I received an updated reminder from our associates in Taiwan, Tai E International Patent & Law Office, regarding filing patent applications in Taiwan. Many people know that

Taiwan is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and that it recognizes claims for priority rights from citizens of all WTO member states. Therefore, nationals of WTO member states and applicants having their place of business or residence in such states, who have filed their first patent application legally for an invention in a member state of the WTO or in a foreign country that allows Taiwan nationals to claim priority based on reciprocity, and then have filed their patent application for the same invention in Taiwan within twelve months from the filing date of their first patent application in that foreign country, may claim priority in their Taiwan application. In this regard, the application in Taiwan will be treated as if it had been filed on the same date as the first application filed in the WTO member country or the country with a specific reciprocal agreement.

Apparently, Tai E gets lots of requests every year from foreign clients to file a patent application in Taiwan based on the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT).

Many people are filing a PCT application and then looking to enter Taiwan at the national stage 30 months after filing their priority application. Since Taiwan is not a PCT Contracting State, the 30 month grace period to file a national stage application is not applicable here. It seems that many applicants mistakenly believe that Taiwan is a PCT Contracting State and delay too long to file a patent application in Taiwan.

In other words, nationals of WTO member states, as well as applicants who have their places of business or residence in such states are entitled to claim priority based on their first application under the EPC or PCT but the grace period for claiming priority is twelve months for an invention patent and six months for a design patent from the date of filing the first application.

So, get those Taiwan applications in early folks.

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