A Preliminary Study on The Legal Effect of the Blockchain-Generated Data in Taiwan
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.
 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.
 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
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 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
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 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.
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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.South Korea’s Strategy for Reinforcing Protection of Corporate Trade Secrets-Trade Secret Protection Center
Preface In order to increase the strength of addressing issues on the infringement of intellectual property for small and medium enterprises, Korean government launched Consultative Committee for Intellectual Property Policies, leading by Presidential Council on Intellectual property and conducting with Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Korean Intellectual Property Office and Ministry of Justice, to discuss how to reinforce efficiency on handling infringement of intellecual property and work on policy for intellectual property protection. Korean government has considered trade secret as the core of corporations; however, corporations think little of it. For this reason, Korea Institute of Patent Information’s Trade Secret Protection Section, in charge of the Trade Secret Protection Center, works to avoid the outflow of business skills and trade secrets, to improve trade secret protection system, to raise awareness of trade secret protection and develops South Korea as an intellectual property power. This article aims to briefly introduce the standard management system, the diagnosis of corporate trade secret and the Trade Secret Certification Service which are schemed out by the Trade Secret Protection Center. Explanation on Major Strategies Trade Secret Diagnosis & Standard Management System In an attempt to offer a diagnosis of current problems about trade secret management in corporations for drawing up suggestions for improvements, the Trade Secret Protection Center sets up a series of questions based on the five categories: organization policy management, document access management, staff management, physical management and information technology management. There are in total 32 questions with detailed sub-questions for knowing if corporations have set up regulations and if the regulations are followed; if the regulations are not followed, if they have strategy to tackle with violation. For example, the question for internet management is to examine on how corporation manages intranet and extranet. Some possible policies are to make them separated, to do authority control or to do nothing. Here is the procedure for diagnosis: 1.Preparation Employees are asked to gather information regarding trade secret management and improvement opinions by a questionnaire. 2.Diagnosis Get the result of how well corporation has done for trade secret management by analyzing the questionnaires. 3.Plan Come up with solutions according to diagnosis. 4.Action Provide suggestions with different levels of work. Level Description A (above 81 point, Excellent) Well-formed trade secret management and great operation B (71-80 point, Good) Limited strategy with law protection for trade secret outflow C (61-70 point, Average) Weak strategy with a lack of law protection for trade secret outflow, management needed D (41-60 point, Fair ) Poor law protection for trade secret outflow, management needed badly F (below 40 point, Poor) High Risk of trade secret outflow The Trade Secret Protection Center will examine and offer staff training periodically in an effort to improve following aspects: 1.Corporation Management (1)Avoid crucial information outflow (2)Systemize issue handling and information authentication process 2.Organization Culture (1)Convey the importance of information protection (2)Decrease the incoordination among departments due to protecting key information (3)Build trade secret protection culture 3.Staff (1)Provide long-term training for trade secret protection (2)Build up ability of trade secret protection The trade secret diagnosis is considered as a way to make trade secret the key intangible asset in corporations and even to increase the competitiveness and to create profits. In addition to the trade secret diagnosis, the Trade Secret Protection Center further provides immature business with the standard management system which contains services with trade secret registration, level distinguishments, authority control, staff management, contract management and certification service. The primary goal of the standard management system is to help with production and maintenance of trade secret certification before issue occurs. When issue happens, the system is right here to submit certification of trade secret and guarantee to the court that nobody can access trade secrets except the possessor of the trade secret and the institution. In other words, the system is intended for following goals: 1.Efficientize Trade Secret Management Save time, money and manpower. Manage trade secret and related information efficiently. 2.Raise Awareness of Trade Secret Protection Among Employees Strengthen awareness and application of trade secret protection by using this system as daily work process 3.Link to the Trade Secret Certification Service Prove the original document of trade secret with the time stamp of ownership for judicial evidences. 