 7.4.6 , enterprises should review all contractual terms of their contracts. As far as human resource management is concerned, in accordance with Clause 7.4.3, enterprises shall require new employees to sign an employment contract . Such contract shall include a term of confidentiality obligation and a non-competing clause may be included if necessary. (3) Internal Consulting and Communication Channel: During the period of establishing an IP management system, enterprises in accordance with Clause 5.5.2 must request relevant departments (ex. legal, sales, finance and accounting) to provide useful information concerning IP management. According to Clause 5.4.3, enterprises must establish communication channels (ex. dedicated mailbox, email) which is used to understand the feelings and to know the difficulties faced by the employees as it is inevitable to face challenges when a new system is being implemented, consistent communication and coordination is the only way to overcome these challenges. Ensure that Auditing and Preventive and Corrective Measures have been Taken Pursuant to Clauses 8.1 and 8.2, enterprises with IP management systems need to establish internal audit plans (including audit frequency, time, or method) to ensure that their IP management policies or goals are being met. Enterprises should ensure that their internal auditors are qualified i.e. have obtained the relevant professional certification, before conducting the internal audits. If nonconformities have been found through internal audits, corrective or preventive measures should be taken pursuant to Clauses 8.4.2 a nd 8.4.3. For instance, if the result of internal audit reveals that the R&D staff failed to keep their R&D records in accordance with the set rules and requirements, companies shall find out the causes (i.e. the reasons of the nonconformity) and then take appropriate corrective or preventive measures. An example of corrective measure can be to increase the frequency of checking the relevant records. And an example of preventive measure can be to provide incentive program to encourage the compliance of the relevant rules and regulations. Pursuant to the requirements of Clause 8.3, enterprises should collect and analyze relevant information, such as the internal audit reports, results of the corrective measures taken, and the results of market/competitors analysis. The above information can be used as input information during management review (Clause 5.5.2 ) to decide whether it is required to amend or set new intellectual property management policies and objectives. Through continual auditing and revising, a systematic IP management system can be established. IV Conclusion In the era of knowledge economy, the abilities of most domestic enterprises to manage tangible assets have gradually matured (ex. ERP system). However, the abilities to manage intangible assets which include intellectual property have yet to be developed. Management systems in most domestic enterprises are fragmented. For example, legal departments are only responsible for contract reviewing tasks; R&D staff has limited IP knowledge. The importance of IP is often overlooked and most enterprises do not see that intellectual property management is the responsibility of every employee. As a consequence, the Taiwanese government establishes and promotes TIPS to encourage domestic enterprises to adopt a systemic approach of managing their intellectual property and TIPS is also provided as a tool to assist enterprises to establish a sound intellectual property management system. The purpose of implementing TIPS is not to request enterprises to establish a separate management system. In order to maintain efficiency and competitiveness, an enterprise has to have an integrated management system to support its core operations and also to meet the requirements of different management system standards. Eliminating overlaps of the requirements between different quality management systems is an inevitable trend. TIPS incorporates IP management with the ISO 9000 quality management system, which is capable of simplifying the complicated IP management tasks into an effective and standardized IP management system. TIPS helps an enterprise to establish a systematic process for managing its IP. Through competitive analysis, market trend analysis, and periodic IP management operations review, a company can revise and amend its IP management policies and goals and continually improve its IP management system. For example, sales departments shall collect market trends, competitive information and shall also consciously avoid acquiring materials that may raise infringement concerns. Human resource departments shall focus their efforts in providing IP education and training. Finance departments shall evaluate the costs required for maintaining the existing IP rights and inform the R&D departments to conduct relevant review at the appropriate time. R&D departments shall conduct prior art search before a new research project is commenced. TIPS offers a simple, efficient, and low-cost management system which assists an enterprise to establish an IP management system that aligns to its business goals and operation activities. We hope that by promoting and encouraging domestic enterprises to adopt and implement TIPS, Taiwan can strengthen its international competitiveness and sustain the growth of its economy and the whole society. 