Taiwan industries have been facing an increasing pressure from the competitive global market. To assist the Taiwan industries, the Government has approved the “National Intellectual Property Strategy Guideline” (the “Guideline”) on 17 October 2012. The Guideline stipulates six major strategies and twenty-seven relevant enforcement criteria in relation to intellectual property (“IP”). The six major strategies are as follows:
(a) creation and utilization of high-value patents;
(b) enforcing cultural integrity;
(c) creation of high agricultural value;
(d) support free flow of IP for academics;
(e) support system of IP trade flows and protection; and
(f) develop highly qualified personnel in IP.
Under the “innovation of high-value patents” strategy, the relevant enforcement criterion, being “establishing academia-industry collaborative system for IP management”, is to support the Taiwan’s current and future technology development program on R&D planning, IP management and technology commercialization. In other words, this enforcement criterion can greatly improve the ambiguity and inadequacy of Taiwan’s research infrastructure which have caused inefficient research operation. Furthermore, this enforcement criterion can also improve network collaboration between organizations on IP management, allowing more efficient process for managing IP and thus achieving the purpose of “creation and utilization of high-value patent”.In light of the above, this article studies Japan’s practice on integrating the IP network resources and improving their IP management under the University Network IP Advisors Program (“IP Advisors Program”).
A. Policy background, goals and methodology
National Center for Industrial Property Information and Training (“INPIT”) initiated the IP Advisors Program and commissioned Japan Institute for Promoting Invention and Innovation (“JIII”) to implement and carry out the new policy in year 2011.
Prior to the implementation of the new policy by JIII, INPIT has assisted with establishing proper IP management systems for more than 60 Japanese universities by dispatching IP experts and advisors (“IP Advisors”) to each of the universities during 2002 to March 2011. After the implementation of the initial policy, review has suggested that by expanding the network collaboration, such as establishing intervarsity IP information sharing system within their university networks, the universities can fully aware of and identify technologies that were created by them and are beneficial to the industrial sector. In addition, expanding the network collaboration can also help the universities to quickly develop mechanisms that will enable them properly protect and utilize their acquired IP rights. Accordingly, after 2011, the initial policy has expanded its scope and became the current IP Advisors Program.
Japan is expected to improve its nation’s ability to innovate and create new technologies. To attain this goal, Japan has identified that the basis for industry-academia-government R&D consortiums is through obtaining information on universities’ and other academic organizations’ research technologies and IP so that Japan can appropriately place these universities in the appropriate wide-area network. This will allow the universities within the wide-area network to establish IP management policy to properly protect and utilize their IP rights.
The current IP Advisors Program is conducted through application from the universities in established wide-area network to JIII. Upon review of the application, JIII will then dispatch the IP Advisor to the applicant university of that wide-area network. IP Advisors not only can provide solutions to general IP related problems, they can also provide professional advice and service on how to establish and operate IP management system for all the universities within the wide-area network.
B. IP advisors’ role
In principle, IP Advisors are stationed to the Administrative School or Major Supporting School within the wide-area network. IP Advisors can be dispatched to other member schools (“Member Schools”) or provide telephone inquiry service by answering IP related questions. In other words, IP Advisors are not stationed in any Member Schools to manage their IP management affairs, rather, IP Advisors advise or instruct the IP managers of the Member Schools on how to establish and utilize IP management system based on the Member School’s infrastructure. The contents of IP Advisors roles listed are as follows:
(a) Assist with activities within the wide-area network.
1. assist with establishing information sharing system between universities within the wide-area network;
2. assist with solving region-based or technology-based IP problems;
3. provide inquiry service for planning activities within wide-area network; and
4. provide inquiry service on other wide-area networks activities planning.
(b) Provide services for Member Schools (Type 1) with undeveloped IP management system.
1. investigate or analyze the available IP management system in the Member Schools;
2. assist with drafting a plan to establish IP management system (through an assisting role) and provide instructions or advices accordingly;
3. direct personnel training (i.e. provide education on invention evaluation, assessment on applying for patent and contracts);
4. advocate different regimes of IP; and
5. collect relevant information on new developing technologies.
(c) Provide services for Member Schools (Type 1) with developed IP management system
1. investigate or analyze the available IP management system in the Member Schools;
2. provide advices or instructions on the application of IP management department;
3. provide advices or instructions for solving IP management problems;
4. direct personnel training (i.e. provide education on invention evaluation, assessment on applying for patent and contracts);
5. advocate different regimes of IP; and
6. gather relevant information on new developing technologies.
(d) Provide services for Member Schools (Type 2)
1.Share and exchange information through network conference.
C. Recruitment process and criteria
JIII adopts an open recruitment process without a set number of allocated IP Advisor positions. Working location is based in Member Schools of wide-area network in Japan. In principle, IP Advisors are stationed in Administrative Schools or Major Supporting Schools within the wide-area network and can only provide telephone inquiry service or temporary assignment for assistance to the Member Schools (Type 1). However, it is noted that IP Advisors do not belong to any specific university within the wide-area network, they are employed by JIII under an exclusive contract. Based on 2013 example, IP Advisors’ employment contract started from 1 April 2013 and expires on 31 March 2014. IP Advisors’ salary and travelling expenses are paid by JIII. However, expenses for Members School (Type 1) establishing a working environment and any other disbursements should be paid by the Member School (Type 1).
Furthermore, under the implementation of the current policy with respect to IP Advisors who are unable to comply with the new criteria, previous contract is considered as a non-periodical contract for the IP Advisors to continue to station in the university. However, if IP Advisor is stationed in a specific university, it must be limited to a maximum of 3 years. Due to the IP Advisors’ work, they must comply with the privacy law and keep any obtained information confidential.
D. IP advisors’ qualification
1. Require a high level of professional knowledge on IP management system
IP Advisor candidates must have relevant experience working in the industry with IP management system department, operation planning department, R&D department (collectively refer as “IP Management Related Departments”).
2. Have relevant experience in directing trainings in IP Management Related Departments
IP Advisor candidates must have the ability to train personnel in IP Management.
3. Can provide IP strategies based on the demands.
IP Advisor candidates must have the ability to plan and utilize IP strategies to achieve optimal outcomes in R&D base on the circumstances and needs of different universities.