4.Link to Information Security Solution Cooperate with various information security solutions, such as trade secret control and outflow block. Trade Secret Certification Service The Trade Secret Certification Service which is built to link to standard management system is put into practice in 2010 by Korean Intellectual Property Office. This service operates by taking the hash values from trade secret e-documents and combining them with authorized time values from trusted third-parties, thereby creating time stamps. Time stamps are then registered with the Korea Institute of Patent Information to prove the existence of original document of trade secrets, as well as and their initial dates of possession. A legal basis is built for the Trade Secret Certification Service in 2014. Amendments of Unfair Competition Prevention and Trade Secret Protection Act indicate registration and proof of the Trade Secret Certification Service and explain that an institution with more than 3 qualified staff and required facilities is eligible to be a Trade Secret Certification Service institution. The Trade Secret Certification Service is characterized by the following properties: 1.Block Trade Secret Outflow Radically Instead of the trade secret itself, this service only asks for hash value of e-records and the authorized time of ownership which make it more secure for corporations to manage trade secrets rather than maintaining under a third-party. 2.Various Electronic Records Available Various types of electronic records are available in this service, such as documents, pictures and video files which could contain production process, laboratory notebook, blueprint, marketing records, financial records, selling information and customer information and contracts. 3.Institution with Credibility It is inevitable that any piece of information could be leaked out; hence trade secret management should be executed by credible institution. For example, corporation can ask the Trade Secret Certification Service Institution to register an original document for a blueprint and get a certification. Then, the corporation can ask for new registration for modified blueprint as well. When issue occurs, the certification would be the proof of original document and time of ownership. As the Trade Secret Certification Service Institution gets legalized, the evidence of original document of trade secrets and initial dates of possession would get more convincible in court. Conclusion The trade secret diagnosis plays an essential role in understanding the level of trade secret management in corporations. The standard management system further provides with improvement and solution for trade secret protection based on diagnosis. In addition, legalized Trade Secret Certification Service also levitates the burden of proof on corporation. South Korea’s experience in trade secret management could be a good example for Taiwan to follow.The Development of Non-Drama TV Programs in Taiwan and the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights
The Development of Non-Drama TV Programs in Taiwan and the Protection of Intellectual Property Rights With the advancement of an era of digital content, the industrial structure of the audio-visual content industry has gradually changed. The production and sales channels of audio-visual content have appeared to trend toward diversification. Emerging content channels or new media have replaced traditional TV stations. The transmission speed of digitized content is faster than the traditional media, which has become an output opportunity for the content of Taiwan in the international market. In the field of drama programs, there have been cases of successful global output, and international cooperation and export models have been gradually discovered. By contrast, non-drama TV programs of Taiwan still remain in the traditional production mode in lack of creation of new content or funds, as well as talents for production and international marketing, which leads to a vicious circle of industrial stagnation or even regression. 1. Problems with domestic non-drama TV programs Funding is the first issue that needs to be resolved. "Due to the lack of money, the only thing that can be done is producing programs that no one wants to watch." Such a condition exists day after day that causes the entire non-drama programs to be depressed, and few people are willing to invest. By contrast, in China or South Korea, the linkage of its variety shows brings about the development of the content industry, and the benefits are amazing. The willingness to spend money on the investment at its initial stage is an essential element of success. However, if there is no successful case, it may not be easy to solely rely on Taiwanese private funds. As far as the technical level of TV program production is concerned, it is particularly important to modelize TV programs if they are to be exported. The market transaction of international TV program formats has existed for many years, but the object of the transaction is the core content and production process of TV programs, that is, the TV program bible. For non-drama TV programs of our country, if it needs to sum up the core of the program in one sentence, it is not impossible to achieve. However, it still lacks the core content such as the famous tv show "THE Voice" that is sufficient to attract people. In addition, in terms of production, how to edit as well as integrate the stage and supporting design into the shooting so to present attractive programs is the relatively lacking part in TV programs of our country. As for the cultivation of talents, Taiwan has yet rarely relevant talents who are able to research, develop, and independently write the TV program bible, as well as do marketing. By contrast, China has achieved remarkable results in TV programs in recent years. They have some consultant companies that specialize in writing a TV program bible for production companies. Their R&D personnel record details by following and observing the directors, producers, and photographers, of which the records gradually become a TV program bible. Some talents in China have mastered the art of writing TV program formats. They can even directly disassemble well-known foreign formats and rewrite them as Chinese versions for production, which has achieved success. 