1.Taiwan Intellectual Property Management System (TIPS). The Ministry of Economics Affairs combined the IP management principles and the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Action) model used in ISO9001:2000 quality management system to create TIPS. The adoption of PDCA model helps organizations to establish a systematic and effective IP management system which can be continuously improved. 2. Chen Yi-Chih is a Section Manager at the Science and Technology Law Center ; Chen Hung-Chih is a legal Researcher at the Science and Technology Law Center . 3. Data Source: http://www.atmt.org.tw/html/modules/news/article.php?storyid=135&PHPSESSID=cab6428078a0435c5af1b2e7bbe2b121 (last visited: 08/11/2007 ) 4. Data Source: http://www.cyberone.com.tw/ItemDetailPage/PDAFormat/PDAFContent.asp?MMContentNoID=36372(last visited: 08/11/2007 ) 5. “Enterprise” as defined in TIPS includes company, corporate, school, research institute, a specific department or a project team is also included. 6. TIPS was developed based on the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check Action) model, a typical ISO management process which requires continuously monitoring, evaluating, analyzing and improving the whole system. 7. The TIPS guidelines can be found at: http://www.tips.org.tw/public/public.asp?selno=236&relno=236 8. Refer to article: New Philosophy of Intellectual Property – Use ISO Quality Management to establish a systematic IP management in Intellectual Property Journal, issue 74, 02/2005. 9. http://www.tips.org.tw/public/public.asp?selno=236&relno=236 (last visited: 08/12/2007 ) 10. The guidelines of TIPS also serve as the requirements for certification purpose. The Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs will issue a certificate to an organization if such organization has implemented an IP management system satisfying the requirements of TIPS.

The Demand of Intellectual Property Management for Taiwanese Enterprises

Science & Technology Law Institute (STLI), Institute for Information Industry has conducted the survey of “The current status and demand of intellectual property management for Taiwanese enterprises” to listed companies for consecutive four years since 2012. Based on the survey result, three trends of intellectual property management for Taiwanese enterprises have been found and four recommendations have been proposed with detail descriptions as below. Trend 1: Positive Growth in Intellectual Property Awareness and Intellectual Property Dedicated Department/Personnel, Budget and Projects 1.Taiwanese enterprises believe that intellectual property plays an important role 74.18% of Taiwanese enterprises believe that intellectual property can increase economic value and 58.61% of those believe that it can effectively prevent competitors from entering the market. Source: created by project team members Graph 1 The benefit of intellectual property for the company 2.Taiwanese enterprises increase investment in the dedicated department and full time personnel for intellectual property Nearly 80% of listed and OTC companies set up full time personnel for intellectual property and over 50% of those have established dedicated department to handle its business that is higher than 30% in 2012. Source: created by project team members Graph 2 Specialized Department or personnel for intellectual property by year 3.Taiwanese enterprises plan budget for intellectual property each year 81% of respondent companies plan certain budget for intellectual property each year. Among the expenses items, the percentage of 90.95% for intellectual property application is the highest. Next are 58.29% for inventor bonus payment and 56.28% for intellectual property education training. Source: created by project team members Graph 3 Taiwanese enterprises plan budget for intellectual property each year Trend 2: Insufficient Positive Activation for Intellectual Property 1.Interior intellectual property personnel is seldomto be involved in the core decision making in Taiwanese enterprises Based on the importance and difficulty of intellectual property, most items in the area of high importance and difficulty are demand of professionals and practical experiences (e.g.: lack of interior talent, do not understand international technology standard and specification, lack of platform to obtain experiences and cases). Only application time is for administrative procedure of Intellectual Property Offices. Therefore, it is known that intellectual property department of respondent companies lacks experienced talents. Source: created by project team members Graph 4 Importance and difficulty of intellectual property In addition, most of the jobs of intellectual property personnel are “keeping close cooperation and communication with R&D department”, “coordinating issues relevant to intellectual property between departments” and “keeping close cooperation and communication with marketing or sales department” instead of “R&D strategy involvement” and “marketing and operation strategy involvement” (see Graph 5). Therefore, it is demonstrated that the work of intellectual property personnel is mainly for providing coordination and assistance to other departments other than corporate strategy with intellectual property as basis. Maybe it is the reason for insufficient activation and lower investment of intellectual property in the business. Source: created by project team members Graph 5 The job of intellectual property department or personnel 2.Insufficient positive activation for intellectual property in Taiwanese enterprises It is shown that 60% of firms are without and did not obtain technology transfer (among which the traditional manufacturing sector has the highest percentage). 