4. Have referral from the supervisors.
IP Advisor candidates who are currently employed must be able to obtain a referral from their current positions’ supervisor, IP manager or personnel from higher up. IP Advisor candidates who are current unemployed must be able to obtain a referral from their previous employment.
E. IP advisors’ selection process
Based on JIII’s “University Network IP Advisors Adopted Standards” (“Adopted Standards”), IP Advisors are selected first through written application followed by interview. After a comprehensive assessment, all qualified candidates will be compared based on their compatibility of the essential criteria and other non-essential criteria, and finally selecting the most suitable candidate for the wide-area network.
F. Application criteria for IP advisors services
1.Common requirements for Member Schools of wide-area network
(a) must be an university or educational organization pursuant to the School Education Act (No. 26 of 1947) and must be able to conduct research and have set number of entry students and graduates per year;and
(b) university must have developed IP related technology or design.
2. Criteria for wide-area network
(a) Must have minimum of 3 and maximum of 8 Member Schools (Type 1) and 10 or less Member Schools (Type 2) combined, and have Member School (Type 1) entering wide-area network;
(b) Must clearly state the nature of network as region-based or technology-based;
(c) With Administrative School as base, the network must have collaborative system to plan network events;
(d) Administrative School must be able to propose and carry out network events which can benefit Member Schools (Type 1) and the society through annual business plan.
(e) Must be capable to provide indirect assistance to IP Advisors who are limited by time and region such that there is a proper environment to conduct wide-area network events.
3. Entry requirement for Member Schools (Type 1)
(a) Must include in the university’s policy that they will become a Member School (Type 1) in the network and provide assistance to IP Advisors accordingly;
(b) IP management and IP utilization system must be clearly implemented;
(c) must clearly state the scope of responsibility in relation to the collaboration with the Administration School;
(d) Propose and carry out an annual business plan which can improve IP management and utilization system to a certain level on their own; and
(e) Has the facility to allow IP Advisors to provide assistance and service.
4. Entry requirement for Member Schools (Type 2)
(a) Must include in the university’s policy that they will become a Member School (Type 2);
(b) Same as paragraph F(3)(b) in this article; and
(c) Same as paragraph F(3)(c) in this article.
G. Current status quo
The original aim was to establish the initial IP Advisors Program to assist with university’s IP management system by dispatching IP Advisors to 60 and more universities from 2002 to March 2011. The current wide-area university network IP Advisors Program started on April 2011. Since then, JIII has dispatched IP Advisors to 8 wide-area networks. In addition, IP Advisors have also been dispatched to wide-area network with art and design colleges/universities.
During year 2011, IP Advisors has achieved and completed several IP management policies as follows: 7 IP policies, 3 academia-industry collaboration policies, 2 conflicting interest policies and 2 collaborative research policies etc.
This article is based on a legal perspective view point, taking Japan’s IP Advisors Program as a reference to provide the following recommendations on the topic of network for academia-industry collaboration in Taiwan.
A. Separate levels of collaboration base on needs
Using Japan’s policy as an example, universities within the wide-area network require different content of services tailored to each university individually, and the universities can be categorized into two types of member schools based to the content of services. Accordingly, it is recommended that the Government should consider a similar approach to the Japan’s policy when establishing IP management alliance and forming network of IP management system. For instance, design different levels of content and collaboration, and thus expand collaboration targets to gradually include major legal research institute, technology transfer centre for universities, and IP services in northern, center and southern area of Taiwan. This will allow collaboration of these organizations to coordinate IP programs such as IP northern, application and utilization with ease.
B. Emphasis on the idea of establishing and maintaining IP basic facilities
Based on Japan’s past experience, it is recommended that before expanding IP Advisors related policy to solve regional IP problems, universities must first be assisted to improve their own IP management system, which has taken Japan almost 10 years to improve their universities’ IP management system. From the current IP management system policy, it can be observed that the establishment of IP management system has a certain relevant importance. Furthermore, there is an emphasis on IP Advisors’ experience in training IP managers. Accordingly, it is recommended that the Government in future planning of network IP collaborate system should set short term and long term goal flexibly, such that the basic IP facilities within the members of the network can develop continuously. For example, short term goal for a legal research institute can be growing to a certain size for it to adjust or implement IP related policies. As for longer term goal, it can be a requirement to set up a unit or department to operate and manage IP.
C. Expanding the definition of ‘Networks”
Taiwan and Japan are high populated country on an island with limited land. Thus, if Taiwan and Japan insist on maintaining the geographic position for networking concept and adopting such concept on the regional economics for cluster effects, then it is difficult for Taiwan and Japan to compete with American Silicon Valley or other overseas universities.
In light of the above, on establishing network of IP collaborative system, the Government should take reference from Japan’s practice in 2012 and combine same industry such as medicine industry or art industry in the definition of network. This will accelerate the integration of IP experience, information, and operation management capability within the network of same industry.
In conclusion, in order to establish academia-industry IP collaboration system and efficiently improve Taiwan’s IP management system in research organizations, first must focus on various policies tailored for different levels of collaboration so that it can be integrated and expand the integration of IP resources such that there is a good foundation to develop IP basic facilities. Following the establishment of good IP foundation, it can then be further develop to more complex IP programs such as IP landscape, planning and strategizing etc.
