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STLI Quarterly Newsletter 2020 NO.01, Mar

On February 25 2020, Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) promulgated Special Act on COVID-19 Prevention, Relief and Restoration (嚴重特殊傳染性肺炎防治及紓困振興特別條例, hereinafter referred to as the Special COVID-19 Act) to mitigate any impact caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The Special COVID-19 Act entitled to implement a budget of NT$60 billion to aid Taiwanese society and economy in response to the outbreak. Besides, the Special COVID-19 Act provided a legal basis for the government to take anti-epidemic measures, such as penalties, compensations, and expropriating private facilities and materials when necessary. Most articles of the Special COVID-19 Act came into force retrospectively from January 15, 2020, and will expire on June 30, 2021, while articles 12 through 16 took effect from February 25, 2020. The main measures of the Special COVID-19 Act are as stated below:

  1. The Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) can film or photograph people who actual or likely breach quarantine or people confirmed to have COVID-19, and publish their personal information. After the epidemic ends, those personal information collected should be handled according to personal information related decrees.
  2. CECC have the authority to expropriate or requisite private land, products, buildings, devices, facilities, pharmaceuticals and medical devices for disease control practices, facilities for the treatment of contamination, transportation means, and other designated disease control resources announced by the central competent authority. Governments could manage those expropriated or requisited asset without compliance with the National Property Act.
  3. The commander of CECC could issue contingency measures on COVID-19 Prevention when necessary.
  4. People who hoard equipment or medicines deemed necessary for disease control, would face a prison term up to five years and a possible fine up to NT$5 million.
  5. People who spread rumors or disinformation about COVID-19, would face a maximum prison term of three years and a possible fine up to NT$3 million.
  6. Other compensation measures include,

    (1) extra compensation to medical workers and disease-prevention effort personnel; and

    (2) right to request compensation from health authorities for people who are quarantined as well as people who need to take care of quarantined family members, but are not paid by their employers (with2-year request period); and

    (3) double income tax deductions on salary payout for employers who pay their employees under quarantine or absent to take care for quarantined family members.


On December 3, 2019, Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (hereinafter referred to as “TIPO”) published an analysis of Taiwan AI patent application and common grounds for refusal AI patents (hereinafter referred to as “the Analysis”) aiming to provide applicants a guidance when drafting a patent claims and enhance the predictability of actions across the TIPO.

First, the Analysis presented an overview of the world patent application, citing the WIPO Technology Trends 2019: Artificial Intelligence. While the term “Artificial Intelligence” was proposed in 1956 at Dartmouth Summer Research Project, the boom of Artificial Intelligence has happened within the past 8 years, attributing to the breakthroughs in machine learning, mainly in neural networks and deep learning. The application of AI patents has thrived since then. According to the statistics provided by WIPO, the applications in 2017 (55,660) were 6.5 times compared to those in 2006 (8,515). Between 2006 and 2011, the annual increase of patent publications was about 8%, but between 2012 and 2017, the rate became 28%.

Secondly, the Analysis released the statistics of the AI patent application in Taiwan. In the patent search, TIPO set the keywords as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Neural Network, Deep Learning, and Machine Learning Algorithm. TIPO had received 1,567 patent applications in 2018. Above all AI fundamental techniques, Neural Network (Deep Learning) stood out, featuring 31% of all the applications. However, there were more than half of the applications which were fundamentally irrelevant to Neural Network. Notably, 11% of the applications in Taiwan were hardware for Neural Network, which was different from the global trend. TIPO considered that the outcomes demonstrated Taiwan’s profound industrial characteristics for hardware. TIPO further pointed out that 80% of the applications mentioned the application of a specific function. Breaking down the application field, computer vision made up the majority of the applications with 49%, followed by forecasting analysis (29%), robotics (3%), control method (8%), speech processing (6%), natural language processing (4%), planning and scheduling (1.4%), knowledge representation and reasoning (1%) and distributed artificial intelligence (0.5%).

Last, the Analysis indicated common grounds for refusal AI patents. TIPO had notified 517 applications to set forth the reasoning for the rejection. The most common reason was lacking inventive step (405 cases), followed by being indefinite for failing to particularly point out and distinctly claim the subject matter (190 cases), the specification containing subject matter which was not described in the specification in such a way to enable one skilled in the art to which it pertains (62 cases), failed to meet the requirement for “invention” (21 cases), and other (128 cases). TIPO suggested that applicants can deliberate the technical characteristics in the specification to have better chances of being granted an AI patent.

