The enactment of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (the “DTSA”) marks a milestone in the recent development of trade secret law in the United States (“U.S.”). Recent federal decisions and emerging trends in DTSA litigation regarding the following issues deserve the attention of Taiwanese companies who might be involved in DTSA litigation in U.S. federal courts (“federal courts”): (1) whether the DTSA displaces any other civil remedies provided by the existing trade secret laws; (2) whether a plaintiff should pay attention to any pleading standard when bringing a DTSA claim in federal court; (3) whether a federal court will easily grant an ex parte application for seizure order under the DTSA (an “ex parte seizure order”); and (4) whether the DTSA applies to trade secret misappropriations that occurred before the DTSA came into effect. This article provides insights into these developments and trends, and concludes with their implications at the end.
II. The DTSA does not displace any other civil remedies provided by the existing trade secret laws, and federal courts may nonetheless turn to pre-DTSA laws and decisions for guidance
The DTSA states that it does not “preempt” or “displace” any other civil remedies provided by other federal and state laws for trade secret misappropriation. Prior to the enactment of the DTSA, the civil protection and remedies of trade secrets in the U.S. have traditionally been provided under state laws. The DTSA provides federal courts with original jurisdiction over civil actions brought under the DTSA, giving trade secret owners an option to litigate trade secret claims in federal courts. As a result, the DTSA adds a layer of protection for trade secrets and creates a federal path for plaintiffs to pursue civil remedies.
Some commentators point out that federal courts, when hearing DTSA claims, construing DTSA provisions or analyzing DTSA claims, oftentimes turn to state laws and decisions existing prior to the enactment of the DTSA for guidance. Various decisions show that federal courts tend to look to local state laws and pre-DTSA decisions when hearing DTSA claims or making decisions. This suggests that pre-DTSA trade secret laws and prior decisions remain an indispensable reference for federal courts.
III. A plaintiff should pay careful attention to the plausibility pleading standard when bringing a DTSA claim in federal court
A plaintiff's pleading in his complaint must satisfy the plausibility pleading standard when the plaintiff brings a DTSA claim in federal court. Otherwise, the plaintiff's complaint may be dismissed by the federal court. Filing a motion requesting dismissal of the plaintiff's complaint on the grounds of the plaintiff's failure of stating plausible claims for relief is thus a defense that a defendant may employ to defeat the plaintiff's claim in the early stage.
The DTSA opens the door of federal courts to trade secret plaintiffs to pursue civil remedies, but the DTSA does not “guarantee unfettered access to the federal courts.” When filing a DTSA lawsuit in federal court, a plaintiff must state “the grounds for the court's jurisdiction,” the plaintiff's claims (entitlement to relief), and the plaintiff's “demand for the relief sought” in his complaint. The claim and statement pled by the plaintiff in his complaint must meet the “plausibility” threshold. In other words, at the pleading stage, a plaintiff should plead facts sufficiently demonstrating that all prerequisites of his claim (e.g., jurisdiction and venue, elements of a claim required by the DTSA, etc.) are satisfied when bringing a DTSA claim in federal court. For instance, in addition to claiming the existence of his trade secret, a plaintiff should state how his trade secret was misappropriated through improper means. However, in the context of trade secrets, the plausibility pleading standard can be challenging to a plaintiff because it is never easy to balance between “satisfying the required pleading standard” and “avoiding disclosing too much information about the trade secret in a pleading.”
Let's take pleading the existence of a trade secret as an example. Under the plausibility pleading regime, a plaintiff is required to plead all relevant facts of trade secret (elements) defined by the DTSA to affirmatively prove the existence of his trade secret. In other words, a plaintiff needs to state sufficient facts indicating that the information in dispute has economic value while not being known to the public, and reasonable steps have been taken to maintain the secrecy of that information, all of which plausibly suggest that the information in dispute qualifies as a trade secret. Federal courts do not require a plaintiff to disclose his trade secret in detail in his complaint. Nevertheless, a plaintiff should be able to provide the “general contour” of the alleged trade secret that he seeks to protect. Federal courts would be reluctant to see that a plaintiff, merely “identify[ing] a kind of technology” or “point[ing] to broad areas of technology,” or barely asserting that the misappropriated information is confidential, then “invit[ing] the court to hunt through the details in search of items meeting the statutory definition.” Instead of simply alleging that the subject matter at issue involves a trade secret, a plaintiff's complaint should contain descriptions identifying the plaintiff's trade secret. For instance, in his pleading, a plaintiff has to tell what information is involved and what efforts have been made to maintain the confidentiality of such information. For further example, a plaintiff should provide documents or information constituting the alleged trade secret rather than merely listing general topics or categories of information.
IV. Obtaining a DTSA ex parte seizure order is challenging as federal courts tend to take a conservative approach to prevent abuse of this ex parte seizure remedy
Since the DTSA came into effect, federal courts rarely grant an ex parte application for seizure order under the DTSA. The provision for ex parte seizure orders is a controversial part of the DTSA as it allows a court, upon ex parte application and if all DTSA requirements are met, to issue a civil order “for the seizure of property necessary to prevent the propagation or dissemination of the trade secret.” So far federal courts have been hesitant to order DTSA ex parte seizures and are giving great deference to the statutory text of the DTSA seizure order provision. Only when a federal court finds it “clearly appears from specific facts” that certain requirements are met and only in “extraordinary circumstances” may a federal court issue an ex parte seizure order. When being confronted with an ex parte application for seizure order under the DTSA, federal courts tend to favor a conservative approach to prevent the abuse of this ex parte seizure remedy. If any alternative equitable relief is available to achieve the same purpose, federal courts will likely find it unnecessary to issue an ex parte seizure order. In addition, a plaintiff's mere assertion that the defendant, if given notice, would destroy evidence or evade a court order, but without showing that the defendant “had concealed evidence or disregarded court orders in the past,” will likely be insufficient to persuade the court to issue an ex parte seizure order. Furthermore, federal courts will decline to order an ex parte seizure if a plaintiff fails to meet his burden demonstrating that the information in dispute constitutes a trade secret. All of the foregoing suggests that one will likely face an uphill struggle in federal court when seeking to obtain an ex parte seizure order under the DTSA.
Though federal courts sparingly order DTSA ex parte seizures, to date at least one federal court did issue a published DTSA ex parte seizure order, which appeared in Mission Capital Advisors, LLC v. Romaka. In Romaka, the defendant allegedly downloaded the plaintiff's client and contact lists to the defendant's personal computer without the plaintiff's authorization; the plaintiff filed an ex parte motion seeking to seize some properties containing the plaintiff's trade secrets or enjoin the defendant from disclosing that information. During the trial, the defendant neither acknowledged receipt of the court's prior orders nor appeared before the court as ordered, all of which together with other facts in Romaka convinced the court that other forms of equitable relief would be inadequate and the defendant would likely evade or otherwise disobey the court order. After reviewing the facts of this case along with DTSA requirements item by item, the Romaka court found it clearly appears from specific facts that all requirements for an ex parte seizure order under the DTSA are met, and thus, issued a said seizure order as requested by the plaintiff. Romaka gives us some hints about what circumstances would cause a federal court to order a DTSA ex parte seizure. This case tells us that evading or disregarding court-mandated actions is likely demonstrating to the court a propensity to disobey a future court order and may probably increase the likelihood of meriting a DTSA ex parte seizure order. Moreover, echoing other decisions rendered by federal courts, Romaka reveals that federal courts tend to approach ex parte seizure order applications in a gingerly way.