The IP Strategy of Collaboration during COVID-19 Pandemic in Taiwan 1. IP strategy during COVID-19 pandemic Since the end of 2019, the coronavirus disease called “COVID-19” has become a global pandemic. World Health Organization (WHO) has announced that COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on Feb. 12, 2020. WHO also announced that the new corona virus pandemic is requiring substantial efforts to enable regular information sharing and research, the global community should demonstrate solidarity and cooperation. Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, the Secretary-General of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), pointed out that Collaboration is the engine of global science under COVID-19 pandemic. Global community should take the experience of Ebola outbreak in 2014-15, through global collaboration can provide opportunities both to create new knowledge and to increase the impact of research by diffusing existing knowledge, quickly and at all levels. Both “openness on data” and “open science in real time” are the key factors of improving collaboration under the crisis. Chesbrough (2020) noted that the pandemic stimulating innovation in management of intellectual property, such as initiatives like “Open COVID Pledge” encourages companies and universities to release intellectual property for fighting against COVID-19. The IP strategy based on “Open Innovation” concept can go much further, to play an important role in recovering after the crisis. There are two international famous cases in Taiwan, “National face mask production team” and “Face mask map” helped Taiwanese people to overcome the crisis lack of masks during the pandemic. Both cases show the importance of open innovation in facing the crisis, and contain the concept of IP strategy based on collaboration. 2. National face mask production team Because over 80% of face masks rely on imports, Taiwanese government was aware of the lack of masks when the epidemic began. Since the first COVID-19 case in Taiwan was confirmed on Jan. 21, surgical face masks were sold out in a very short time. The government banned the export of masks on Jan. 24 for controlling the shortages, but it was still a big problem that the production lines at that time could not afford the demand of Taiwanese people. Therefore, how to obtain a large number of mask production lines in a short time and ensure the supply of raw materials had become the primary issue. The government invested NT$200 million (US$6.66 million) and recruited over 100 technicians to form the team named “National face mask production team”. The national team is composed of volunteers from industry and research institutions, especially from Taiwan Machine Tool and Accessory Builders' Association (TMBA). From Feb. 5 to Mar. 5, the national team completed an estimated half a year’s workload including 62 mask production lines. And the team immediately started the second phase of work to meet the extremely large domestic demand for masks, finally they completed 92 mask production line 6 weeks and continue to assist the government in anti-counterfeiting masks. The key factor for the team to complete such a large amount of work in a very short time is not only the selfless dedication of team members but they effectively utilize and share their advantages in their own industrial field. These team members are “Hidden Champions” of global supply chain, after understanding the composition and principle of each part of the mask production line, they immediately began to assign the work and contributed their skill, know-how and experience of machine tools and accessories for mask-producing collaboration. 3. Face mask map In additional to the national face mask production team case, the “face mask map” is another successful case of collaboration during the epidemic in Taiwan. In the beginning of the epidemic, Taiwanese people rushed to buy surgical face masks, resulting in insufficient supply of domestic masks. The government implemented face mask purchase controlling such as limiting three per day and later only two per week through the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA). According to the rationing system, people can buy surgical face masks at NHIA-contracted pharmacies near their home. But in fact, due to the face mask distribution information was not disclosed, people often have to go to many pharmacies to buy masks. Thus, people spontaneously developed “face mask map”, combined with pharmacy locations on Google Maps and the data of inventory quantity in each pharmacies, to help people know where to buy surgical face masks. Taiwan’s Minister without Portfolio Audrey Tang was in collaboration with Taiwanese software engineers to develop a “real-time map” of local face mask supplies through connecting pharmacy locations on Google Maps and the data of mask inventory quantity in NHIA’s database. With the support of the NHIA database opened according to the license terms compatible with Creative Commons (CC) 4.0, the platform contains over 100 programs and applications was successfully created by public-private collaboration. This platform is jointly maintained by the open community, each member of the community can actively report the updated version information of the applications. Even if the platform has retired due to the implementation of “Name-based Mask Distribution System 3.0”, the successful experience of public-private collaboration platform through “open data” and “open source software” becomes an important foundation of future development. 4. Collaborative IP strategy for crisis management In different from the traditional IP strategy that emphasizes on excluding others from implementing the patents, the collaborative IP strategy pays more attention to the potential of community co-creation. In the face of the crisis of the epidemic, people are willing to share their IP, know-how and experience to gain more time to fight the epidemic. The collaborative IP strategy can implement the concept of open innovation through knowledge sharing, and flexibly use various IP resources in the face of crisis. Especially in the face of a crisis like COVID-19 that has never been dealt with, the collaborative IP strategy can effectively collect the knowledge and creativity of the community. Cases of “National face mask production team” and “Face mask map” can be used as models for collaboration in the face of crisis, and even continue to be used for recovery after the epidemic. The open innovation theory supports open, flexible and highly interactional “creative networks”. At the same time, the collaborative IP strategy serves as a means to implement the open innovation theory. Even though many open communities’ IP strategy such as “free and open source software” or “creative commons” do not originate from the open innovation theory, the theory can still provide guidance for collaborative IP strategies in times of crisis. The collaborative IP strategy should not be limited to the sharing of patents, copyrights or trademark rights but include the skill, know-how, experience and idea, which is able to effectively organize community collaboration and innovation in the face of crisis. World Health Organization, Statement on the second meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) (2020), https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/30-01-2020-statement-on-the-second-meeting-of-the-international-health-regulations-(2005)-emergency-committee-regarding-the-outbreak-of-novel-coronavirus-(2019-ncov) (last visited Oct. 19, 2020). Mukhisa Kituyi, COVID-19: Collaboration is the engine of global science – especially for developing countries, World Economic Forum, May 15, 2020, https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/05/global-science-collaboration-open-source-covid-19/ (last visited Oct. 20, 2020).  Henry W. Chesbrough, To recover faster from Covid-19, open up: Managerial implications from an open innovation perspective, Industrial Marketing Management, Apr. 16, 2020, available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2020.04.010 (last visited Oct. 26, 2020). Central News Agency, How a team of technicians is helping Taiwan triple mask production, Taiwan News, Mar. 25, 2020, https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3903970 (last visited Oct. 30, 2020). Keoni Everington, Taiwan platform includes over 100 apps showing mask availability in stores, Taiwan News, Feb. 27, 2020, https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3882111 (last visited Oct. 30, 2020). Ali Jazairy, Impact of Collaborative Innovation on IP and Future Trends in IP, Les Nouvelles, 47, 224 (2012).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.A Preliminary Study on The Legal Effect of the Blockchain-Generated Data in Taiwan