22.95% of firms are without but obtained technology transfer and 4.51% of those are with but did not obtain technology transfer. In addition, most of the jobs of intellectual property are administration other than activation such as treatment of authorization contract and transaction and sending warning letter of infringement. Therefore, it is assumed that intellectual property is not the key for profitability in the business. 3.Taiwanese enterprises with higher R&D expenses ratio intend to have more positive activation of intellectual property Although the entire firms are not positive for activation of intellectual property, it is found that enterprises with higher R&D expenses ratio (the ratio of R&D expenses / total operating expenses is higher than average) intend to have more positive activation of intellectual property. For example, intellectual property department with higher R&D expenses ratio involves more in the decision making of R&D strategy in the business. Compared with the enterprises with higher R&D expenses ratio, the enterprises with lower R&D expenses ratio also has higher ratio in the absence and failure of technology transfer. (see Graph 6) Source: created by project team members Graph 6 Presence and achievement of technology transfer in the different sector 4.Most of Taiwanese enterprises R&D on their own so to lack of introduction experience of external R&D results Among the survey, nearly 90% of firms R&D each item on their own except the copyright part with lower percentage of 78.5%. 15.89% of it is from outsourcing development and 13.08% of it is from authorization. In addition, the outsourcing development and authroization of invention patent part have higher percentage which is 17.34% and 15.61% respectively. However, the speed of self R&D can’t meet the speed of product elimination nowadays. Therefore, under global open competition, corporate may try to cooperate with universities and research institutions to speed up R&D progress. Table 1 Source of Intellectual Property Right Source: created by project team members Further, among the services s that corporate ask for assistance from government, there are high demand for promotion of cooperation between industrial, academic and research sectors as well as assistance provided by academic and research institution to enhance corporate’s R&D ability. Based on this, it is clear established that a smooth access can help enterprises to cooperate with academic and research institutions for R&D instead of doing it on their own. Source: created by project team members Graph 7 The Government Policy for Intellectual Property 5.Taiwanese enterprises focus only on patent and trademark but ignore trade secret and copyright From the intellectual property items enterprises possessed each year, it is found that trademark has the highest percentage (over 80% for four-year average) and next items are invention patent and utility model patent. The awareness that corporates have on intellectual property is only limited to patent and trademark. They overlook that their core ability may be protected by trade secret and copyright. Source: created by project team members Graph 8 Owned IP right Trend 3: Increasing Demand on International Intellectual Property Service 1.The overseas intellectual property risk Taiwanese enterprises faced greatly varies from sectors Among the 2015 survey, 85% of respondent firms developed to overseas. Under which the highest percentage is 79.81% for overseas sale then 56.25% for self-establishment of overseas factory for manufacturing. Furthermore, the percentage of outsourcing in traditional manufacturing sector is the highest than that of other industries which 77.36% of traditional manufacturing firms established overseas factory for manufacturing. The percentage of overseas sale in pharmaceutical and livelihood sector is 91.3% and slightly higher than that in other industries. The result shows that different industry will select different overseas development strategy based on its sector characteristics and R&D difficulty. Source: created by project team members Graph 9 The overseas intellectual property risk As a whole, the highest risk that might be occurred from enterprises developed overseas is leakage of trade secrets. Next risks are 47.12% for being accused of product infringement and 42.31% for patent being registered. Further, the risk control greatly varies from different sector. The risks that industry and commerce service sector regards are quite different from other sectors. For example, its risk of dispute of employee jumping ship or being poached which accounted for 50% is higher than that of other sectors. In addition to the three common risks mentioned above, information and technology sector believes that there might be risk of patent dispute which accounted for 35.29% and is higher than that of other sectors. Source: created by project team members Graph 10 The overseas risk control which might be occurred by enterprises 2.The most dissatisfied part that Taiwanese enterprises have to the intellectual property outsourcing service is insufficient