Federal courts take a conservative approach toward ex parte seizure order to curtail abuse of such order does not mean that no injunctive relief is available to victims of trade secret misappropriation. Injunctive relief provided by other federal laws or state laws is nonetheless available to those victims. As long as the facts of the case before the court meet all elements required for injunctive relief, it is not rare for federal courts to grant injunctive relief other than an ex parte seizure order.
V. The DTSA might apply to a pre-DTSA trade secret misappropriation that continues after the DTSA became effective
The DTSA expressly states that it applies to any trade secret misappropriation that “occurs on or after the date of the enactment” of the DTSA. Therefore, the DTSA does not apply to trade secret misappropriations that began and ended before the effective date of DTSA. In practice, it is possible that a federal court will dismiss a plaintiff's DTSA claim if the plaintiff fails to state that the alleged trade secret misappropriations (either in whole or in part) took place after the DTSA came into effect.
Federal courts have begun addressing or recognizing that the DTSA might apply to trade secret misappropriations that occurred prior to and continued after the enactment date of the DTSA. However, a plaintiff should “plausibly” and “sufficiently” plead in his claim that some parts of the alleged continuing misappropriation of trade secrets occurred after the DTSA became effective. Some critics opine that, in the case of a continuing trade secret misappropriation that took place before and continued after the DTSA was enacted, the available recovery shall be limited to “post-DTSA misappropriation.”
By being mindful of the foregoing, maybe someday a plaintiff will bring a DTSA claim for a pre-DTSA misappropriation of trade secrets that continues after the DTSA is in effect. In this kind of litigation, one should pay attention to whether the plaintiff has plausibly and sufficiently alleged the part of misappropriation that occurred after the enactment date of the DTSA. When a plaintiff fails to plausibly and sufficiently alleges the post-DTSA misappropriation part, the defendant stands a chance to convince the court to dismiss the plaintiff's claim.
To sum up, recent federal decisions and emerging trends in DTSA litigation provide the following implications to Taiwanese companies who might be involved in DTSA litigation in federal court:
1. The DTSA does not preempt or displace any other civil remedies provided by other federal laws and state laws. Rather, the DTSA adds a layer of protection for trade secrets and creates a federal path for plaintiffs to pursue civil remedies. Federal courts tend to turn to local state laws and pre-DTSA decisions for guidance when hearing DTSA claims or making decisions. Do not ignore pre-DTSA trade secret laws or prior decisions as they remain an indispensable reference for federal court.
2. A plaintiff's pleading must satisfy the plausibility pleading standard when the plaintiff brings a DTSA claim in federal court. Whether the plaintiff's pleading satisfies the plausibility pleading standard is likely one of the hard-fought battles between the parties in the early stage of the litigation. The plausibility pleading regime does not require a plaintiff to disclose his trade secrets in detail in his complaint. However, a plaintiff should be able to describe and identify his trade secrets.
3. Seeking to secure a DTSA ex parte seizure order in federal court will likely face an uphill battle. Obtaining alternative injunctive relief would be easier than obtaining a DTSA ex parte seizure. When being confronted with an ex parte application for seizure order under the DTSA, federal courts tend to favor a conservative approach to prevent the abuse of this ex parte seizure remedy. Notwithstanding the foregoing, as long as the facts of the case before the court meet all elements required for injunctive relief, it is not rare for federal courts to grant injunctive relief other than an ex parte seizure order.
4. The DTSA might apply to trade secret misappropriations that occurred prior to and continued after the enactment date of the DTSA. When a DTSA litigation involves this kind of continuing misappropriation, one of those hard-fought battles between the parties during litigation will likely be whether the plaintiff has plausibly and sufficiently stated the part of misappropriation that occurred after the DTSA came into effect. When a plaintiff fails to plausibly and sufficiently alleges the post-DTSA misappropriation part, the defendant stands a chance to convince the court to dismiss the plaintiff's claim.
 The Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, Pub. L. No. 114-153, 130 Stat. 376 (May 11, 2016) (mostly codified in scattered sections of 18 U.S.C. §§1836-1839 [hereinafter the “DTSA”].
 Mark L. Krotoski, Greta L. Burkholder, Jenny Harrison & Corey R. Houmand, The Landmark Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, at 3 (May 2016); Bradford K. Newman, Jessica Mendelson & MiRi Song, The Defend Trade Secret Act: One Year Later, 2017-Apr Bus. L. Today 1, 1 (2017).
 18 U.S.C. §1838.
 S. Rep. No. 114-220, at 2 (2016) [hereinafter “S. Rep.”]; Kaylee Beauchamp, The Failures of Federalizing Trade Secrets: Why the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 Should Preempt State Law, 86 Miss. L.J. 1031, 1033, 1045 (2017); Zoe Argento, Killing the Golden Goose: The Dangers of Strengthening Domestic Trade Secret Rights in Response to Cyber-Misappropriation, 16 Yale J. L. & Tech. 172, 177 (2014); James Pooley, The Myth of the Trade Secret Troll: Why the Defend Trade Secrets Act Improves the Protection of Commercial Information, 23 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 1045, 1045 (2016); John Conley, New Federal Trade Secret Act and Its Impact on Life Sciences, Genomics L. Rep. (Aug. 12, 2016), https://www.genomicslawreport.com/index.php/2016/08/12/new-federal-trade-secret-act-and-its-impact-on-life-sciences/; Newman, Mendelson & Song, supra note 2, at 1.
 18 U.S.C. §1836(c).
 Krotoski, Burkholder, Harrison & Houmand, supra note 2, at 7; Beauchamp, supra note 4, at 1033, 1045, 1072; Lily Li & Andrea W. Paris, Help! What Are My (Immediate) Defenses to a Federal Trade Secret Claim?, 58-Sep Orange County Law. 52, 52 (2016); Newman, Mendelson & Song, supra note 2, at 1.
 Conley, supra note 4.
 William M. Hensley, Post-Enactment Case Law Developments under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, 59-Jul Orange County Law. 42, 44 (2017); Robert B. Milligan & Daniel Joshua Salinas, Emerging Issues In the Defend Trade Secrets Act's Second Year, Seyfarth Shaw LLP: Trading Secrets (June 14, 2017), https://www.tradesecretslaw.com/2017/06/articles/dtsa/emerging-issues-in-the-defend-trade-secrets-acts-second-year/; Jeffrey S. Boxer, John M. Griem, Jr., Alexander G. Malyshev & Dylan L. Ruffi, The Defend Trade Secrets Act – 2016 In Review, Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP (Jan. 19, 2017), http://www.clm.com/publication.cfm?ID=5579; Rajiv Dharnidharka, Andrew D. Day & Deborah E. McCrimmon, The Defend Trade Secrets Act One Year In – Four Things We've Learned, DLA Piper (May 30, 2017), https://www.dlapiper.com/en/us/insights/publications/2017/05/defend-trade-secrets-act-four-things-learned/; Joshua R. Rich, The DTSA After One Year: Has the Federal Trade Secrets Law Met Expectations?, McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP, Vol. 15 Issue 3 Snippets 6, 7 (Summer 2017).