A Preliminary Study on The Legal Effect of the Blockchain-Generated Data in Taiwan I. Preface Governments around the world have set various regulations and guidelines to deal with the increasing application of blockchain technology, trying to keep the law up to date with technological development and the latest trends. Among them, the application of blockchain technology to regulations has become a hot topic. Because of its features, such as immutable, easy to verify and transparently disclosed, it can improve the efficiency of law enforcement and reduce cost. Moreover, decentralization and the verification mechanism generated by mathematical computation can avoid the disputes arising from the existing system, in which the mechanism is set up and controlled by independent institutions, and thus the credibility could be universal. The international trend also shows the importance attached to the application of blockchain technology in the legal field. In 2017, the “Legal Services Innovation Index”, a study conducted by the Michigan State University College of Law and Google evaluated the level of innovation of law firms according to the search data on innovation indicators of the world’s major law firms. Blockchain has the highest number of clicks among all indices, and the average number of clicks of blockchain is more than twice that of AI. In addition, there are international cases regarding the connection between the blockchain technology and legal provisions as well as the real cases that used blockchain technology to handle legal matters. An organization, such as the Global Legal Blockchain Consortium (GLBC), work with enterprises, law firms, software development units, and schools to study the standards formulation and application methods of the application of blockchain technology to law-related matters.  This article will first discuss the legal enforceability of data generated by the blockchain technology through international cases, then review Taiwan’s current status and the legal enforceability of the data generated by the blockchain technology and to explore possible direction for regulatory adjustment if the government intends to ease the restriction on the application of blockchain in the fields of evidence authentication and deposition. II. International cases 1. US case: adjust the existing regulations and recognize the enforceability of blockchain technology The amendment HB2417 to the Arizona Electronic Transactions Act (AETA) signed by Arizona in April 2017 defines the blockchain technology and smart contracts and recognizes their legal effect on signatures, records and smart contracts. HB2417 defines “blockchain technology” as a “distributed, decentralized, shared and replicated ledger, which may be public or private, permissioned or permissionless, or driven by “tokenized crypto economics or tokenless” and provides that the “data on the ledger” is protected with cryptography, is immutable and auditable and provides an uncensored truth.” It’s worth noting that although, by definition, the data is true, it is uncensored truth in nature, which emphasizes the originality of the data. A “smart contract” is an “event driven program, with state, that runs on a distributed, decentralized, shared and replicated ledger that can take custody over and instruct transfer of assets on that ledger.” Under the original AETA regulations, records or signatures in electronic form cannot be deprived of legal validity and enforceability merely because they are in electronic form. To eliminate the legal uncertainty of any blockchain related transactions and smart contracts related to digital assets, HB 2417 states that a signature that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic signature, and a record or contract that is secured through blockchain technology is considered to be in an electronic form and to be an electronic record. The statute also provides that smart contracts may exist in business, and a contract relating to a transaction may not be denied legal effect, validity or enforceability solely because that contract contains a “smart contract term.” This makes the enforceability of electronic signing and electronic transactions made by Arizona’s blockchain technology equivalent to that of the signature and contract made by the traditional written format. In the following year, the Ohio governor signed the amendment SB220 to the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) in August 2018, which took effect from November. The focus of the amendment is the same as that in Arizona. Although, unlike HB 2417, SB220 does not define blockchain technology, the added content can still guarantee the enforceability of electronic signatures and contracts made by the blockchain technology. The focus of the two amendments in the US is to supplement and revise the laws and regulations made in the past so that they are applicable to the transaction method under blockchain technology and have the same effect as other recognized methods. This reduces the uncertainty related to blockchain technology at the regulatory and commercial application level, and is expected to attract the blockchain related companies, investors and developers. 2. Case of China: The enforceability of blockchain technology in evidence deposition is recognized in line with courts’ new type of judgment. In September 2018, the Supreme People's Court implemented “The Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Trial of Cases by Internet Courts,” in which Paragraph 2 of Article 11 mentions that where the authenticity of the electronic data submitted by a party can be proven through electronic signature, trusted time stamp, hash value check, blockchain or any other evidence collection, fixation or tamper-proofing technological means, or through the certification on an electronic evidence collection and preservation platform, the Internet court shall make a confirmation. It shows that the Internet court can recognize the evidence deposited by blockchain technology, and its enforceability is equivalent to that of other technologies if its authenticity can be proved. Paragraph 1 of the same article also proposes the basis for review and judgment on the relevant standards for the broad definition of electronic evidence recognition. “The authenticity of generation, collection, storage and transmission process of the electronic data shall be examined and judged, and the items to be reviewed include whether the hardware and software environments such as the computer system based on which electronic data is generated, collected, stored and transmitted are safe and reliable; whether electronic data originator and generation time are specified, and whether the contents shown are clear, objective and accurate; whether the storage and safekeeping media of electronic data are definite, and whether the safekeeping methods and means are appropriate; whether electronic data extractor and fixer, and electronic data extraction and fixation tools and methods are reliable, and whether the extraction process can be reproduced; whether the contents of electronic data are added, deleted, modified or incomplete, or fall under any other circumstance; and whether electronic data can be verified in specific methods.” The judgment is based on a clear review. It is a supplement to the notarization process, which was the solo judgment basis for the enforceability of digital evidence. In addition, the rules on proof are clearly set out in Article 9, which covers two situations: online and offline. For offline evidence, the parties can convert it into electronic materials by scanning, re-shooting and duplicating, and then upload it to the litigation platform. For online evidence, it can be divided into two situations. One is the online electronic evidence possessed by the party, which can be imported to the litigation platform by providing links or uploading materials. The other is that the Internet court can obtain the structural information of the relevant cases from the e-commerce platform operators, Internet service providers and electronic data deposition and retrieve platform, and import it to the litigation platform to directly