2. Overview of international TV program formats Taking a broad view of the status of foreign TV program formats, it is found that the output of creative development is not in the countries with big entertainment industries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and France, but in small European countries such as the Netherlands and Israel, which have a large number of output of TV program formats. The Netherlands and Israel are not countries where the television industry is prosperous. However, their TV program output occupies an important position in the global market. Some programs have even produced more than 1,000 episodes in the world, with the output to countries including the United States, China and others. Similar to Taiwan, Netherlandish and Israeli TV programs are also faced with great limitations in production funds due to the small domestic market. However, many TV programs have been created by relying on the novel program content and taking full account of the needs of the international market. In the international trade market of TV program formats, if you intend to successfully output a program, it not only contains a novel main idea, but also covers production and viewing. The output carrier of TV program formats is the "TV Format Bible". Its content includes various links of program rundown, personnel settings, camera lenses, sound effects and lighting, etc. As long as the program has a fixed existing model, no matter who plays the roles in the program, the quality of the program can be kept stable. This kind of production of non-drama TV programs according to the TV Format Bible is called TV Format. 3. Protection of huge business opportunities of formats: preservation and authorization management of intellectual property rights The core value of formats often lies in the creative part of the content. How to effectively preserve the creativity and at the same time to claim the rights are of the most concern by ideators, and the carrier of modelizing creation is the "TV Format Bible". The writing of the "TV Format Bible" is based on the thinking of TV Format structure. At the creative stage, the core content will be integrated into the production level, including how to set up the lighting and the arrangement of the camera to achieve the entertainment effect of the creative core content and other details. However, the value of the "TV Format Bible" comes from the ideation of creativity, and whether creativity is to be protected by law has been controversial since always. Judging from the results of the current judgments on disputed cases concerning the TV Format, the more specific the TV Program Bible is written, the higher chance it has to be protected. A successful variety show not only can bring about the domestic and foreign income from the show itself, but associated derivatives such as music, tourism, and peripheral products may also be able to obtain huge business opportunities due to the broadcast of the program. Therefore, although the TV Program Format is centered on its content, it actually involves issues of industrial management such as human resources, labor relations, corporate governance, taxation, fundraising, bankruptcy procedures, economic systems, and professional ethics. In addition, in aspects of commerce, marketing and management aspects, matters such as the establishment of the production team, the production process management, the acquisition and use of creation funds, and valuation are all covered in the operation of formats.Antitrust Liability to the Conduct of “Refusal to License” of the Standard Essential Patent
Antitrust Liability to the Conduct of “Refusal to License” of the Standard Essential Patent 2022/07/19 The notion of Standard Essential Patent（SEP）emerges in the era when manufacturers seek ‘‘compatibility’’ and ‘‘interoperability’’ of their products. The concept of SEPs is proposed to help manufacturers ‘‘talk’’ to each other so the collective manufacturers enjoy the advantage of economies of scales. Meanwhile, the compatibility and interoperability derived from SEPs enhance the consumers’ valuation of the product which creates the ‘‘network effect’’ of the products. There is a long-debated issue in the field of SEP—to what extent shall the SEP holders license their patents in the various level of the supply chain. This issue has much to do with the ‘‘FRAND commitment’’, and is worthy of further analysis. I. SEP and FRAND Commitment The concept of SEP is—when any certain patented technology is selected by the ‘‘Standard Setting Organization’’（SSO）as the commonly used standard, such the patented technology is categorized as a SEP. The SEP holder therefore enjoys stronger ‘‘market power’’ because market participants have no choice but to use the SEP and are required to seek license from the SEP holders. Therefore, to prevent the SEP holders from abusing their market power, SSOs usually require SEP holders to make the FRAND commitment; that is, to license on ‘‘fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory’’ terms. Once the SEP holder breaches the commitment, the SSOs might exclude that technique from the standard. II. “License to all”or“Access