 HealthBanc International, LLC v. Synergy Worldwide, 208 F.Supp.3d 1193, 1201 (D.Utah 2016); Phyllis Schlafly Revocable Trust v. Cori, No. 4:16CV01631 JAR, 2016 WL 6611133, at *2-5 (E.D. Mo. Nov. 9, 2016); Panera, LLC v. Nettles, No. 4:16-cv-1181-JAR, 2016 WL 4124114, at *4 fn.2 (E.D. Mo. Aug. 3, 2016); Henry Schein, Inc. v. Cook, 191 F.Supp.3d 1072, 1077, 1079-1080 (N.D.Cal. 2016); Engility Corp. v. Daniels, No. 16-cv-2473-WJM-MEH, 2016 WL 7034976, at *8-10 (D. Colo. Dec. 2, 2016); M.C. Dean, Inc. v. City of Miami Beach, Florida, 199 F. Supp. 3d 1349, 1353-1357 (S.D. Fla. 2016); GTO Access Systems, LLC v. Ghost Controls, LLC, No. 4:16cv355-WS/CAS, 2016 WL 4059706, at *1 fn.1, *2-4 (N.D. Fla. June 20, 2016); Earthbound Corp. v. MiTek USA, Inc., No. C16-1150 RSM, 2016 WL 4418013, at *9-10 (W.D. Wash. Aug. 19, 2016); Kuryakyn Holdings, LLC v. Ciro, LLC, 242 F.Supp.3d 789, 797-800 (W.D. Wisc. 2017).
 Michelle Evans, Plausibility under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, 16 J. Marshall Rev. Intell. Prop. L. 188, 190 (2017); Eric J. Fues, Maximilienne Giannelli & Jon T. Self, Practice Tips for the Trade Secret Holder: Preparing a Complaint Under the Defend Trade Secrets Act, Inside Counsel (June 14, 2017), https://www.finnegan.com/en/insights/practice-tips-for-the-trade-secret-holder-preparing-a-complaint.html; David R. Fertig & Michael A. Betts, The Defend Trade Secrets Act: Jurisdictional Considerations—Part I, 29 No. 7 Intell. Prop. & Tech. L.J. 3, 3-5 (2017) [hereinafter “Considerations—Part I”].
 M.C. Dean, 199 F. Supp. 3d at 1357; Chatterplug, Inc. v. Digital Intent, LLC, No. 1:16-cv-4056, 2016 WL 6395409, at *3 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 28, 2016); Raben Tire Co. v. McFarland, No. 5:16-CV-00141-TBR, 2017 WL 741569, at *2-3 (W.D. Ky. Feb. 24, 2017).
 Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b).
 Jessica Engler, The Defend Trade Secrets Act at Year One, 12 No. 4 In-House Def. Q. 20, 22 (2017).
 Conley, supra note 4.
 Fertig & Betts, Considerations—Part I, supra note 10, at 3.
 Pleading the grounds for the court's jurisdiction, the plaintiff's claim (entitlement to relief), and the plaintiff's demand for the relief sought are requirements for the pleading under Article 8 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (the “FRCP”). Fed. R. Civ. P. 8(a). The FRCP applies to “all civil actions and proceedings in the United States district courts.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 1. Thus, the FRCP requirements also apply to DTSA civil actions brought in federal courts. Evans, supra note 10, at 190; Fues, Giannelli & Self, supra note 10; Fertig & Betts, Considerations—Part I, supra note 10, at 3-4.
 In Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, the U.S. Supreme Court interpreted Article 8(a) of the FRCP, introduced the concept of “plausibility pleading,” and established the plausibility pleading standard. Bell Atlantic Corporation v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 547, 570 (2007). Under the plausibility pleading standard, a plaintiff is not required to provide “detailed factual allegations” in his complaint, but he needs to state the grounds of his claim (entitlement to relief), which should be “more than labels and conclusions.” Id. at 555, 570. At least, the plaintiff's complaint should contain enough facts showing that the plaintiff's claim is “plausible on its face.” Id. Two years after Twombly, in Ashcroft v. Iqbal the U.S. Supreme Court expressly affirmed that the plausibility pleading standard established in Twombly applies to “all civil actions.” Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 684 (2009). Accordingly, the plausibility pleading standard applies to all DTSA claims brought in federal courts. Evans, supra note 10, at 190; Fues, Giannelli & Self, supra note 10; Fertig & Betts, Considerations—Part I, supra note 10, at 3-5. It is worth mentioning that some commentators are of the opinion that federal pleading stands are often higher than those required under state laws. Boxer, Griem, Jr., Malyshev & Ruffi, supra note 8.
 Gold Medal Prods. Co. v. Bell Flavors & Fragrances, Inc., No. 1:16-CV-00365, 2017 WL 1365798, at *5-8 (S.D. Ohio, Apr. 14, 2017). See also Fertig & Betts, Considerations—Part I, supra note 10, at 4; David R. Fertig & Michael A. Betts, The Defend Trade Secrets Act: Jurisdictional Considerations—Part II, 29 No. 8 Intell. Prop. & Tech. L.J. 12, 12 (2017) [hereinafter “Considerations—Part II”].
 McFarland, 2017 WL 741569, at *2-3; M.C. Dean, 199 F. Supp. 3d at 1357; Digital Intent, 2016 WL 6395409, at *3. See also Fertig & Betts, Considerations—Part I, supra note 10, at 3-5.
 Fues, Giannelli & Self, supra note 10; Fertig & Betts, Considerations—Part I, supra note 10, at 5; Fertig & Betts, Considerations—Part II, supra note 18, at 13-14.
 Boxer, Griem, Jr., Malyshev & Ruffi, supra note 8.
 18 U.S.C. §1839(3).
 McFarland, 2017 WL 741569, at *2.
 Fues, Giannelli & Self, supra note 10.
 Engler, supra note 13, at 21-22. Providing help in identifying the trade secret in question by requesting as much detail as possible is a common point shared by the plausibility pleading standard in the U.S., and the “Case Detail Explanation Form” (to be filled out by the complainant or the victim) attached to Article 6 of the “Guideline for Handling Major Trade Secret Cases in the Prosecuting Authority” in Taiwan. However, they apply to different circumstances:
1. The plausibility pleading standard in the U.S. sets forth the threshold requirements to be met by a plaintiff in his pleading when the plaintiff brings a civil claim in federal court and applies to all federal civil actions. On the other hand, the aforementioned Case Detail Explanation Form in Taiwan is a form to be filled out by the complainant or the complainant's agent. This Form provides a reference to prosecutors for the investigation of major trade secret cases (criminal cases), but it does not serve as the basis for a prosecutor to determine whether to prosecute a case.
2. The plausibility pleading standard is not only followed by those bringing a federal civil action but also adopted by federal courts when hearing civil cases. Contrarily, the aforementioned Case Detail Explanation Form in Taiwan is provided to prosecutors as a reference for investigation. A prosecutor is not bound to prosecute a case simply based on the information provided in this Form. Likewise, this Form and the information provided therein are not binding on any court in Taiwan.