experiences on the treatment of international affairs Based on the 2012 and 2013 data, the too expensive fees is the primary factor that intellectual property outsourcing service didn’t meet the demand. However, from the 2014 and 2015 survey result, the experiences on the treatment of international affairs became the primary factor. It is shown that enterprises increase demand for international intellectual property work but current services from providers can’t satisfy it. From survey data, it is found that different sector has different demand on overseas development. Among which the pharmaceutical and livelihood sector has higher demand on the management of overseas trademark use, investigation of overseas infringement risk, contract of overseas patent authorization, contract of overseas trademark authorization, contract of overseas technology transfer and contract of overseas mutual R&D (See Graph 11). Source: created by project team members Graph 11 The outsourcing professional resources unsatisfied with demand – annual comparision Recommendation 1: Taiwanese enterprises shall build intellectual property creation strategy based on a variety of intecllectual property rights Enterprises may apply for patent, trademark, trade secret and copyright. For instance, brand management can be conducted with trademark and copyright and core technology or service can be protected by patent and trade secret instead of using trademark or patent alone as primary strategy. Recommendation 2: Provide Taiwanese enterprises with assistance of overseas intellectual property consultation 85% of respondent firms have overseas business which greatly varies from different sector so to accompany with different overseas intellectual property risk. Therefore, government may provide enterprises with the information of overseas intellectual property and even real time consultation services of overseas intellectual property risk which is the requirement to be satisfied immediately. In addition, the actual overseas intellectual property demand of enterprises can be found through this introduction of consultation services. To satisfy enterprises’ demand, service providers may need to improve their ability together. Recommendation 3: Build cooperation access of industry, academics and research to assist Taiwanese enterprises to enhance R&D ability Under the fast-evolved and competitive environment, enterprises shall not only depend on their own R&D. Moreover, they shall leverage the R&D result of academic and research institutions to improve so to make subsidy of those institutions from government have real impact on them. Therefore, there is demand of cooperation between industry, academics and research. The cooperation access between them should be built to achieve synergy of R&D. Recommendation 4: Experienced professionals of intellectual property are requried to be cultivated and demand of intellectual property human capital is needed to be expanded for Taiwanese enterprises Enterprises lack of experienced professionals of intellectual property. This demand could be satisfied only through on-the-job training for large personnel other than new graduates of department of intellectual property. Furthermore, enterprises can make department of intellectual property contribute its professional services into R&D and marketing strategy through design of organization work procedure to reduce risk of intellectual property they have to face.

Yearly Update on the Progress of the TIPS Project – summary of a research report on corporate investors’ view on introducing a corporate IP disclosure framework

Chien-Shan Chiu Background In the era where inventions drive the economy, the ability to create, capture and protect these inventive ideas has become vital for a corporation to stay competitive and sustain profit growth. Various government policies have been implemented in order to stimulate inventions and to strengthen the ability to protect these inventions through effective use of intellectual property (“IP”) rights. For the past few years, the TIPS (Taiwan Intellectual Property Management System) project has been promoted extensively aiming to increase public awareness towards IP rights and to assist local companies to establish a systematic and comprehensive IP management system. Over the years, the TIPS project has received wide recognition and positive feedbacks, and many TIPS-implemented companies are ready for the next challenges. After an extensive research, the project proposes to follow the international trend of encouraging companies to make better and more disclosure of intangible assets that are not often shown in the traditional financial statements1 . Local companies with effective IP management system and strategy are encouraged to compile an “Intellectual Property Management Report” summarizing its business, R&D and IP management strategies as well as their accumulated IP assets. In order to compile an Intellectual Property Management Report, a company is advised to re-identify its intellectual property, re-think about its strength and weakness in every aspect and where necessary, the company may also need to re-conduct a market, technology trend or competitor’s analysis, through which it is believed that a better and more effective IP strategy will be re-formulated. Formulating a well-planned corporate strategy that takes into account various IP issues is one of the main reasons