The Dispute on WTO TRIPS IP Waiver Proposal and the Impact on Taiwan
1. IP Waiver proposal
On October 2, 2020, South Africa and India summit a joint proposal (IP/C/W/669) (hereinafter as “first proposal”) for TRIPS council of the World Trade Organization(WTO), titled “Waiver from Certain Provisions of the Trips Agreement for the Prevention, Containment and Treatment of Covid-19”, called for temporary IP waiver of intellectual property in response for Covid-19 pandemic.
In first proposal, it supported a waiver from the implementation or application of Sections 1, 4, 5, and 7 of Part II of the TRIPS Agreement in relation to prevention, containment or treatment of COVID-19, which directs to copyright and related rights, industrial designs, patents and protection of undisclosed information. All enforcement measures under part III of the TRIPS agreement such as civil and administrative procedures and remedies, border measures and criminal procedures for protecting aforesaid intellectual property shall also be waived until widespread vaccination is in place globally, and the majority of the world's population has developed immunity.
On May 25, 2021, the first proposal was revised (IP/C/W/669/Rev.1, hereinafter as “second proposal”) and resubmitted for WTO by the African Group, The Plurinational State Of Bolivia, Egypt, Eswatini, Fiji, India, Indonesia, Kenya, The Ldc Group, Maldives, Mozambique, Mongolia, Namibia, Pakistan, South Africa, Vanuatu, The Bolivarian Republic Of Venezuela and Zimbabwe. In the second proposal, the scope of IP waiver was revised to be limited to "health products and technologies" used for the prevention, treatment or containment of COVID-19, and the minimum period for IP waiver was 3 years from the date of decision.
2. The Pros and Cons of IP Waiver proposal
The IP waiver proposal is currently supported by over 100 WTO members. However, in order to grant the waiver, the unanimous agreement of the WTO's 159 members would be needed, but if no consensus is reached, the waiver might be adopted by the support of three-fourths of the WTO members.
The reason for IP waiver mainly focus on the increase of production and accessibility of the vaccines and treatments, since allowing multiple actors to start production sooner would enlarge the manufacturing capacity than concentrate the manufacturing facilities in the hands of a small number of patent holders. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) also support IP waiver proposal to prevent the chilling effect of patents as hindrances of the introduction of affordable vaccines and treatment in developing countries, and urges wealthy countries not to block IP waiver to save lives of billions of people.
Most opponents against IP waiver proposal are rich countries such as European Union (EU), UK, Japan, Switzerland, Brazil, Norway, Canada, Australia. On May 5, 2021, United States Trade Representative (USTR) announced its support the IP waiver, but only limited into vaccine.
EU was the main opponent against IP waiver proposal at the WTO. On June 4, 2021, EU offered an alternative plan to replace IP waiver proposal. Specifically, EU proposed that WTO members should take multilateral trade actions to expand the production of COVID-19 vaccines and treatments, and ensure universal and fair access thereof. EU calls for WTO members to ensure that COVID-19 vaccines, treatments and their components can cross borders freely, and encourage producers to expand their production and provide vaccines with an affordable price. As to IP issues, EU encourages to facilitate the exploitation of existing compulsory licensing systems on TRIPS, especially for vaccine producers without the consent of the patent holder.
Many pharmaceutical companies also express dissent opinions against the IP waiver proposal. The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) indicated that the proposal would let unexperienced manufacturers, which are devoid of essential know-how, join into vaccine supply chains and crowd out the established contractors.
The chief patent attorney for Johnson & Johnson pointed out that since the existing of IP rights not only promote the development of safe and effective vaccines at record-breaking speed, but also allow the IP owner to enter into agreements with appropriate partners to ensure the production and distribution of qualitied vaccines, the problem resides in infrastructure rather than IP. Thus, instead of IP waiver, boosting adequate health care infrastructure, vaccine education and medical personnel might be more essential for COVID-19 vaccines equitably and rapidly distributed.
Pfizer CEO warned that since the production of Pfizer’s vaccine would require 280 different materials and components that are sourced from 19 countries around the world, the loss of patent protection may trigger global competition for these vaccine raw materials, and thus threaten vaccine production efficiency and affect vaccine safety.