A commentator noted that the Ministry of Justice in Taiwan referred to the “Prosecuting Intellectual Property Crimes (Manual)” of the U.S. Department of Justice when adopting the “Guideline for Handling Major Trade Secret Cases in the Prosecuting Authority” on April 19, 2016. “Article 6 indicates that the complainant or the victim should first fill out the Case Detail Explanation Form, which would help the prosecution authority not only figures out whether the allegedly misappropriated trade secret meets the elements of secrecy, economic value, and secrecy measures under law, but also evaluates whether it is necessary to resort to compulsive measures”. Ti-Chu Chen (陳砥柱), Guideline for Handling Major Trade Secret Cases in the Prosecuting Authority, Louis & Charles Attorneys at Law (遠東萬佳法律事務所) (July 14, 2016), http://www.louisilf.com/zh-tw/posts/2016-07-14 (last visited Dec. 31, 2017). See also Prosecuting Intellectual Property Crimes (Manual) (4th ed. 2013), available at: https://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/criminal-ccips/legacy/2015/03/26/prosecuting_ip_crimes_manual_2013.pdf. However, the cover of the “Prosecuting Intellectual Property Crimes (Manual)” expressly states that its contents are provided as “internal suggestion to Department of Justice attorneys.” Id. Therefore, the contents of this manual theoretically are not binding on any federal court.
 Mission Measurement Corp. v. Blackbaud, Inc, 216 F.Supp.3d 915, 921 (N.D.Ill. 2016).
 Digital Intent, 2016 WL 6395409, at *3.
 McFarland, 2017 WL 741569, at *2; Blackbaud, 216 F.Supp.3d at 921; Ciro, 242 F.Supp.3d at 798.
 Evans, supra note 10, at 191. Some federal court decisions show that requesting the plaintiff to provide sufficient facts describing the trade secret in question is not something newly developed following the enactment of the DTSA. Rather, it has been the position held by federal courts before the DTSA came into effect. AWP, Inc. v. Commonwealth Excavating, Inc., Civil Action No. 5:13cv031., 2013 WL 3830500, at *5 (W.D. Va. July 24, 2013); Events Media Network, Inc. v. Weather Channel Interactive, Inc., Civil No. 1:13–03 (RBK/AMD), 2013 WL 3658823, at *3 (D. N.J. July 12, 2013); Council for Educational Travel, USA v. Czopek, Civil No. 1:11–CV–00672, 2011 WL 3882474, at *4 (M.D. Pa. Sept. 2, 2011); DLC DermaCare LLC v. Castillo, No. CV–10–333–PHX–DGC, 2010 WL 5148073, at *4 (D. Ariz. Dec. 14, 2010).
 Blackbaud, 216 F.Supp.3d at 921.
 Ciro, 242 F.Supp.3d at 800.
 Engler, supra note 13, at 21; Hensley, supra note 8, at 44.
 Hensley, supra note 8, at 44; Newman, Mendelson & Song, supra note 2, at 2-3; Rich, supra note 8, at 6; Engler, supra note 13, at 20.
 18 U.S.C. §1836(b)(2)(A).
 Newman, Mendelson & Song, supra note 2, at 3.
 Under the DTSA, a court may, only in “extraordinary circumstances,” issue an ex parte seizure order when “find[ing] that it clearly appears from specific facts that”: (1) “an order issued pursuant to Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or another form of equitable relief would be inadequate to achieve the purpose of this paragraph because the party to which the order would be issued would evade, avoid, or otherwise not comply with such an order;” (2) “an immediate and irreparable injury will occur if such seizure order is not issued;” (3) “the harm to the applicant of denying the application outweighs the harm to the legitimate interests of the person against whom seizure would be ordered of granting the application and substantially outweighs the harm to any third parties who may be harmed by such seizure;” (4) “the applicant is likely to succeed in showing that the information is a trade secret and the person against whom seizure would be ordered misappropriated the trade secret of the applicant by improper means or conspired to use improper means to misappropriate the trade secret of the applicant;” (5) “the person against whom seizure would be ordered has actual possession of the trade secret and any property to be seized;” (6) “the application describes with reasonably particularity the matter to be seized and, to the extent reasonable under the circumstances, identifies the location where the matter is to be seized;” (7) “the person against whom seizure would be ordered, or persons acting in concert with such person would destroy, move, hide, or otherwise make such matter inaccessible to the court, if the applicant were to proceed on notice to such person;” and (8) “the applicant has not publicized the requested seizure”. 18 U.S.C. §1836(b)(2)(A)(ii).
 18 U.S.C. §1836(b)(2)(A)(i).
 Engler, supra note 13, at 21; Michael T. Renaud & Nick Armington, DTSA and Ex Parte Seizure – Lessons from the First Ex Parte Seizure Under The DTSA, Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC (Aug. 21, 2017), https://www.globalipmatters.com/2017/08/21/dtsa-and-ex-parte-seizure-lessons-from-the-first-ex-parte-seizure-under-the-dtsa; Matthew Werdegar & Warren Braunig, One Year On: the Federal Defend Trade Secrets Act, Daily J. (Apr. 26, 2017), available at: https://www.keker.com/Templates/media/files/Articles/Keker%20(DJ-4_26_17).pdf.
 Newman, Mendelson & Song, supra note 2, at 3; Dharnidharka, Day & McCrimmon, supra note 8; Werdegar & Braunig, supra note 39.
 OOO Brunswick Rail Mgmt. v. Sultanov, No. 5:17-cv-00017, 2017 WL 67119, *2 (N.D. Cal., Jan. 6, 2017); Magnesita Refractories Company v. Mishra, CAUSE NO. 2:16-CV-524-PPS-JEM, 2017 WL 365619, at *2 (N.D. Ind. Jan. 25, 2017).
 Baleriz Carribean Ltd. Corp. v. Calvo, Case 1:16-cv-23300-KMW, at 7 (S.D.Fla. Aug. 5, 2016). See also Renaud & Armington, supra note 39. A commentator opines that federal courts are reluctant to issue an ex parte seizure order against someone who has never concealed evidence or disregarded court orders before. Engler, supra note 13, at 21.
 Digital Assurance Certification, LLC v. Pendolino, Case No: 6:17-cv-72-Orl-31TBS, at *1-2 (M.D.Fla. Jan. 23, 2017).
 Engler, supra note 13, at 21; Dharnidharka, Day & McCrimmon, supra note 8.
 Mission Capital Advisors, LLC v. Romaka, No. 16-cv-05878-LLS (S.D.N.Y. July 29, 2016). Some commentators consider Romaka the very first case in which a federal court ordered a DTSA ex parte seizure after the DTSA became effective. Renaud & Armington, supra note 39.
 Romaka, No. 16-cv-05878-LLS, at 1-3.
 Id. at 2.
 In Romaka, the federal district court found the followings after reviewing the facts of this case along with the requirements under the DTSA: (1) “[a]n order issued pursuant to Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or another form of equitable relief would be inadequate because [the defendant] would evade, avoid, or otherwise not comply with such an order;” (2) “[a]n immediate and irreparable injury to [the plaintiff] would occur if such seizure is not ordered;” (3) “[t]he harm to [the plaintiff] of denying the application outweighs the harm to the legitimate interests of [the defendant];” (4) “[the plaintiff] is likely to succeed in showing that the information at issue is a trade secret based on [the plaintiff's] averments;” (5) “[the plaintiff] is likely to succeed in showing that [the defendant] has misappropriated [the plaintiff's trade secret] by improper means;” (6) “[the plaintiff] is likely to succeed in showing that the [defendant] has actual possession of the [plaintiff's trade secrets]; (7) “[d]espit the risk that [the defendant] would make the [plaintiff's trade secret] inaccessible to the court, or retain unauthorized copies, [the plaintiff] is proceeding on notice;” and (8) “[the plaintiff] is likely to succeed in showing, and has represented, that it has not publicized the requested seizure.” Id. at 2-4.