provide the information to both parties so that they can select and prove their claims. In this way, the court can use technical means to complete the migration and visual presentation of information. Before the Supreme People's Court enforced the provisions, the Hangzhou Internet Court of China recognized the enforceability of electronic evidence under the blockchain technology when hearing a copyright dispute in June 2018. The court's judgment pointed out that after reviewing the impartiality, technical level and evidence preservation methods of the blockchain evidence deposit service provider, the enforceability of the evidence is recognized, and thus the case was deemed infringement. Beijing Dongcheng District Court also reviewed the blockchain deposition technology in an infringement of information network communication in September of the same year, including data generation, deposition, preservation, and recognized the enforceability of electronic evidence made by the blockchain technology. The court adopted the electronic evidence. The Beijing Internet Court allows evidence deposition of the litigation files and evidence uploaded to the electronic litigation platform through the Balance Chain of evidence deposition established by the blockchain technology when handling the litigation cases online. This can prevent tampering and ensure the safety of litigation while keeping possible litigation evidence to facilitate verification in the future. While the Balance Chain is going online, the supporting standards, including the Beijing Internet Court Electronic Evidence Platform Access and Management Standards, the Enforcement Rules of the Beijing Internet Court Electronic Evidence Platform Access and Management Standards, the Application Form for Beijing Internet Court Electronic Evidence Deposition Access and the Instruction on the Beijing Internet Court Electronic Evidence Deposition Access Interface, are released simultaneously. These supporting standards prescribe the requirement of receivers, the requirement for the electronic information system of the receiver and the requirement for the juridical application of the evidence platform in details from the practical point of view so that the potential receivers can interconnect in a compliant manner while ensuring the quality of the connected data. III. Taiwan’s current situation In the above cases, the United States amended the laws and regulations related to the electronic transaction by increasing the scope of the terms, such as electronic forms of records, signatures and transactions so that the records, signatures and transactions made by the blockchain technology is as effective as that of other technologies. According to Article 9 of the Taiwanese Electronic Signatures Act, the enforceability of the data generated by blockchain technology shall still be judged case by case in terms of the technology for electronic documents, signature and transaction formation, and its applicability or exclusion shall be determined by laws or administrative agencies. In China, the role of electronic data is discussed in the relevant standards used by the Internet Court to examine the cases. Regarding the definition of electronic materials, electronic records and electronic documents, Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Taiwanese Electronic Signatures Act defines electronic document as a record in electronic form, which is made of “any text, sound, picture, image, symbol, or other information generated by electronic or other means not directly recognizable by human perceptions, and which is capable of conveying its intended information.” In addition, Article 4 states “With the consent of the other party, an electronic record can be employed as a declaration of intent. Where a law or regulation requires that information be provided in writing, if the content of the information can be presented in its integrity and remains accessible for subsequent reference, with the consent of the other party, the requirement is satisfied by providing an electronic record. By stipulation of a law or regulation or prescription of a government agencies, the application of the two preceding paragraphs may be exempted, or otherwise require that particular technology or procedure be followed. In the event that particular technology or procedure is required, the stipulation or prescription shall be fair and reasonable, and shall not provide preferential treatment without proper justifications.”  The electronic records, regardless of the type of technology, are given the same effect as paper documents with the consent of both parties. In litigation, electronic records, electronic evidence or similar terms are not found in the Criminal Code of the Republic of China, the Civil Code, the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Taiwan Code of Civil Procedure. The adoption of electronic records often refers to Paragraph 2 of Article 220 of the Criminal Code of the Republic of China. An audio recording, a visual recording, or an electromagnetic recording and the voices, images or symbols that are shown through the computer process and are sufficient evidence of intention shall be considered a document. The content that is considered meaningful is that the identity of the person expressing the content is identifiable according to the content and can be used to prove legal relationship or fact in social life. The relevant standards for proof under the electronic evidence follow Article 363 of the Taiwan Code of Civil Procedure. For non-documentary objects which operate as documents, including those are accessible only through technological devices or those that are practically difficult to produce their original version, a writing representing its content along with a proof of the content represented as being true to the original will be acceptable. However, the way of proof or recognition standards are not sufficiently described. Or according to Paragraph 2 of Article 159-4 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, “documents of recording nature, or documents of certifying nature made by a person in the course of performing professional duty or regular day to day business, unless circumstances exist making it obviously unreliable. In addition”, and Paragraph 3 “ Documents made in other reliable circumstances in addition to the special circumstances specified in the preceding two Items.”  In fact, the Juridical Yuan started to promote the electronic litigation platform (including online litigation) in 2016, and has launched the online litigation business by gradually opening the application for different types of applicants and litigation. However, there is no description on the technical type and inspection standards of electronic evidence. Moreover, only the litigation evidence is uploaded. There is no evidence deposition before litigation for comparison during litigation. Under Taiwan’s laws and regulations, electronic evidence and its proving method is not significantly different from other types of evidence. The judgment of evidence shall still depend on judges’ recognition on the evidence. Taking the practice of criminal litigation as an example, it can be viewed at three levels: 1. The submission of the evidence. If the evidence is collected illegally, not following a statutory method or is not logically related to the pending matters, it will be excluded. This is the way to determine whether the evidence is eligible to enter the evidence investigation process. 2. In the investigation of evidence, the method of investigation (e.g., whether it is legal), the determination of relevance and the debate on evidence (e.g., to confirm the identity of the person producing the electronic evidence, whether the electronic evidence is identical to the original version without addition, deletion or alteration) are investigated during the investigation procedure. 3. The debate on evidence is to determine the power of the evidence by considering the relationship among the elements that constitute the whole and whether the evidence can prove the connection among all elements. In addition, whether the electronic evidence is consistent with the original version is often based on Article 80 of the Notary Act, "When making notarial deeds, notaries shall write down the statements listened to, the circumstances witnessed, and other facts they have actually experienced. The means and results of the experience shall also be stated in the notarial deeds.”  