Moderna CEO said that he would not worry about the IP waiver proposal since Moderna had invested heavily in its mRNA supply chain, which did not exist before the pandemic, manufacturers who want to produce similar mRNA vaccines will need to conduct clinical trials, apply for authorization, and expand the scale of production, which may take up to 12 to 18 months.
The grant of the IP waiver proposal might need the consensus of all WTO members. However, since the proposal might not be supported by several wealth countries, which might reflect the interest of big pharmaceutical companies, reach the unanimously agreement between all WTO members might be difficult. Besides, the main purpose for IP waiver is to increase the production of vaccines and treatments. However, when patent protection was lifted, a large number of new pharmaceutical companies lacking necessary knowhow and experience would join the production, which might not only result in snapping up the already tight raw materials, but also producing uneven quality of vaccines and drugs. Since patent right is only one of the many conditions required for the production of vaccines and drugs, IP waiver might not help increase the production immediately. Thus, other possible plans, such as the alternative plan proposed by EU, might also be considered to reduce disputes and achieving the goal of increasing production.
As to the impact of the IP waiver proposal for Taiwan, it can be analyzed from two aspects:
1. Whether Taiwan need IP waiver to produce COVID-19 vaccine and drugs in need
Since there is an established patent compulsory licensing system in Taiwan, the manufacture and use of COVID-19 vaccine and drugs might be legally permissible. To be specific, Article 87 of Taiwan Patent Act stipulates: “In response to national emergency or other circumstances of extreme urgency, the Specific Patent Agency shall, in accordance with an emergency order or upon notice from the central government authorities in charge of the business, grant compulsory licensing of a patent needed, and notify the patentee as soon as reasonably practicable.” Thus, in response to national emergency such as COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) could grant compulsory licensing of patents needed for prevention, containment or treatment of COVID-19, in accordance with emergency order or upon notice from the central government authorities. In fact, in 2005, in response to the avian flu outbreaks, TIPO had grant a compulsory licensing for Taiwan patent No.129988, the Tamiflu patent owned by Roche.
2. Whether IP Waiver would affect Taiwan’s pharmaceutical or medical device industry
In fact, there are many COVID-19 related IP open resources for innovators to exploit, such as Open COVID Pledge, which provides free of charge IPs for use. Even for vaccines, Modena had promised not to enforce their COVID-19 related patents against those making vaccines during COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, currently innovators in Taiwan could still obtain COVID-19 related IPs freely without overall IP Waiver. Needless to say, since many companies in Taiwan still work for the research and development of COVID-19-related medical device and drugs, sufficient IP protection could guarantee their profit and stimulate future innovation.
Accordingly, since Taiwan could produce COVID-19 vaccines and drugs in need domestically by existing patent compulsory licensing system, and could obtain other COVID-19 related IPs via global open IP resources, in the meantime IP protection would secure Taiwan innovator’s profit, IP waiver proposal might not result in huge impact on Taiwan.
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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.Korea “Strategies for an Intellectual Property Powerhouse to Realize a Creative Economy” Overview
Background Since 1990, many countries like United States, Japan and EU understand that intellectual properties create higher value added than tangible assets do so these countries respectively transformed their economic types to knowledge-based economy so as to boost economic growth and competitiveness. For example, Japan has legislated “Intellectual Property Basic Act” in 2002 and established “the Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters” in 2003. United States legislated “Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act (PRO-IP Act)” in 2008. China also announced “National Intellectual Property Strategic Principles” in June, 2008. Following the above international tendency of protecting intellectual properties, Korea government has promoted intellectual property related policies and legislated related acts since 2000, such as “Technology Transfer Promotion Act” in 2000, policy of supporting patent disputes settlements and shortened the length of patent examination procedure in 2004. Besides, on June 27, 2006, the Presidential Advisory Council on Education, Science and Technology (PACEST) announced “Strategy for Intellectual Property System Constructing Plan.” However, these policies or acts mainly focus on the protection and application of patent rights, not relate to other kinds of intellectual property rights such as trademark right, copyright etc. Until 2008, in order to advance the ability of national competition, Lee Myung-bak government had established “Presidential Council on National Competitiveness (PCNC)”. For the vision of transforming to the intellectual property based economy, the PCNC held its 15th meeting on July 29, 2009. The meeting, held at the Blue House, was attended by the president, the Chairman, and members of the Council. One of the agenda of the meeting is strategies for an intellectual property (IP) powerhouse to realize a creative economy. Three goals of the strategies includes being IP Top 5 nations (U.S., Japan, EU, Korea and China), improving technology balance of payments deficits, and enhancing the scale of copyright industry. Next, this study will introduce details of Korea IP related strategies for our nation’s reference. Introduction Korea IP strategy consists of 3 aspects (creation and application, law and regulation, infrastructure) and 11 missions. And the contents of 11 missions cover the creation, protection and application of intellectual property rights (patent, copyright, trademark, plant variety etc), namely the whole life cycle of intellectual property rights. Through announcement of IP Strategies, Korea hopes to protect intellectual property rights from every aspect and makes IP as essential driving force for national economic growth. 