to all”issues under FRAND Commitment The FRAND commitment, by textual reading incorporates the wording of ‘‘non-discriminatory’’, and can infer two co-related yet debatable concepts—the ‘‘License to all’’ or ‘‘Access to all’’ arguments. The ‘‘License to all’’ argument holds that all participants in the supply chain retain the access to the specified SEP, while the ‘‘Access to all’’ argument, on the contrary, contends that FRAND commitments don’t necessarily ask SEP holder to license to all practitioners, but when a SEP holder is going to license, he must license on FRAND terms. According to observations, there is a common phenomenon in the SEP licensing practice—most SEP holders tend to license only to the End-Product manufacturers rather than to the manufacturers of the ‘‘Smallest Saleable Patent Practicing Unit’’（SSPPU）. What the SEP holders expect through ‘‘refusal to license’’ to the SSPPU manufacturers are to maximize the potential royalties. Cases inclusive of the Qualcomm case and the Continental case have shown such practical tendency, and only when the SSOs can well define the definitions of FRAND commitments might the issue be truly settled. There are some End-Product manufacturers that consider it ‘‘discriminatory’’ and against the FRAND commitments if the SEP holders refuse to negotiate with SSPPU manufacturers requesting to be the licensee. On the other hand, some consider it inappropriate for the End-Product manufacturers to refuse all negotiations when the SEP holder requests it to be the party to the licensing negotiations. III. The ‘‘refusal to license’’ and the derived Anti-Trust Issue As generally admitted, a firm has no general duty to deal with others; however, there are times when SEP holders’ ‘‘refusal to deal∕license’’ behaviors can constitute wrongful monopoly under Sherman Act section 2. The U.S. judicial practices have categorized three main ‘‘refusal to deal∕license’’ behaviors as wrongful monopoly under Sherman Act section 2; they are: 1.dominant firm forces its customers not to do business with new competitors of that firm, or the dominant firm will terminate business with the customer; 2.dominant firm tries to abandon or alter an existing relationship; 3.dominant firm refuses to provide access to ‘‘essential facility’’ (the equipment or techniques that is indispensable when others would like to compete in the relevant market with the dominant firm). As SEP can be categorized as an ‘‘essential facility’’, this paper will only focus on the third category. The ‘‘Essential Facility Doctrine’’ is—when any monopolist withholds an essential facility and refuses to provide his competitors with the access to the said essential facility, a wrongful monopoly due to the Facility holders’ ‘‘refusal to deal∕license’’ is constituted. According to the leading case—the MCI case, four factors are to be proved by the plaintiff when seeking resort to ‘‘Essential Facility Doctrine’’; they are:（1）the monopolist’s control of an essential facility;（2）the inability of a competitor to duplicate that essential facility;（3）the monopolist’s denial of access to that essential facility to a competitor;（4）the feasibility of providing the essential facility to the competitor by the monopolist. As we can shortly conclude here, if a SEP holder constitute wrongful monopoly because of his ‘‘refusal to license’’ behavior, the perquisite is that the SEP holder would like to join in the ‘‘competition’’ in the relevant market himself. IV. Conclusion—the commonly seen ‘‘refusal to license’’ behavior of SEP holders doesn’t constitute wrongful monopoly As mentioned before, ‘‘competition’’ serves as the prerequisite for the ‘‘Essential Facility Doctrine’’; thus, some SEP holders’ refusal to license to SSPPU manufacturers behaviors—such as Qualcomm in the Qualcomm case and Nokia in the Continental case—are not in accordance with ‘‘Essential Facility Doctrine’’ and do not constitute wrongful monopoly. Qualcomm and Nokia chose not to license to SSPPU manufacturers merely because they want to earn more royalties by licensing to End-Product manufacturers; they didn’t make this choice because themselves would like to compete in the SSPPU markets. However, since there is no clear definition of FRAND yet, whether the SEP holders have truly breached the FRAND commitment remains unsolved puzzle and shall retain to SSO’s clearer definition and the Court’s further rulings. FTC v. Qualcomm Inc., 969 F.3d 974 (9th Cir. 2020). SEP holder Qualcomm would only like to license to the cellphone OEM manufactures rather than to other chips manufacturers. Continental Automotive Systems, Inc. v. Avanci, LLC, et al, No. 20-11032 (5th Cir. 2022). SEP holder Nokia and a licensing platform—Avanci (that Nokia had joined) would only like to license to car manufacturers rather than to Telematics Control Unit（TCU）manufacturers. Japan Patent Office [JPO], GUIDE TO LICENSING NEGOTIATIONS INVOLVING STANDARD ESSENTIAL PATENTS (2018), https://www.jpo.go.jp/e/support/general/sep_portal/document/index/guide-seps-en.pdf(last visited July 19, 2022). See United States v. Colgate & Co., 250 U.S. 300 (1919);Pacific Bell Telephone Co. v. linkLine Communications, Inc., 555 U.S. 438 (2009); Aerotec Int'l v. Honeywell Int'l, 836 F.3d 1171 (9th Cir. 2016) ANDREW I. GAVIL, WILLIAM E. KOVACIC & JONATHAN B. BAKER, ANTITRUST LAW IN PERSPECTIVE: CASES, CONCEPTS AND PROBLEMS IN COMPETITION POLICY 630-654 (2002). See Lorain Journal Co. v. United States, 342 U.S. 143 (1951) See Image Technical Services, Inc. v. Eastman Kodak Co., 504 U.S. 451 (1992); Aspen Skiing Co. v. Aspen Highlands Skiing Corp., 472 U.S. 585 (1985) MCI Communications Corp. v. American Tel. & Tel. Co., 708 F.3d 1081 (7th Cir. 1983)