for introducing the corporate IP disclosure framework. Promoting the disclosure of IP-related information so that the management efforts, visions and true capabilities of a corporation can be fully disclosed and recognized is the second major reasons for introducing the corporate IP disclosure framework. This essay begins with a brief update on the yearly progress of the TIPS project, follows by a summary of the research report on corporate investors’ view on initiating a framework for enhancing disclosure of corporate IP-related information. The research report contains the result of a survey conducted between April and June this year (year 2009), consisting questions to uncover local investors’ view and attitudes towards corporate IP, and to identify kinds of IP-related information required when making an investment decision as well as to find out to what extend local investors would support the government’s initiative on promoting a corporate IP disclosure framework. Update on the Yearly Progress of the TIPS Project In order to facilitate the promotion of TIPS, several supplementary services have been introduced (fees and expenses are fully or partially subsidized by the government this year) : (1) Free On-Line Self-Assessment Tool; (2) On-Site Diagnostic and Consulting Service (selected companies were fully subsidized); (3) “Demonstrative” Model Companies (selected companies were partially subsidized); (4) IP Management Courses (partially subsidized); (5) On-Site Auditing (for the Conformance of TIPS requirements) and issuing of the TIPS Compliance Certification (fully subsidized) . To the end of 2009, 401enterprises have completed the on-line self-assessment questions; 93 companies have received on-site diagnostic and consultation services; 847 persons have taken the IP management courses; 64 enterprises have successfully obtained the certificates for the compliance of TIPS and more than 299 enterprises have either completed or in the middle of implementing TIPS. Summary of the Research Report on Corporate Investor s’ View on Introducing a Corporate IP Disclosure Framework Even though it is clear that the idea of encouraging corporations to disclose non-financial information has started few decades ago in Europe and are currently being vigorously promoted by many major countries, we believe that in order to facilitate smooth promotion of the new IP disclosure framework, it is important to find out the local investors’ views and attitudes towards IP and to know how investors see the role of IP can play in a local corporation. Hence a survey was conducted at the initial stage of preparing the new corporate IP disclosure framework in Taiwan. The survey was sent via both mails and emails to 357 corporations, including venture capital firms; trust, investment consulting or management firms; security corporations, financial institutions and banks. More than one set of survey questionnaires could be distributed in one corporation to be filled by investors/analysts that are specialized in investing different industrial sectors. As a result, a total of 495 set of questionnaires were distributed.. Basic Data The survey was conducted between April to June 2009. At the end of June, a total of 150 investors/analysts responded which equals to a 33% response rate. Most of the survey respondents specialized in investing in various industrial sectors which include: semi-conductor; telecommunication; electronic components; 3C products; IT; optical; biotechnology; pharmaceuticals; new energy resources; media; creative and culture and traditional manufacturing industries. Around 50% of the survey respondents have more than 5 years’ experience in investment; among them, 23% of the survey respondents have more than 10 years’ investment experience. Investors recognize the importance of IP A remarkable 94% of the survey respondents recognized that the ability to create, protect, manage and exploit IP has become an essential element for a company to stay competitive and sustain growth in today’s market environment. 88% of the survey respondents believe that companies with more or better IP assets are more likely to generate profits and 91% believe that such companies are more likely to survive in this ever-increasing competitive environment. Yet, 94% of the survey respondents agreed that not only a company should actively create IP assets, but the ability to exploit and thus extract value from the accumulated IP assets is what makes a company stand out among the others. Taking a step further, the survey result reveals that the respondent investors believe a company with effective and well-planned IP strategy is likely to: – Enhance its market competitiveness (84%); – Raise its overall corporate value (71%); – Maintain its market position (55%); – Increase its profitability (32%); – Affect its share price (30%); – Assist investors in evaluating such company’s managerial ability and performance (29%) as well as evaluating its future growth potential (28%). IP-related information influences investors’ investment decisions Given that most investors see the ability to create, manage and exploit IP assets as well as having a well-planned IP strategy are crucial for the survival of a company, 82% of the survey respondents indicate that IP-related information has been considered when making an investment decision. Furthermore, 85% of the survey respondents think that they will place