1. Creation and Application Aspect First, although the quantity of intellectual property rights (IPRs) of Korea is rapidly increased in recent years, the quality of intellectual property rights is not increased equally. Also, most of researchers do not receive appropriate rewards from R&D institutions, and then it might reduce further innovation. As above reasons, Korea IP strategy indicated that the government will raise “invention capital” to exploit, buy researchers’ new ideas, and make those ideas get legal protection. That is, the government will set up non-practicing entities (NPEs) with private business. The NPEs would buy intellectual properties from R&D institutions or researchers, and then license to enterprises who have need. After licensing, NPEs will share royalty which obtained from enterprises (licensees) with researchers appropriately. Besides, in order to encourage university, public R&D institutions to set up “technology holdings”, Korea government had amended “Industry Education and Corporation of Industry, Academic and Research Promotion Act”. The amendments are loosening establishment conditions of technology holdings, such as minimum portion of investment in technology has been lowered from 50% to 30%, and broadening the scope of business of technology holdings. 2. Law and Regulation Aspect Secondly, in aspect of law and regulation, in addition to encouraging creation of good quality of IP, Korea considers that intellectual property rights are needed to be protected legally. Therefore, the IP strategy especially pointed out that Korea would follow the example of Japan to legislate their own “Intellectual Property Basic Act”. According to Korea “Intellectual Property Basic Act”, it should establish a “Presidential Council on Intellectual Property”. The main work of this Council is planning and promoting intellectual property related policies. There are 5 chapters and 41 articles in Korea “Intellectual Property Basic Act”. The Act like Korea IP strategy is divided into three parts, that is, “creation and application”, “protection” and “infrastructure”. In fact, the legislation of Korea “Intellectual Property Basic Act” embodies the policies of IP strategy. Further, according to Korea “Intellectual Property Basic Act”, “Presidential Council on Intellectual Property” is to integrate IP related affairs of the administrations into one action plan and promote it. Moreover, according to Korea “Intellectual Property Basic Act”, the government should make medium-term and long-term policies and basic plans for the promotion of intellectual properties every 5 years and adjusts policies and plans periodically as well. Through framing, enacting and adjusting policies and plans, Korea expects to create a well-living environment for the development of intellectual property. 3. Infrastructure Aspect Thirdly, even if good laws and regulations are already made and more government budget and human resource are invested, Korea is still deficient in well-prepared social infrastructure and leads to the situation that any promoting means of intellectual properties will be in vain. With regard to one of visions of Korea IP strategy,” being IP Top 5 power (U.S., Japan, EU, Korea and China)”, on the one hand, Korea domestic patent system should harmonize with international intellectual property regulations that includes loosening the conditions of application and renewal of patent and trademark. On the other hand, the procedure of patent application conforms to the international standard, that is, the written form of USA patent application becomes similar to the forms of world IP Top 3 power (U.S., Japan and EU) and member states of Paten Law Treaty (PLT). At the same time, Korea would join “Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH)” to enable Korea enterprises to acquire protection of patent rights around the world more rapidly. In addition, about the investigation of infringement of intellectual property rights, Korea IP strategy stated that it would strengthen control measures on nation border and broaden IP protection scope from only patent to trademark, copyright and geographical indications. Besides, Korea uses network technology to develop a 24-hour online monitoring system to track fakes and illegal copies. In addition to domestic IP protection, Korea enterprises may face IP infringement at overseas market, thus Korea government has provided supports for intellectual property rights disputes. For this sake, Korea choose overseas market such as Southeast Asia, China, and North America etc to establish “IP Desk” and “Copyright Center” for providing IP legal consultation, support of dispute-resolving expenses and information services for Korea enterprises. Korea IP strategy partially emphasizes on the copyright trading system As mentioned above, one of visions of Korea IP strategy is “enhancing the development of copyright industry”. It’s well-known that Korea culture industries like