 Id. at 4. In Romaka, the plaintiff also applied for the seizure of its proprietary information other than its client and contact lists. However, the Romaka court denied the plaintiff's request for the seizure of other proprietary information because the plaintiff failed to describe “with sufficient particularity” such information and related facts, such as “confidentiality and irreparable harm.” Id.
 Renaud & Armington, supra note 39.
 Newman, Mendelson & Song, supra note 2, at 3; Engler, supra note 13, at 21; Renaud & Armington, supra note 39.
 Newman, Mendelson & Song, supra note 2, at 3.
 For instance, the injunctive remedies available under the DTSA. 18 U.S.C. §1836(b)(3). For further example, a preliminary injunction or a temporary restraining order available under the FRCP. Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(a), (b).
 As stated above, the DTSA does not preempt or displace any other remedies provided by other federal laws and state laws for trade secret misappropriation. 18 U.S.C. §1838.
 Cook, 191 F.Supp.3d at 1077, 1076-1077, 1079; Daniels, 2016 WL 7034976, at *10-11, 14; Nettles, 2016 WL 4124114, at *4. See also Newman, Mendelson & Song, supra note 2, at 2-3; Rich, supra note 8, at 6; Boxer, Griem, Jr., Malyshev & Ruffi, supra note 8.
 DTSA §2(e), Pub. L. No. 114-153, 130 Stat. 376, 381-382.
 Werdegar & Braunig, supra note 39; Krotoski, Burkholder, Harrison & Houmand, supra note 2, at 14; Engler, supra note 13, at 21.
 Avago Technologies U.S. Inc. v. Nanoprecision Products, Inc., Case No. 16-cv-03737-JCS, 2017 WL 412524, at *9 (N.D.Cal. Jan. 31, 2017); Cave Consulting Group, Inc. v. Truven Health Analytics Inc., Case No. 15-cv-02177-SI, 2017 WL 1436044, at *5 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 24, 2017); Physician's Surrogacy, Inc. v. German, Case No.: 17CV0718-MMA (WVG), 2017 WL 3622329, at *8-9 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 23, 2017). See also Tara C. Clancy, April Boyer & Michael R. Creta, Emerging Trends in Defend Trade Secrets Act Litigation, National Law Review (Sept. 26, 2017), https://www.natlawreview.com/article/emerging-trends-defend-trade-secrets-act-litigation; Milligan & Salinas, supra note 8.
 Cook, 191 F.Supp.3d at 1076-1079; Allstate Insurance Company v. Rote, No. 3:16-cv-01432-HZ, 2016 WL 4191015, at *1-5 (D. Or. Aug. 7, 2016); Syntel Sterling Best Shores Mauritius Limited v. Trizetto Group, Inc., 15-CV-211 (LGS) (RLE), 2016 WL 5338550, at *6 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 23, 2016); Adams Arms, LLC v. Unified Weapon Systems, Inc., Case No. 8:16-cv-1503-T-33AEP, 2016 WL 5391394, at *6 (M.D. Fla. Sept. 27, 2016); Brand Energy & Infrastructure Services, Inc. v. Irex Contracting Group, CIVIL ACTION NO. 16-2499, 2017 WL 1105648, at *3-8 (E.D. Pa. Mar. 24, 2017); Sleekez, LLC v. Horton, CV 16–09–BLG–SPW–TJC, 2017 WL 1906957, at *5-6 (D. Mont. Apr. 21, 2017). See also Rich, supra note 8, at 8.
 Unified Weapon Systems, 2016 WL 5391394, at *6; Horton, 2017 WL 1906957, at *5-6. See also Milligan & Salinas, supra note 8; Werdegar & Braunig, supra note 39. A recent federal court decision reveals that federal courts will likely dismiss a DTSA claim if a plaintiff makes no specific allegations other than a “conclusory allegation” of the continuing trade secret misappropriation. Hydrogen Master Rights, Ltd. v. Weston, 228 F.Supp.3d 320, 338 (D.Del. 2017). See also Engler, supra note 13, at 23.
 Unified Weapon Systems, 2016 WL 5391394, at *6. See also Rich, supra note 8, at 8.
 Engler, supra note 13, at 23.
 Milligan & Salinas, supra note 8.
 Engler, supra note 13, at 23.
 18 U.S.C. § 1838.
 Conley, supra note 4.
 Synergy Worldwide, 208 F.Supp.3d at 1201; Cori, 2016 WL 6611133, at *2-5; Nettles, 2016 WL 4124114, at *4 fn.2; Cook, 191 F.Supp.3d at 1077, 1079-1080; Daniels, 2016 WL 7034976, at *8-10; M.C. Dean, 199 F. Supp. 3d at 1353-1357; Ghost Controls, 2016 WL 4059706, at *1 fn.1, *2-4; MiTek USA, 2016 WL 4418013, at *9-10; Ciro, 242 F.Supp.3d at 797-800.
 Evans, supra note 10, at 190; Fues, Giannelli & Self, supra note 10; Fertig & Betts, Considerations—Part I, supra note 10, at 3-5.
 Blackbaud, 216 F.Supp.3d at 921.
 Digital Intent, 2016 WL 6395409, at *3. See also Evans, supra note 10, at 191.
 Engler, supra note 13, at 21; Dharnidharka, Day & McCrimmon, supra note 8.
 Sultanov, 2017 WL 67119, at *2; Mishra, 2017 WL 365619, at *2; Calvo, Case 1:16-cv-23300-KMW, at 7; Pendolino, 2017 WL 320830, at *1-2. See also Newman, Mendelson & Song, supra note 2, at 3; Engler, supra note 13, at 21; Renaud & Armington, supra note 39; Werdegar & Braunig, supra note 39.
 Newman, Mendelson & Song, supra note 2, at 2-3; Rich, supra note 8, at 6; Boxer, Griem, Jr., Malyshev & Ruffi, supra note 8.
 Cook, 191 F.Supp.3d at 1076-1079; Rote, 2016 WL 4191015, at *1-5; Trizetto Group, 2016 WL 5338550, at *6; Unified Weapon Systems, 2016 WL 5391394, at *6; Irex Contracting Group, 2017 WL 1105648, at *3-8; Horton, 2017 WL 1906957, at *5-6. See also Rich, supra note 8, at 8.
 Milligan & Salinas, supra note 8.
 Engler, supra note 13, at 23.