A notary shall review the electronic evidence and record the inspection process and the inspection results to demonstrate its credibility. VI. Conclusions and recommendations According to the latest 2050 smart government plan announced in the Executive Yuan’s 3632nd meeting held on December 27, 2018, the government is planning to connect the database of each government agency through blockchain technology, and the plan also includes establishment of digital identification. It is foreseeable that there will be more and more electronic materials, documents and records connected by blockchain technology in the future. When it comes to improve management efficiency and reduce the barriers to introduce this technology to various sectors, it is necessary to adjust the related regulations. At present, there are no statutory provisions for the technology that assist the use of the electronic evidence involved in traditional litigation channels or online platforms, including using blockchain for evidence deposition and authentication . This also poses uncertainty to the judges when they make judgments. If we consider the continuous development and breakthrough of technology, which is relatively faster than the legislative process, and the traditional tangible transactions and contracts are still the majority in life, Taiwan has defined electronic materials, electronic records and electronic documents in the Electronic Signatures Act to ensure and strengthen the legal rights and benefits under the adoption of the technology. In addition, the Electronic Signatures Act also reserves the right to determine whether the technology is applicable to the laws and regulations or administrative agencies. In other words, the technology behind electronic materials, records and documents are not specified, and the aforementioned electronic materials have the same effect as the contracts and signature as the traditional written format. However, there are no standards to specify which standards are valid for evidence deposition and authentication for electronic materials on the level of deposition and authentication. In the future, when improving the relevant functions of the online litigation platform, the Juridical Yuan can also consider using technologies, such as blockchain or timestamps to provide evidence deposition service, which is expected to enhance the efficiency of evidence verification for online litigation in the future and prevent wasting review resources on invalid evidence for a better operation mode. This is in line with the government's policy direction. By providing support and demonstration of emerging technologies, not only limited to blockchain, on the legal level, it can reduce the public’s uncertainty and risk on introducing or applying the technology to legal process. This is very helpful in realizing a large scale application of the technology.  Legal Services Innovation Index, Phase 1, Version 1.0, https://www.legaltechinnovation.com/law-firm-index/ (last visited on Jan. 11, 2019).  For example, Arizona's Arizona Electronic Transactions Act (AETA) and Ohio’s Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA) described the electronic signature and the enforceability of contracts under blockchain technology; in China, Beijing Internet Court provides litigation files and litigation evidence deposition service based on blockchain technology for future litigation.  The Global Legal Blockchain Consortium website, https://legalconsortium.org/ (last visited on Jan. 11, 2019).  H.B. 2417, 53th Leg., 1st Regular. (AZ. 2017).  S.B. 220, 132ND General Assembly. (OH. 2017-2018). “The Provisions on Several Issues Concerning the Trial of Cases by Internet Courts,” the Supreme People's Court of the People’s Republic of China http://www.court.gov.cn/zixun-xiangqing-116981.html (last visited on Jan. 11, 2019).  Tencent Research Institute, <The era of judicial blockchain has arrived? ——from the two cases of blockchain electronic deposition>, October 23, 2018, https://ek21.com/news/1/132154/ (last visited on Jan. 11, 2019).  Securities Daily, <Beijing Dongcheng District Court confirmed the evidence collection by blockchain for the first time-- application of "blockchain + justice" for new opportunities in history> October 20, 2018, https://www.jinse.com/bitcoin/258170.html (last visited on Jan. 11, 2019).  Paragraph 1 of Article 2 of the Electronic Signatures Act  Article 4 of the Electronic Signatures Act  Paragraph 2 of Article 220, “A writing, symbol, drawing, photograph on a piece of paper or an article which by custom or by special agreement is sufficient evidence of intention therein contained shall be considered a document within the meaning of this Chapter and other chapters. So shall be an audio recording, a visual recording, or an electromagnetic recording and the voices, images or symbols that are shown through computer process and are sufficient evidence of intention.”  Article 363 of the Taiwan Code of Civil Procedure, “The provisions of this Item shall apply mutatis mutandis to non-documentary objects which operate as documents. Where the content of a document or an object provided in the preceding paragraph is accessible only through technological devices or it is practically difficult to produce its original version, a writing representing its content along with a proof of the content represented as being true to the original will be acceptable. The court may, if necessary, order an explanation of the document, object, or writing representing the content thereof provided in the two preceding paragraphs.”  Paragraph 2 of Article 159-4 of the Code of Criminal Procedure  Liberty Times, <The Juridical Yuan is promoting “E-litigation.” Two new systems are on the road.” August 1, 2018, http://news.ltn.com.tw/news/society/breakingnews/2506118 (last visited on Jan. 11, 2019).  Chih-Lung Chen, “Seminar on the Reform of the Code of Criminal Procedure 3: Revision Direction of Rule of Evidence,” The Taiwan Law Review, Issue 52, Page 71-73 (1999).  Article 80 of the Notary Act.  BlockTempo, <The Executive Yuan Announced the Smart Government New Plan: the Taiwan Government will Use Blockchain Technology to Establish Information Exchange Mechanism of Various Agencies>, January 2, 2019, https://www.blocktempo.Com/taiwan-gv-want-to-use-blockchain-tech-build-data/ (last visited on Jan. 11, 2019).Brief Overview of the Recent Progress of the TIPS Project and Important Developments of Taiwan’s IP Protection Environment
Chien-Shan Chiu I. Introduction Taiwan, a country with limited natural resources, has been seen to create rapid economic development for the past few decades. This achievement has been praised as an “economic miracle” and making Taiwan one of Asia’s “Four Tigers1”. The success is a result of the tremendous hard work and efforts exerted by the local people and enterprises and the forward-looking national policies initiated by the government. Recognizing fast technology breakthroughs and globalization trend are going to have major impacts on the traditional ways of managing business and may as a result change the current competitive landscape, the government of Taiwan has promoted vigorously of transforming Taiwan into a “green silicon island” with high value-added production2. The goal is to make Taiwan an innovation headquarters for local enterprises and a regional research and development center for international corporations. It is hoped that eventually, Taiwan will not only be known as a country manufacturing high-quality “ Made in Taiwan” products as it is now, but also an innovative country producing products that are “Designed in Taiwan”. In order to encourage more innovation and to create more high value-added products, several national strategies were initiated by the government. One of the most important policies in today’s knowledge-based economy is certainly to provide a sound and effective intellectual property protection environment so that the results created from human intelligence can be well protected and utilized. This essay provides an overview of the recent progress of the TIPS (stands for Taiwan Intellectual Property System) project, which is currently promoted by the Science and Technology Law Center. The TIPS project is an innovative program solely developed by the Taiwanese scholars in year 2003 and has since achieved quite significant success. The second part of this essay gives a brief introduction of the recent changes made to the intellectual property system in Taiwan. II. Overview