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Legislation Update: Taiwan’s Intellectual Property Office (“TIPO”) now Allows the Branch of a Foreign Company to Directly Apply for Patent or Trademark so long as Said Branch Has Its Own Juristic Entity

Submitted By: Formosan Brothers

Taipei, Taiwain

When a foreign company files for patent or trademark applications at TIPO, should the parent company or the branch be listed as the applicant?  In the explanatory Letter Che Fa Tze No. 10018600350 dated June 8th, 2011, TIPO stated that patent or trademark should be applied for by an independent juristic person that in effect uses the rights and benefits.   A foreign company may apply for patent or trademark in the Taiwan irres-pective of whether it is recognized within the territory of the Taiwan   Furthermore, whether a branch of a foreign company can be the lawful applicant for patent or trademark depends on if said branch has its own independent juristic person. Namely,

1.    A foreign parent company’s branch in Taiwan, which according to the law of the Taiwan lacks its own independent juristic person, cannot be a lawful applicant.  The application shall be filed by the foreign parent company.

2.    A branch set up by a foreign parent company outside the country of the foreign parent company’s head office, if according to the law of the country where said branch is set up has its own juristic person, the branch can be a lawful applicant.  When applying, the branch shall provide either proof of having an independent juristic person according to the law of the country where it was set up, or a representation stating the same.   If the representation is inconsistent with known foreign laws or if TIPO considers it is necessary, TIPO will notify the applicant to provide actual proof.  If the proof cannot be provided in time or if what is provided is insufficient, then the branch cannot be a lawful applicant; instead, its parent company should file.

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The general information contained herein is intended for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be, and should not be construed as, legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances.

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