Review of Singapore IP Dispute Resolution Development Preface In recent years, advantage of capital and productivity are not enough for company to stand out from the business battle. Innovation and creation become the driver of business growth. Intellectual Property (“IP”) Right turns out to be the power to boost international competitiveness. In March 2013, Singapore submitted 10-year IP Hub Master Plan to guide Singapore’s development as a Global IP Hub in Asia. Six Strategies are identified from IP Hub Master Plan. This article focuses on strategy 4, developing Singapore as a choice venue for IP dispute resolution through a strong IP Court and deep IP alternative dispute resolution capabilities, to understand how Singapore attracts various stakeholders and hence create a hive of IP activities by adopting tailored processes to facilitate the resolution of IP cases and promoting alternative dispute resolution. Key Points of IP Dispute Resolution When it comes to IP issue, oblige will take either marketplace or area of IP application into account for choosing jurisdiction of dispute resolution. The major IP war occurs in America and China. Although Singapore deals with less IP case, the government considers itself as a transparent, efficient and neutral justice system, coupling with lots of transnational divisions in Singapore, which creates an opportunity to develop IP dispute resolution. To achieve the goal, Singapore puts its hand to enhance capabilities of IP Court and IP alternative dispute resolution for bringing more IP litigations and IP alternative dispute resolution to Singapore. 1. Enhance Capabilities of IP Court (1) Efficiencize Processes In September 2013, the Registrar of the Supreme Court released Circular 2 of 2013 on the issuance of the IP Court Guide, which will apply to all cases under the IP docket of the Supreme Court with immediate effect. An IP Judge will be assigned to hear all interlocutory appeals, milestone pre-trial conferences (“PTCs”) and the trial on liability. The IP Court Guide provides for two milestone PTCs before set down for trial whereby the lead counsel must personally attend to address the IP Judge on certain specified issues. All other PTCs will be heard by the senior assistant registrar managing the IP docket. Subject to certain exceptions, an assistant registrar will hear all interlocutory applications arising in each IP case. In addition, to support the IP Court’s adjudication functions, the IP Court Guide provides for the appointment of assessors (for technical expertise) and amicus curiae (for legal expertise) for IP cases. Parties are encouraged to propose a single candidate by agreement. Otherwise, parties should agree on and propose a shortlist of candidates. Due to improvement, it is more convenient for parties to track trail status. For IP Judges, they can get familiar with cases and related evidence through PCTs before entering trail process. On the whole, this change increases trail efficiency and quality. (2) Set Up Singapore International Commercial Court The Ministry of Law proposed amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore and the Supreme Court Judicature Act in October 2014. The new legislation and regulations laid the foundation of Singapore International Commercial Court (“SICC”), which was set up in January 2015. The SICC, the only one International Commercial Court in Asia, is a division of the Singapore High Court and part of the Supreme Court of Singapore designed to deal with transnational commercial disputes including business issues and patent suits. Key Features of the SICC: A. SICC matters will be heard by a Panel comprising High Court Judges, associate Judges and foreign associate Judges with extensive experience and highly regarded reputation. B. A party may be represented by a registered foreign counsel without any involvement of local Singapore counsel if the matter in question is considered to be an “offshore case”. An “offshore case” is defined in the amended Rules of Court as a case which has no substantial connection to Singapore either because (i) Singapore law is not the law applicable to the dispute and the subject matter of the dispute is not regulated by or otherwise subject to Singapore law, or (ii) The only connection between the dispute and Singapore are the parties’ choice of Singapore as the law applicable to the dispute and the parties’ submission to the SICC’s jurisdiction (“Singapore Law-only Connection”). C. The SICC will hear cases governed by Singapore law and by foreign law, with the Court taking judicial notice of the foreign law. In addition, the SICC is not bound by the domestic rules of evidence at all and may apply other rules of evidence whether they are found in a foreign law or otherwise, if the parties make an application for it. 2.Strengthen Capabilities of IP Alternative Dispute Resolution Singapore International Arbitration Center (“SIAC”) and the WIPO Arbitration and Mediation Center Singapore Office were set up respectively in 1991 and 2001 to strengthen capabilities of IP arbitration. On the basis of these two centers, in order to enrich alternative dispute resolution, Singapore also established Singapore International Mediation Center (“SIMC”) and launched the service of arbitration-mediation-arbitration (“Arb-Med-Arb”) in November 2014. Arb-Med-Arb is a process where a dispute is referred to arbitration before mediation is attempted. If the parties are able to settle their dispute through mediation, their mediated settlement may be recorded as a consent award. If the parties are unable to settle their dispute through mediation, they may continue with the arbitration proceedings. Arb-Med-Arb is definitely a better way for parties to reach a consensus on a dispute since arbitration is more costly and mediation is less powerful. Conclusion The SIMC and the SIAC are now collectively working on mediation, Arb-Med-Arb and arbitration and providing various IP alternative dispute resolutions. Moreover, the SICC and IP Court are charged with IP litigation. These make Singapore a comprehensive IP dispute resolution system. In the process of revolution, Singapore puts itself up to breakthrough as to amendments and the Supreme Court Judicature Act, which establish legitimacy of SICC. The government also defines IP dispute resolution services, such as SIMC’s mediation, Arb-Med-Arb, arbitration as well as SICC features. Nevertheless, other than SIAC, SICC decision may be difficult to enforce transnationally due to lack of legislation. To sum up, Singapore earns recognition for aggressively proposing amendments and assigning responsibilities after setting IP target and evaluating obstacles; however, it is better to pay special attention to that if the market can keep up with administrative efficiency or if the IP strategy could accord with the demands of the market.A Survey Study on the Intellectual Property Management amongst Taiwanese Companies
J. Kitty Huang Chien-Shan Chiu Background In order to provide insight into intellectual property (IP) awareness, the status quo as well as potential hardship and demands arise over IP management, STLC was commissioned by IDB (Industrial Development Bureau) to conduct a survey study in June 2010. In this article, we provide briefings on the contents, research methodology and major findings of this study. About the research The survey questionnaire was sent by means of emails or posts to a total of 1000 business establishments randomly generated from the registration data facilitated by the Ministry of Economic Affairs. This was also the first time that such a survey has been envisaged on such a comprehensive scale, covering businesses located around Taiwan with the aim being to produce an in-depth analysis into IP management in various industries including manufacturing, precision machineries, photonics, bio-medicals, info-techs, semiconductors etc. Sixty-five percent of the respondents have less than fifty employees and the overall response rate achieved was 13.1%.1 A continuing need to strengthen IP awareness is required The first section of the questionnaire dealing with IP awareness gauged respondent companies IP knowledge and understanding through a series of questions relating to IP law and practice. When asked whether formal registration was necessary to obtain a range of intellectual property rights (IPRs), over 70% of companies replied with correct answers, namely patents, designs and trademarks. However, through other questions at a more advanced level, the responses revealed a general lack of knowledge in IP law and hence a continuing need to strengthen IP awareness is required. For instance, overall 70% of companies know that obtaining patents will require formal registration, yet surprisingly even of these over 50% incorrectly thought the manners of patent utilization, such as making products, will not result in infringing others IPRs. This result arguably suggests that respondents are in the main unaware that a patent does not give the patent owner the right to exploit the patented invention himself, but rather, he has only the “exclusive right” to stop others from doing so. For another instance, whilst 32% of respondents inaccurately thought that a formal registration is required to obtain copyrights, nonetheless this does not equate to the result being a near 70% of companies have a full and correct knowledge in regard to copyright. When faced with a slightly more obscure question of who would own the copyright in commissioned work (such as website creation) in the absence of a contract, 26% of companies didn’t know and 30% answered incorrectly. On the same token, though only 10% of respondents