of the Recent Progress of the TIPS Project 1. The “Developmental Stage” The TIPS project has been promoted at the initiative of the Intellectual Property Office of the Ministry of Economic Affairs in 2003. The main goal of this project is to develop a set of guidelines for managing intellectual property to be implemented by the Taiwanese enterprises. At “developmental stage”, academic journal articles and relevant legislative requirements were gathered; intellectual property management experts were consulted and companies with good and effective intellectual property management practices were interviewed. All of the information and advises were collected and analyzed and formulated into a set of guidelines which basically covers the whole cycle of intellectual property management right starts from its creation, protection, maintenance and exploitation. The types of intellectual property rights managed include patent, trade mark, copyright and trade secret. A hearing for the draft guidelines was held in 2004. A pilot study was done by selecting eight representative domestic companies in 2005. All the public opinions, comments and advises from the trial companies were collected and used to revise the draft guidelines. The revised guidelines were then formally promulgated on March 23, 2007. The project then entered into a full “promotional stage” where the Science and Technology Law Centered entrusted by The Industrial Development Bureau of the Ministry of Economic Affairs was responsible for promoting the project. As the fundamental objective of TIPS is to assist companies to establish an effective internal intellectual property management system at relatively low cost, the whole system was developed based upon the ISO 9001:2000 Quality Management Standard. Since the ISO standards are widely recognized and adopted by many Taiwanese enterprises, for an enterprise with ISO system implemented, TIPS can be easily integrated into the existing ISO standards, conflicts between these two systems will be minimized and it will only require minimum organization structural changes and implementation costs. Further, by incorporating the PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Action) model and “process-oriented approach” of ISO 9001:2000, the IP management processes implemented within an enterprise possess the feature of being able to be continuously improved. 2. The “Promotional Stage” In order to facilitate the promotion and draw more public attention to TIPS, various supplementary measures were introduced: (1) Free on-line self-assessment tool A collection of 50 questions is provided on the TIPS website3. Once a company has registered as a member of TIPS (simply by filling up some details about the company), it can use these questions to self-assess the effectiveness and adequacy of its existing (if any) IP management infrastructure. After the company has completed all the questions, the on-line tool would automatically generate few suggestions relating to the management of intellectual property based on the answers provided by the company. The company can also find out how they stand among all the enterprises which have taken the assessment previously. The on-line self-assessment tool is the initial step for those companies wanting to know more about TIPS. Once they realize that they are far behind the requirements of an effective IP management system, they can then move on to the next stage to implement TIPS. (2) On-Site Diagnostic and Consulting Service Once a company has completed the on-line self-assessment questions, it is then eligible to apply for a more detailed assessment of its internal IP management infrastructure conducted by a qualified IP service consultant. The IP service consultant will interview the managers responsible for managing IP related matters within a company and check relevant internal policies and documents. Concrete advises in relation to the implementation of TIPS will be given based on the inadequacies and problems uncovered during the on-site visit. The cost for the diagnostic and consulting service is fully covered by the government. (3) Model Companies Every year since 2004, some model companies are chosen as “demonstrative” companies for the implementation of TIPS. For instance, a total of 14 enterprises were selected as model companies this year. Among these companies, 3 “clusters of enterprises”, each of which contains 3 companies were chosen. The so-called “cluster of enterprises” is a group of companies that can be constituted by companies providing similar products or services within the same industry, or companies having the relationships as suppliers and consumers or companies within the same corporate structure. The introducing of implementing TIPS through “cluster of enterprises” is a promotion strategy that aims to disseminate the TIPS project more effectively and efficiently. For these selected model companies, certain percentage of the cost for implementing TIPS is subsidized by the government. (4) Certification After an enterprise has fully implemented TIPS, they can then apply for certification. All the prescribed documents must firstly be sent to the TIPS working team which is responsible for all the administrative works of TIPS. After a formality check, 2 or 3 (depending on the size of the enterprise) IP experts will be chosen to conduct an on-site inspection to determine whether the newly implemented IP management system meets the minimum requirements of TIPS. If the experts are satisfied with the inspection result, a certificate for the compliance of TIPS will be issued by the Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs. The certificate serves as government’s assurance to the public that the certified enterprise has at least the minimum ability (evaluated in accordance with government’s standard) to manage and protect its intellectual property. (5) IP Management Courses Three types of courses are provided to train IP management personnel. The basic course is an introductory course, which covers the basic principles of TIPS. The intermediate course called The Practical Implementation Course covers more detailed explanations of TIPS and how it can be implemented into the enterprise. Any person who has completed this course and passed the test will receive a certificate. The advance course called Self-Assessment Course teaches students how to evaluate and determine whether their newly developed IP management system conforms to the TIPS requirements. Again, a person who has completed this course and passed the test will receive a certificate. In order for an enterprise to be eligible to apply for a certificate for the compliance of TIPS, the enterprise must firstly furnish a self-assessment report to be completed by a “qualified person”. Such “qualified person” is the person who has successfully obtained the certificate for the completion of Self-Assessment Course. 3. Achievement The TIPS project has received wide recognition since it first launched in year 2004. To the end of 2008, 297 enterprises have completed the on-line self-assessment questions; 73 companies have received on-site diagnostic and consultation services; 618 persons have taken the IP management courses; 45 enterprises have successfully obtained the certificates for the compliance of TIPS and more than142 enterprises have either completed or in the middle of implementing TIPS. Benefits of implementing TIPS as reported by TIPS implemented enterprises are summarized as follows: (1) Company A: Implementing TIPS provides an assurance that Company A has adequate ability to protect the technology secrecy belongs to its international client. Company A thus obtained a new purchasing order worth more than NT$ 100 million. (2) Company B: TIPS assists in enhancing the level of trust on the company’s ability to protect its international client’s confidential information. A new purchasing order worth NT $ 30 million is placed by such client. (3) Company C: Through systematic IP management and IP inventory audit, Company C starts to formulate a plan for licensing out its non-core IP assets. (4) Company D: The alignment of R&D and business strategies required by TIPS ensures the accuracy of the R&D direction. The systematic way of managing the R&D projects also reduces the R&D phase to 45 days, saving R&D expenditure by 10%. (5) Company E: Implementing TIPS helps Company E to formulate a more clear and definite IP mapping strategy. Company E plans to implement TIPS into its whole corporate group in 2008. (6) Company D: Systematic IP management has reduced the number of litigation allegations. Company D plans to implement TIPS into every business unit within its corporate structure in 2008. 