The Patent Law in Taiwan has recently been revised, with effect from 26 October 2001. The main points of significance are as follows:

Minimum requirements for obtaining filing date A filing date will in future be accorded to a patent application when the official fee, specification and drawings have been submitted to the Patent Office in Taiwan. Other documents (the required oath and assignment, power of attorney and priority documents, if applicable) can be furnished after the filing date. If the specification and drawings are in a language other than Chinese, the Patent Office will set a term within which a Chinese translation must be filed.

Claiming priority Until now, Taiwan has had only restricted provisions for claiming priority. The revised law brings Taiwan into compliance with the Paris Convention, although the revision is yet to be enforced. A system of internal priority has also been introduced, to the effect that priority can be claimed from an application which was previously filed in Taiwan.

A certified copy of the priority document(s), where applicable, must be filed within three months of the filing date in Taiwan.

Publication of applications Patent applications will now be open to public inspection after 18 months (presumably calculated from the priority date, although this is not clear), assuming that the application has passed the formalities examination. Early publication may be requested, if required.

Substantial examination Substantial examination may be requested within three years of the filing date of a patent application. If a request is not duly made, the application will be deemed to have been withdrawn.