greater emphasis on IP in assessing companies in the future. Indicators that used to assess/evaluate a company Most often used IP-related indicators identified by the survey respondents when making investment decisions are: – Core technology and its market competitiveness (77%) – Research ability (experience and achievement) (73%) – IP protection and management measures (41%) – IP strategy (align with overall corporate strategy and market/technology characteristics) (40%) – Ability to fully utilize self-owned IP assets (38%) – R&D expenditure and investment (35%) – No. of IP assets (35%) – Time taken for competing products to enter into the market (33%) – Cost of maintaining IP assets (19%) Ratio of intangible assets as to the overall corporate value (19%) : 20% of the survey respondents indicated that they have turned down investment in the past for inadequate IP awareness of the target companies. List of local companies with good and effective IP strategy The survey respondents were asked to name local Taiwanese companies which in their mind have most effective and sound IP strategy. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), Foxconn, United Microelectrc (UMC), HTC, Acer are the top 5 most named companies given by the survey respondents. Having good quality of patents (such as essential or new technology patents); detailed and complete patent map; sound IP strategy; brand and professional IP/legal department are cited as the reasons that impress these investors. Inadequacy of public available IP-related information While most investors acknowledge the importance of IP and take into account various IP-related indicators when making investment decisions, 76% of the survey respondents expressed that currently, the amount of IP-related information disclosed by companies are not sufficient for them to make an informed investment decision. When a question asking the survey respondents to identify the channels by which they obtained their desired IP-related information, the results were quite spread out. 45% of the survey respondents relied on asking the top managers directly; 43% relied on annual report; media and news (35%); website (34%); industrial journals (25%); competitors (15%) and other private channels (15%). It appears that various sources were used but no particular source provides sufficient information. Indeed, a remarkable 91% of the survey respondents believe that if there are more channels provided for corporations to disclose their internal IP information, more accurate assessment of the corporate value can be made. Support government’s initiative of promoting IP reporting framework Further, 73% of the survey respondents expressed their willingness to support the government’ s initiative of encouraging local companies to disclose their IP-related information. In relation to the initiation and promotion of the corporate IP disclosure framework, 64% of the survey respondents responded that it would be better to adopt a voluntarily disclosure policy and decide whether to switch to mandatory disclosure later; 22% think that only a voluntarily disclosure policy should be adopted followed by 14% of the survey respondents who believe that the government should adopt a mandatory disclosure policy from the start. When the survey respondents were asked to provide suggestions to facilitate the promotion of the corporate IP disclosure framework, the following suggestions were picked by the survey respondents: – Provide valuation tools to assist investors in assessing and analyzing IP related information (40%); – a central platform to collect and display all the complied IP management reports (21%); – lists of compulsory items to be disclosed in the report (21%); and – regulate the frequency of updating the contents of the report (15%). Conclusion Based on the results of the survey, we can conclude that the local investors’ view and attitude towards IP are similar to those in overseas. Majority of the investors (> 90%) see IP as valuable tools that could assist companies to create profits and sustain growth in today’s competitive market. While most of the investors (82%) have taken into account relevant IP information when making investment decisions, 76% of the survey respondents expressed that the amount of corporate IP-related information disclosed by companies are insufficient for them to make informed investment decisions. This is an important message that local companies should pay particular attention. It is hoped that through the introduction of the corporate IP disclosure framework, more adequate corporate IP information will be disclosed to assist investors in making better and accurate investment decisions. Consequently, a company’s true capabilities, managerial efforts and the intangible assets created upon can thus be fully appreciated and reflected on its market value. 1 Various national and institutional initiatives addressing the disclosure of corporate intellectual assets are currently being promoted vigorously at the international level such as Japan’s “IA based Management Report, (METI)”; Denmark’s “Intellectual Capital Statement (MSTI)”; European Union’s “Guidelines on Intangibles, MERITUM project”; U.S.’s “EBR 2.0 (Enhance Business Reporting Consortium)”; and The World Intellectual Capital/Assets Initiative (WICI) is currently working on developing a voluntary global framework for measuring and reporting corporate performance.