erroneously believed that trade secrets would require a formal registration, when asked whether the company’s client list may be a trade secret, the number of correct replies (61%) drops sharply when compared to the previous one. Though intended as a question to discriminate at the upper levels of trade secret awareness, the replies are more likely to reflect a lack comprehension of the subject among Taiwanese companies. The important message arise from the overall scales in the first section of the survey is that the need for IP awareness promotion and enhancement amongst companies in Taiwan still exists. Lack of IP expertise is a major barrier In the second section of the questionnaire companies were asked a series of questions which were intended to measure the status quo through the extent of IP management practices. Perhaps one would agree that the issue of perceptions of the importance of IP to a company is greatly linked to how effective it manages them. When asked to indicate reasons as to why IP is important to their business, the replies were rather polarized. The two most popular reasons were “means to differentiate from competitors” (33%) and “to prevent infringement” (30%). The distinction between the two is clearly that the former reason is relatively active and strategic whilst the latter is perceived to be passive and defensive. On the other hand, “to retrieve the cost of R&D” (4%) and “to attract more investors” (5%) are least likely to be seen as the reasons why IP is important to them. The results may suggest that generally speaking, Taiwanese companies tended not to utilize their IP to generate revenues nor correlate them with the business strategies, but rather, see them more of a shield to avoid infringement. Companies were asked what IPRs they own and the most common ones are trademarks (21%) and utility patents (20%), with invention patents (14%) being the third on the rank. In contrast only 2% of respondent companies own copyrights. While such result may be attributed to the overall structure of the industry, it may also link to the observation that most companies not merely lack the comprehension of copyrights but may also not be aware of owning such IPR. Furthermore, it is also surprising to find that 45% of respondents do not own any IPRs. The absence of IPRs within these companies is perhaps a key indication of poor awareness and inactive management of IPRs amongst many Taiwanese companies. To measure the extent of IP management is not easy as the intensity of it differs both by sector and by size. Therefore, the task is achieved through 9 questions designed on the concept of PDCA (plan-do-check-act) process which would allow the respondents to review and find out any inadequacy in their IP management as they proceed. One would expect that those companies with effective IP management would take care to evaluate the various IPRs required at different time intervals. Whilst all of the answer choices are considered to be “important timings”, for example “when planning for new skills/products/business” and “when further investment in IP would enhance defense (such as infringement prevention); yet the results revealed that over 60% of the companies did not perform such evaluation at whatever timing. This may suggest that in general, companies in Taiwan are inadequately concerned with the evaluation process within their management of IP. Such a result may consequently make them ignoring means to prevent infringement (such as checking competitors’ IPRs and prior-art search) or pay attention to regulation updates. Effective IP management indisputably requires certain monetary inputs. Companies were asked whether they have regularly spent on obtaining and maintaining IPRs the firm owns, and remarkably only about 36% of respondents answered this question. In addition the companies were asked about how much they spent on “application fees”2,“incentives offered to inventors”, “spending on HR” and “other expense”. Only a paltry 6% of all respondent companies spent on all the abovementioned categories and mostly up to the amount of NT$100,000 (roughly USD$3300) per each. Linked with the spending on IPRs is perhaps whether companies have designated staff responsible for managing IPRs or have a separate IP department. Again, 70% of respondents replied negatively to this question and only 10% of some larger companies (with over 200 employees) have specific personnel or department designated to assume this responsibility. The results may indicate a general lack of expertise in managing IPRs as a barrier to leveraging full value of them as well as making proper legal decision in the event of IP related disputes Companies were asked how to protect their IPRs through a variety of methods of protection though the majority (over 72%) didn’t implement any of them. The most highly identified method being “protect core skills by patents”, however, only 35% of companies adopted such protection. Furthermore, roughly 76% of the companies did not conduct training in IP issues for employees, and over 75% did not attempt to assess the efficiency of their management of IP. The explanation to the above is conceivably a general lack of IP expertise due to inadequate monetary inputs as well as perceived high costs for IP specialists within the company. The results ultimately reflect an inefficient execution of IP management in the massive Taiwanese companies. Most companies have only limited resources The final aspect of IP management that has been surveyed is the hardships occurred and accordingly the resources sought to solve them. When asked what are the major difficulties in the process of managing IP, the most common answers were “high expenditure on filing and maintenance” (18%), “lack of professional advice” (15%) and “regulatory complexity” (15%). These results are arguably all related to the facts already discussed in the afore-mentioned paragraphs. In general, the survey revealed that most companies have only limited resources and therefore highly demand external aids such as government funding or projects to help soften the hardships and improve their management skills. Accordingly, “unifying resources for enhancing IP management through a mutual platform” (22%) and “facilitate industry peer networks” (21%) being the most popular resources sought. Furthermore, 14% of the respondents indicated their urge to receive “on-site expert assistance”, and a remarkable 90% of the respondents have never been aware of the TIPS (Taiwan Intellectual Property Management System) project, which is one initiated by the government to help companies set up a systematic IP management system. As a result, efforts to promote the TIPS project should be further devoted as the initial step to assist companies strengthen their IP awareness and management skills. Conclusion The results of the survey present the status quo of IP management amongst the companies in Taiwan which is proportionally consistent with their IP awareness as well as hardships and resources sought. The present study shows what one might expect, that is larger companies tend to be more IP aware and have greater resources to manage their IPRs, whilst the rest of others (especially SMEs) are in the main inadequately aware of IP, which is crucial to enhance active IP management within and throughout their firms. While various resources are highly demanded, perhaps the government should firstly take steps to promote that awareness within and throughout their organizations. Linked with this is the second important point which is that further promotion of the TIPS project should be aimed at not only enhancing IP awareness but also assisting companies to better manage their IPRs. IP management is essential to preserve IP created by companies and the TIPS system would enable companies to foster and strengthen key aspects of IP management such as conduct training in IP issues for employees, evaluate various IPRs required, etc. Some of the complementary measures as such expert consultations and TIPS networks or seminars would also help to alleviate some of the hardships encountered in the process of managing IP. On the other hand, like the “Survey on Business Attitudes to Intellectual Property” being conducted yearly in Hong Kong since year 2004, it is suggested that the present survey research or the alike to be continually carried out to assist promoting IP awareness within Taiwan industry. Finally, we would like to thank everyone who contributed to this survey research and hope that it provides valuable insight into the goals originally proposed. 1.The survey resulted in 157 replies from which 26 of them were nullified by false or incomplete answers. 2.Application fees” include fees occurred from exploring inventions up to application and maintenance, which also include attorney fees.Mainland China changes domestic regulation for game consoles