4. Proposed New Features of TIPS In answering to the responses receiving from the TIPS implemented enterprises, two new measures are going to be launched in 2009. First, enterprises with effective IP management system and strategies are encouraged to write up an Intellectual Property Management Report summarizing their business, R&D and IP management strategies as well as their accumulated IP assets. Second, an Experience-Sharing Platform is going to be established where enterprises can freely exchange their experiences of managing IP and how to formulate an effective IP management strategy. III. Recent Development of Taiwan’s IP Protection Environment Year 2008 can be said to be a significant year for the history of IP development in Taiwan where three completely new legislations have taken effect this year. The Intellectual Property Court Organization Act4 and the Intellectual Property Case Adjudication Act5 were both promulgated on March 28 2007 and effective as of July 1 under which a new IP Court was established with new laws to govern the adjudication of IP cases. The Patent Attorney Act which governs the qualification and registration of a new patent attorney profession was promulgate on July 11 2007 and effective as of January 11 2008. It is believed that through the commencement of these three new legislations, the accuracy, consistency as well as efficiency of resolving IP-related disputes in Taiwan are going to be significantly improved. A short introduction for each of the three new legislations is provided below: 1. New IP Court A new IP Court was established pursuant to the Intellectual Property Court Organization Act and began to hear cases on July 1 2008. This Court is given jurisdiction to hear first and second instances of a civil action, first instance of an administrative action and the second instance of a criminal action for matters concerning IP rights. For examples, interests arising under the Patent Act, the Trade Mark Act, the Copyright Act, the Trade Secret Act, the Optical Disk Act, the Species of Plants and Seedling Act, the Fair Trade Act and the Regulation Governing the Protection of Integrated Circuits Configurations. Unlike previously, where the validity issues must be determined by the administrative court, the newly established IP Court can hear and decide the validity of an intellectual property right at issue. This will significantly improve the efficiency of resolving an IP dispute. Eight experienced judges were chosen to sit on the bench of the IP Court. Since most IP related matters involve complex technical issues, nine technical examination officers with various technical backgrounds from the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office were chosen to assist and provide their technical expertise and opinions to the IP Court judges. 2. New Laws Governing IP Litigation (1) Litigation procedures The Intellectual Property Case Adjudication Act prescribes rules for adjudicating IP-related disputes. The Act recommends to try an IP infringement case through a 3-step processes. First, to determine the validity of an IP right. Second, to determine whether an IP right has been infringed and finally, to calculate the damages. The IP Court may at any state dismiss the case if it finds the IP right at issue is invalid or not infringed. In order to avoid unnecessary efforts spent on determining whether an IP right is infringed if such right is in fact invalid, the Act requires the IP Court to determine whether a right is infringed only after the invalidity defense raised by the defendant is dismissed. (2) Preliminary injunction The Intellectual Property Case Adjudication Act also introduces the criteria used by the US courts to determine whether a preliminary injunction order should be granted. Before the enactment of this new Act, the requirements for granting preliminary injunction in Taiwan were quite loose as the court could grant a preliminary injunction order without firstly reviewing the merit of the case. The new adopted US criteria require the judges to determine the likelihood of success on the merits of the case; whether a substantial threat of irreparable damage or injury would be caused if injunction is not granted; the balance of harms weighs in favor of the party seeking the preliminary injunction and the impact of the decision on public interest. As the criteria become stricter, it is believed that less preliminary injunctions will be granted. A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction order in the future shall put in more efforts in preparing evidences and reasons arguing that an injunction maintaining the status quo is necessary. (3) Protective orders (as to confidential information) As most IP litigation cases involve matters concerning confidential information or trade secrets, which are often crucial for the survival of an enterprise, the Intellectual Property Case Adjudication Act introduces a protective order into practice to preserve the confidentiality of specific information given by parties to the suit or a third party. A party to the suit or a third party can apply to the court to issue a protective order restraining the accessibility to the protected confidential information and restraining those who have accessed to the confidential information from disclosing it to others. Any intentional violation of the protective order is subject to a criminal liability. It is expected that by introducing the protective order, confidential information or trade secret holder may become more willing to reveal such information, which may assist improving the accuracy of resolving the disputes between parties. (4) Improved evidence preservation procedure Unlike the US court system, Taiwan, a civil law country, does not have discovery or Markman hearing procedures. Before the enactment of the Intellectual Property Case Adjudication Act, even though a judge can ask the parties to preserve evidences for the use of the trial, the judge is however, given no authority of compulsory execution. A party can refuse to comply with the judge’s request without any legal consequence. The new Act now provides compulsory execution of an evidence preservation order. Parties who are subject to the evidence preservation order are obligated to comply with the order. Furthermore, the judge may also request assistance from technical examiners or police department to provide advises. 3. New Patent Attorney Profession The Patent Attorney Act sets the requirements for becoming a qualified patent attorney in Taiwan. According to the Act, patent attorneys should be specialized in both technology and patent regulations. A candidate must firstly pass the Patent Attorney Eligibility Examination, followed by a period of prevocational training, such candidate is then able to register with the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office and join the Patent Attorneys Association. It is hoped that by introducing the new patent attorney profession, the quality of patent applications will be improved and thus reduce the ever increasing workload of patent examiners. IV. Conclusion The initiative of the TIPS project, the establishment of the IP court and the newly implemented patent attorney system all demonstrate the government’s determination to create a more sound and efficient environment for the protection of intellectual property. The overwhelming success of the TIPS project evidenced by the number of enterprises implementing the system indicates that Taiwanese companies are self-motivated, able to see the importance of intellectual property as their main source of competiveness and are ready and willing to move into the next stage of “innovative” management. It is believed that through the government’s pragmatic and foresight policies coupled with the adventurous and hard work spirits possessed by the local enterprises, Taiwan will eventually reach its goal of becoming a “green silicon island”, creating another “economic miracle”. Along with Singapore, Hong Kong and South Korea. http://www.asianinfo.org/asianinfo/taiwan/pro-economy.htm (last visited: 12/31/2008) TIPS website: http://www.tips.org.tw/ http://www.taie.com.tw/English/970520a.pdf (last visited: 12/3132008) http://www.taie.com.tw/English/970520a.pdf (last visited: 12/3132008)