music, movie, TV, online game industries are vigorous in recent years. Those culture industries are closely connected to copyright, so development of copyright industry is set as priority policy of Korea. In order to enhance the development of Korea copyright industry, a well-trading environment or platform is necessary so as to make more copyrighted works to be exploited. Therefore, Korea Copyright Commission has developed “Integrated Copyright Number (ICN)” that is identification number for digital copyrighted work. Author or copyright owners register copyright related information on “Copyright Integrated Management System (CIMS)” which manages information of copyrighted works provided by the authors or copyright owners, and CIMS would give an ICN number for the copyrighted work, so that users could through the ICN get license easily on “Copyright License Management System (CLMS)” which makes transactions between licensors and licensees. By distributing ICN to copyrighted works, not only the licensee knows whom the copyright belongs to, but the CLMS would preserve license contracts to ensure legality of the licensee’s copyright. After copyright licensing, because of characteristic of digital and Internet, it makes illegal reproductions of copyrighted works easily and copyright owners are subject to significant damages. For this reason, Korea Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism (MCST) and Korea Intellectual property Office (KIPO) have respectively developed online intellectual property (copyright and trademark) monitoring system. The main purpose of these two systems is assisting copyright and trademark owners to protect their interests by collecting and analyzing infringement data, and then handing over these data to the judiciary. Conclusion Korea IP strategy has covered all types of intellectual properties clearly. The strategy does not emphasize only on patent, it also includes copyright, trademark etc. If Taiwan wants to transform the economic type to IP-based economy, like Korea, offering protection to other intellectual property rights should not be ignored, too. As Taiwan intends to promote cultural and creative industry and shows soft power of Taiwan around the world, the IP strategy of Taiwan should be planned more comprehensively in the future. In addition to protecting copyrights by laws and regulations, for cultural and creative industry, trading of copyrights is equally important. The remarkable part of Korea IP strategy is the construction of copyright online trading platform. Accordingly, Taiwan should establish our own copyright online trading platform combining copyright registration and source identification system, and seriously consider the feasibility of giving registered copyright legal effects. A well-trading platform integrating registration and source identification system might decrease risks during the process of licensing the copyright. At the same time, many infringements of copyrights are caused because of the nature of the modern network technology. In order to track illegal copies on the internet, Taiwan also should develop online monitoring system to help copyright owners to collect and preserve infringement evidences. In sum, a copyright trading system (including ICN and online intellectual property monitoring system) could reinforce soft power of Taiwan cultural and creative industry well.Discussion on the Formation of Taiwan’s Network of Intellectual Property Collaboration System in light of Japan’s Experience
Background 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”). University Network IP Advisors Framework Outline 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. Recommendation 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. Conclusion 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.Blockchain in Intellectual Property Protection
Background Blockchain is a technology with the ability to decentral and distribute information. It records encrypted information of the user’s behavior. Blockchain has disintermediate, transparency, programmable, autonomous, immutable and anonymous essential features. The first application of blockchain is to develop cryptocurrency and a payment system, Bitcoin, which has overturned traditional concept of the currency model we knew. So far, blockchain has been widely applied in many territories, such as the intellectual property protection system, called the Blockai, which is a website using blockchain to overcome the plight of piracy in the United States. Example The Library of Congress in the United States found that it had been lack of efficiency for the copyright management. Blockai provided a solution for the Library. Authors will benefit from having proof of publication and copyright monitoring by registering with Blockai. The Blockai system securely timestamps copyright claims in the distributed database based on the Bitcoin protocol. For each copyright claim, a proof file is made available through the footer of the certificate and can be verified by authors using this open source proof verification tool, and it is free of charge for everyone. Although the "Proof of Publication" does not constitute admissible evidence in a trial, it is still credible in its technical features. Conclusion In Taiwan, there is still no copyright registering system. Before a copyright infringement suit may be filed in court, the burden of proof is on the copyright owner. For it is difficult for the copyright owner to provide a credible evidence in trial. We may consider using the experiences of other countries for our reference, developing the intellectual property protection system based on blockchain technology in order to help authors preserve their rights, and provide legal services as a legal technology.