In 2000, the General Office of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China issued “the Notice on Launching a Special Campaign against Illegal Electronic Game Rooms”(國務院辦公廳轉發文化部等部門關於開展電子遊戲經營場所專項治理意見的通知). From then on, Mainland China has strictly enforced prohibition on gaming consoles, however in December 21, 2013, “the State Council released the Comprehensive Plan for the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the State Council’s Decision to Temporarily Adjust Relevant Administrative Laws and State Council Regulated Special Administrative Measures for Approval or Access in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone”(國務院關於在中國(上海)自由貿易試驗區內暫時調整有關行政法規和國務院文件規定的行政審批或者准入特別管理措施的決定). As a result of the thirteen year long prohibition on game consoles, the development of the game consoles market has been limited in Mainland China, while mobile phone and online games have dominated the video games market in the country. Mainland China’s lifting of the ban on game consoles will lead to a reshuffling of the gaming market, and is certainly worth a deeper look. This following article will review the evolution of the gaming regulatory policy in Mainland China over the recent years, and identifies the changes and problems that may arise during the deregulation process. The sale of game consoles has been prohibited in Mainland China since 2000 According to “The Notice on Launching a Special Campaign against Illegal Electronic Game Rooms” issued by General Office of the State Council in 2000, “companies and individuals were prohibited from the manufacture or sale of game consoles, as well as the production or sale of related accessories”. As a result, the mobile game consoles and the television game consoles both lost their legitimacy in the video game industry in Mainland China. The stated intent of the ban against video arcades was to protect the youth and ensure public order. And yet, in spite of potentially impacting youth in a similar manner, the online game sector has been listed as a key industry for development and has been strongly supported by the government. This has clearly contradicted the reason of banning the game consoles. Thus, the major console manufacturers, Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo, have been trying in various ways to enter the Chinese market, and have called on the Mainland China government to open their domestic market for the sale of game consoles. Announcement of reopening the sale of game consoles in China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone in 2013. After thirteen long years, the State Council issued the “the Comprehensive Plan for the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone”, permitting foreign enterprises to produce and sell game equipment in the Free Trade Zone. Five days later, Blockbuster that under Shanghai Media Group announced a cooperation with Microsoft in a joint venture company within the Free Trade Zone, claiming their main business as " design, development, production games, entertainment applications and derivative products; sales, licensing, marketing and production for third-party games and entertainment applications software; technical advice and services related to video games ". In December 21, 2013, “the State Council released the Comprehensive Plan for the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone, the State Council’s Decision to Temporarily Adjust Relevant Administrative Laws and State Council Regulated Special Administrative Measures for Approval or Access in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free Trade Zone”, officially lifted the prohibition on game consoles in the Free Trade Zone, and also opened the gates to investors. Potential problems facing China’s game consoles market As the case study above describes, Microsoft chose to enter the Mainland China market through a joint venture, the main reason being that foreign investment in entities engaged in internet data operations is still prohibited in China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone. Thus, Microsoft will need to rely heavily on Blockbuster for the data operation and set-top box business license, which was the main subject as the Internet service content provider. In addition, apart from the joint venture between Blockbuster and Microsoft, there are two other companies in the industry: Sony and Nintendo, which retain a large part of the game consoles market, but have not taken action at the moment. These two companies have a pivotal position in the game consoles industry, and therefore it is predicted they will likely follow the Blockbuster and Microsoft example to look for a license holder vendor as a way to enter the mainland China market. On the other hand, at the end of June 2014 the updated announcement regarding the China (Shanghai) Free Trade Zone “negative list”, still clearly stated that foreign enterprises in the Free Trade Zone are “prohibited from direct or indirect participation in online game operations and services”. Due to the trend among game consoles towards online connectivity, the classification of related games as online games, and prohibition of foreign enterprises from entering this space, domestic game developers have enjoyed a safe monopoly over the industry in Mainland China. But if the industry is not restricted under the scope of foreign operation of online games, and foreign enterprises may be allowed involvement in the management of their operations directly or indirectly, “fully localized” online game industry in Mainland China may be challenged in a noticeable way. In addition, although Mainland China has begun to loosen control over game consoles, the publication of electronic publications licensed by a foreign copyright owner (including online gaming works) will be determined under the General Administration of Press and Publication (新聞出版廣電總局). An enterprise who wishes to enter the Mainland China market has to create content which is able to pass a content review, at the same time maintaining the original integrity of the game. Moreover, consumers in Mainland China have long been accustomed to "cheap" or "free" Internet games, so are they going to change their behavior and be willing to pay for their games? These are big obstacles to be overcome by the industry.The Dispute on WTO TRIPS IP Waiver Proposal and the Impact on Taiwan
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. 3. Conclusion 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. Waiver From Certain Provisions Of The Trips Agreement For The Prevention, Containment And Treatment Of Covid-19, WTO, Oct 2, 2020, https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/SS/directdoc.aspx?filename=q:/IP/C/W669.pdf&Open=True (last visited July 5, 2021) Waiver From Certain Provisions Of The Trips Agreement For The Prevention, Containment And Treatment Of Covid-19 Revised Decision Text, WTO, May 25, 2021, https://docs.wto.org/dol2fe/Pages/SS/directdoc.aspx?filename=q:/IP/C/W669R1.pdf&Open=True (last visited July 5, 2021) COVID-19 IP Waiver Supporters Splinter On What To Cover, Law360, June 30, 2021, https://www.law360.com/articles/1399245/covid-19-ip-waiver-supporters-splinter-on-what-to-cover- (last visited July 5, 2021) The Legal Framework for Waiving World Trade Organization (WTO) Obligations, Congressional Research Service, May 17, 2021, https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/LSB/LSB10599 (last visited July 5, 2021) South Africa and India push for COVID-19 patents ban, The Lancet, December 5, 2020, https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)32581-2/fulltext (last visited July 5, 2021) MSF supports India and South Africa ask to waive COVID-19 patent rights, MSF, Oct 7, 2020, https://www.msf.org/msf-supports-india-and-south-africa-ask-waive-coronavirus-drug-patent-rights (last visited July 5, 2021) MSF urges wealthy countries not to block COVID-19 patent waiver, MSF, Feb. 3, https://www.msf.org/msf-urges-wealthy-countries-not-block-covid-19-patent-waiver (last visited July 5, 2021) Rich countries are refusing to waive the rights on Covid vaccines as global cases hit record levels, CNBC, Apr. 22, 2021,https://www.cnbc.com/2021/04/22/covid-rich-countries-are-refusing-to-waive-ip-rights-on-vaccines.html (last visited July 5, 2021) Statement from Ambassador Katherine Tai on the Covid-19 Trips Waiver, May 5, 2021, https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2021/may/statement-ambassador-katherine-tai-covid-19-trips-waiver (last visited July 5, 2021) TRIPS waiver: EU Council and European Commission must support equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines for all, Education International, June 9, 2021, https://www.ei-ie.org/en/item/24916:trips-waiver-eu-council-and-european-commission-must-support-equitable-access-to-covid-19-vaccines-for-all (last visited July 5, 2021) EU proposes a strong multilateral trade response to the COVID-19 pandemic, European Commission, June 21, 2021, https://trade.ec.europa.eu/doclib/press/index.cfm?id=2272 (last visited July 5, 2021) Drugmakers say Biden misguided over vaccine patent waiver, Reuters, May 6, 2021, https://www.reuters.com/business/healthcare-pharmaceuticals/pharmaceutical-association-says-biden-move-covid-19-vaccine-patent-wrong-answer-2021-05-05/ (last visited July 5, 2021) J&J's Chief Patent Atty Says COVID IP Waiver Won't Work, Law360, Apr. 22, 2021, https://www.law360.com/ip/articles/1375715?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=section (last visited July 5, 2021) Pfizer CEO opposes U.S. call to waive Covid vaccine patents, cites manufacturing and safety issues, CNBC, May 7, 2021, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/07/pfizer-ceo-biden-backed-covid-vaccine-patent-waiver-will-cause-problems.html (last visited July 5, 2021) Moderna CEO says he's not losing any sleep over Biden's support for COVID-19 vaccine waiver, Fierce Pharma, May 6, 2021, https://www.fiercepharma.com/pharma/moderna-ceo-says-he-s-not-losing-any-sleep-over-biden-s-endorsement-for-covid-19-ip-waiver (last visited July 5, 2021) Open Covid Pledge. https://opencovidpledge.org/ (last visited July 7, 2021) Statement by Moderna on Intellectual Property Matters during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Moderna, Oct. 8, 2020, https://investors.modernatx.com/news-releases/news-release-details/statement-moderna-intellectual-property-matters-during-covid-19 (last visited July 7, 2021)