A Survey Study on the Intellectual Property Management amongst Taiwanese Companies

J. Kitty Huang Chien-Shan Chiu Background In order to provide insight into intellectual property (IP) awareness, the status quo as well as potential hardship and demands arise over IP management, STLC was commissioned by IDB (Industrial Development Bureau) to conduct a survey study in June 2010. In this article, we provide briefings on the contents, research methodology and major findings of this study. About the research The survey questionnaire was sent by means of emails or posts to a total of 1000 business establishments randomly generated from the registration data facilitated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. This was also the first time that such a survey has been envisaged on such a comprehensive scale, covering businesses located around Taiwan with the aim being to produce an in-depth analysis into IP management in various industries including manufacturing, precision machineries, photonics, bio-medicals, info-techs, semiconductors etc. Sixty-five percent of the respondents have less than fifty employees and the overall response rate achieved was 13.1%.1 A continuing need to strengthen IP awareness is required The first section of the questionnaire dealing with IP awareness gauged respondent companies IP knowledge and understanding through a series of questions relating to IP law and practice. When asked whether formal registration was necessary to obtain a range of intellectual property rights (IPRs), over 70% of companies replied with correct answers, namely patents, designs and trademarks. However, through other questions at a more advanced level, the responses revealed a general lack of knowledge in IP law and hence a continuing need to strengthen IP awareness is required. For instance, overall 70% of companies know that obtaining patents will require formal registration, yet surprisingly even of these over 50% incorrectly thought the manners of patent utilization, such as making products, will not result in infringing others IPRs. This result arguably suggests that respondents are in the main unaware that a patent does not give the patent owner the right to exploit the patented invention himself, but rather, he has only the “exclusive right” to stop others from doing so. For another instance, whilst 32% of respondents inaccurately thought that a formal registration is required to obtain copyrights, nonetheless this does not equate to the result being a near 70% of companies have a full and correct knowledge in regard to copyright. When faced with a slightly more obscure question of who would own the copyright in commissioned work (such as website creation) in the absence of a contract, 26% of companies didn’t know and 30% answered incorrectly. On the same token, though only 10% of respondents erroneously believed that trade secrets would require a formal registration, when asked whether the company’s client list may be a trade secret, the number of correct replies (61%) drops sharply when compared to the previous one. Though intended as a question to discriminate at the upper levels of trade secret awareness, the replies are more likely to reflect a lack comprehension of the subject among Taiwanese companies. The important message arise from the overall scales in the first section of the survey is that the need for IP awareness promotion and enhancement amongst companies in Taiwan still exists. Lack of IP expertise is a major barrier In the second section of the questionnaire companies were asked a series of questions which were intended to measure the status quo through the extent of IP management practices. Perhaps one would agree that the issue of perceptions of the importance of IP to a company is greatly linked to how effective it manages them. When asked to indicate reasons as to why IP is important to their business, the replies were rather polarized. The two most popular reasons were “means to differentiate from competitors” (33%) and “to prevent infringement” (30%). The distinction between the two is clearly that the former reason is relatively active and strategic whilst the latter is perceived to be passive and defensive. On the other hand, “to retrieve the cost of R&D” (4%) and “to attract more investors” (5%) are least likely to be seen as the reasons why IP is important to them. The results may suggest that generally speaking, Taiwanese companies tended not to utilize their IP to generate revenues nor correlate them with the business strategies, but rather, see them more of a shield to avoid infringement. Companies were asked what IPRs they own and the most common ones are trademarks (21%) and utility patents (20%), with invention patents (14%) being the third on the rank. In contrast only 2% of respondent companies own copyrights. While such result may be attributed to the overall structure of the industry, it may also link to the observation that most companies not merely lack the comprehension of copyrights but may also not be aware of owning such IPR. Furthermore, it is also surprising to find that 45% of respondents do not own any IPRs. The absence of IPRs within these companies is perhaps a key indication of poor awareness and inactive management of IPRs amongst many Taiwanese companies. To measure the extent of IP management is not easy as the intensity of it differs both by sector and by size. Therefore, the task is achieved through 9 questions designed on the concept of PDCA (plan-do-check-act) process which would allow the respondents to review and find out any inadequacy in their IP management as they proceed. One would expect that those companies with effective IP management would take care to evaluate the various IPRs required at different time intervals. Whilst all of the answer choices are considered to be “important