Reference: https://www.tipo.gov.tw/tw/cp-85-859330-1189b-1.html


On 6th February 2020, The National Communications Commission (NCC) published a draft and sought comments from the public to amend the "Regulations for Administration of Mobile Base Stations for Public Telecommunications Network Establishment" (hereinafter referred to as “the Draft”). In response to the Telecommunications Management Act promulgated in June 2019, it is necessary to make corresponding adjustments to the base station regulation. The Draft of the "Regulations for Administration of Mobile Base Stations for Public Telecommunications Network Establishment" considers the purpose of the law of the Telecommunications Management Act and made an essential assessment. The installation of process base stations will be simplified, changing from the licensing permission to the non-licensing system, but the filing will be required. The management of the base station placement will be classified into the macro base station and the micro base station with different optimal coverage and traffic density. The draft also regulates the licensing of the co-construction, co-site, frequency sharing, common network, and mutual base station placement. Besides, some other 5G strategies related have taken into consideration, such as hanging the light poles on the base station. The Draft consists of 5 chapters and 26 articles, the key points of the draft are listed as follow:

  1. Chapter 1: General (Article 1 and 2 of the draft)

    (1) Basis of drafting. (Article 1)
    (2) Definition of terms. (Article 2)

  2. Chapter 2: Setup procedures and experiments (Article 3 to 8 of the draft)

    (1) The method of base station hierarchical management. (Article 3)
    (2) Base station setup procedures and regulations. (Article 4, 5 and 6)
    (3) The method of base station inspection and related regulations. (Article 7 and 8)

  3. Chapter 3: License management (Article 9 to 13 of the draft)
    Management about Base Station License issuance and renewal.
  4. Chapter 4: Setup regulations and restrictions (Article 14 to 22 of the draft)

    (1) Telecommunications can use public facilities such as street light poles to set up base stations. (Article 14)
    (2) Matters related to co-construction and co-site (Union Station) installation of base stations.(Article 15)
    (3) Paying attention to landscaping matters as setting up base stations. (Article 16)
    (4) The setting restrictions and equipment certification of base stations. (Article 17, 18 and 19)
    (5) The standard of the emissive power and electromagnetic wave power should be followed. (Article 20)
    (6) Interference of waves processing principle. (Article 21)
    (7) Regulations on the degree of wind resistance of standby power sources and iron towers of large base stations. (Article 22)

  5. Chapter 5: Supplementary Provisions (Article 23 to 26 of the draft)

    (1) The competent authority may check the installation of the base station regularly or irregularly. (Article 23)
    (2) Setters should pay Processing Fee. (Article 24)
    (3) Book format, data delivery methods, etc., Announced by the competent authority. (Article 25)
    (4) Effective date. (Article 26)






At present, all authorities concerned view blockchain technology as computer-implemented inventions. While the computer-implemented technology grows fast, the patent development of which remains slow, far from mature. For instance, after Alice v. CLS Bank establishing the Two-Step Test, almost every computer-implemented invention is considered abstract, and thus, can barely acquire patent-eligibility or patentability in the United States. The prosperity of the blockchain technology has activated more discussions and deliberations on patentability of computer-implemented invention.

On December 4th, 2018, the European Patent Office (EPO) held a conference focused on the patentability of blockchain technology. On the conference, the European Patent Office shed light on that “Blockchain Inventions = Computer Implemented Inventions (CII),” and further provided the corresponding review guidelines to each of the underlying blockchain technology. Moreover, both European Union and the United States released the updated policy documents: EPO published Guidelines for Examination in the European Patent Office, November 2018 Edition. The November 2018 Edition revised the articles of computer implemented invention, including those related to the blockchain technology; namely, Mathematical Concepts, Certain Methods of Organizing Human Activity, and Mental Processes. On January 7th, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) released 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance, which split the Step-A of the Two-Step Test into two prongs. Computer-Implemented Inventions will not be inherently abstract; therefore, blockchain inventions are much more likely to be granted patents.

This essay analyzes practical discussions of computer-implemented inventions patents in Europe and the United States, and intends to provide the blockchain society a broad overview of patent applications.

Key Word
Blockchain, patent, computer implemented invention, patent eligibility, distributed ledger technology, two-step test, software patent, IP strategy, Bitcoin, Ethereum

< Source: Olivia I-Hsuan Chu, Patenting Blockchain: EPO and USPTO Practice for Computer Implemented Inventions Vol. 31 No. 8 p.26~51 >



In recent years, Taiwan has faced many population and social problems, including aging population and insufficient local resources, which are similar to the development trend of Japanese geographical population. In response to the population decline and the shortage of labor, Regional Revitalization becomes a new model of local governance in 2014, focusing urban, human, work, and three tools including information, talents and finance.

In addition to Japan, other countries also make strategies to face a social-economic problem, like the urban-rural development gap uneven resources distribution and the ageing population. With Information Technology, AI technology, and automation, the World drives industrial transformation.

This article refers to Japan's Regional Revitalization Policies and countries’ legislation. By comparing various innovation policies, this article will help Taiwan government shape the innovation policies in the future.

Key Word
Regional Revitalization, Smart Cities, Smart Community, demographic change

< Source: Chih-Yi Liu, Analysis on the Innovative Legal System Driven by Social Changes Vol. 31 No. 10 p.44~71 >