IP Court is delayed until Summer 2008


It is being reported in Chinese-language media that Taiwan's long awaited IP Court will not begin hearing cases until July 1 2008. The new court was originally expected to begin hearing cases in August 2007, but that date has now been pushed back.

According to these reports, Kao Hsiu-chen, director of the Judicial Yuan's Department of Administrative Litigation and Discipline, has announced that the IP Court's preparatory office is now up and running but will need another 10 months to be certified and complete renovations.

The IP Court will sit in Banciao, the administrative seat for Taipei County, where it will hear civil, criminal and administrative disputes over intellectual property. For civil disputes, the court will serve as both the trial court and the appellate court. The Supreme Court will be the court of last resort for civil IP matters.

Criminal IP complaints, however, will continue to be heard in ordinary district courts while the new IP Court will be the intermediate appellate court. The court of last resort in criminal IP cases will be the Supreme Court.

Administrative IP cases will be heard by the IP Court in the first instance with the Supreme Administrative Court directly hearing appeals as the court of last resort.

Kao noted the importance of intellectual property to Taiwan by observing that Taiwanese inventors ranked fourth for the number of patents filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2005. Taiwan also files significant numbers of patent applications in the European Union, Japan, and South Korea.

For background, see "New IP Court set to start hearing cases in September".

Michael Fahey, Winkler Partners, Taipei

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