timings”, for example “when planning for new skills/products/business” and “when further investment in IP would enhance defense (such as infringement prevention); yet the results revealed that over 60% of the companies did not perform such evaluation at whatever timing. This may suggest that in general, companies in Taiwan are inadequately concerned with the evaluation process within their management of IP. Such a result may consequently make them ignoring means to prevent infringement (such as checking competitors’ IPRs and prior-art search) or pay attention to regulation updates. Effective IP management indisputably requires certain monetary inputs. Companies were asked whether they have regularly spent on obtaining and maintaining IPRs the firm owns, and remarkably only about 36% of respondents answered this question. In addition the companies were asked about how much they spent on “application fees”2,“incentives offered to inventors”, “spending on HR” and “other expense”. Only a paltry 6% of all respondent companies spent on all the abovementioned categories and mostly up to the amount of NT$100,000 (roughly USD$3300) per each. Linked with the spending on IPRs is perhaps whether companies have designated staff responsible for managing IPRs or have a separate IP department. Again, 70% of respondents replied negatively to this question and only 10% of some larger companies (with over 200 employees) have specific personnel or department designated to assume this responsibility. The results may indicate a general lack of expertise in managing IPRs as a barrier to leveraging full value of them as well as making proper legal decision in the event of IP related disputes Companies were asked how to protect their IPRs through a variety of methods of protection though the majority (over 72%) didn’t implement any of them. The most highly identified method being “protect core skills by patents”, however, only 35% of companies adopted such protection. Furthermore, roughly 76% of the companies did not conduct training in IP issues for employees, and over 75% did not attempt to assess the efficiency of their management of IP. The explanation to the above is conceivably a general lack of IP expertise due to inadequate monetary inputs as well as perceived high costs for IP specialists within the company. The results ultimately reflect an inefficient execution of IP management in the massive Taiwanese companies. Most companies have only limited resources The final aspect of IP management that has been surveyed is the hardships occurred and accordingly the resources sought to solve them. When asked what are the major difficulties in the process of managing IP, the most common answers were “high expenditure on filing and maintenance” (18%), “lack of professional advice” (15%) and “regulatory complexity” (15%). These results are arguably all related to the facts already discussed in the afore-mentioned paragraphs. In general, the survey revealed that most companies have only limited resources and therefore highly demand external aids such as government funding or projects to help soften the hardships and improve their management skills. Accordingly, “unifying resources for enhancing IP management through a mutual platform” (22%) and “facilitate industry peer networks” (21%) being the most popular resources sought. Furthermore, 14% of the respondents indicated their urge to receive “on-site expert assistance”, and a remarkable 90% of the respondents have never been aware of the TIPS (Taiwan Intellectual Property Management System) project, which is one initiated by the government to help companies set up a systematic IP management system. As a result, efforts to promote the TIPS project should be further devoted as the initial step to assist companies strengthen their IP awareness and management skills. Conclusion The results of the survey present the status quo of IP management amongst the companies in Taiwan which is proportionally consistent with their IP awareness as well as hardships and resources sought. The present study shows what one might expect, that is larger companies tend to be more IP aware and have greater resources to manage their IPRs, whilst the rest of others (especially SMEs) are in the main inadequately aware of IP, which is crucial to enhance active IP management within and throughout their firms. While various resources are highly demanded, perhaps the government should firstly take steps to promote that awareness within and throughout their organizations. Linked with this is the second important point which is that further promotion of the TIPS project should be aimed at not only enhancing IP awareness but also assisting companies to better manage their IPRs. IP management is essential to preserve IP created by companies and the TIPS system would enable companies to foster and strengthen key aspects of IP management such as conduct training in IP issues for employees, evaluate various IPRs required, etc. Some of the complementary measures as such expert consultations and TIPS networks or seminars would also help to alleviate some of the hardships encountered in the process of managing IP. On the other hand, like the “Survey on Business Attitudes to Intellectual Property” being conducted yearly in Hong Kong since year 2004, it is suggested that the present survey research or the alike to be continually carried out to assist promoting IP awareness within Taiwan industry. Finally, we would like to thank everyone who contributed to this survey research and hope that it provides valuable insight into the goals originally proposed. 1.The survey resulted in 157 replies from which 26 of them were nullified by false or incomplete answers. 2.Application fees” include fees occurred from exploring inventions up to application and maintenance, which also include attorney fees.

TOP