November 30, 2018
The Taiwanese Intellectual Property Office recently released data with respect to the number of patent applications submitted in the third quarter of 2018. Taiwan’s patent law regime contemplates three patent categories: invention patents, utility model patents and design patents. With respect to bringing technical ideas to fruition, invention patents are the most important.
As reported by Focus Taiwan News Channel, Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) filed 303 invention patent applications between July and September 2018, marking a 35 per cent increase in TSMC’s applications compared to last year. This makes TSMC (which is the world’s largest contract chipmaker) the company which filed the highest number of applications in Taiwan in the third quarter of 2018. AU Optronics Corp., Taiwan’s second largest flat panel maker, filed 107 invention patent applications during the same three-month period, marking an eight per cent increase for the company and placing it second behind TSMC.
With respect to foreign invention patent applicants, U.S.-based chip designer Qualcomm filed 234 invention patent applications (a 73 per cent increase compared to last year) making it the largest foreign invention patent applicant. China’s Alibaba Group Services Ltd. placed second among foreign companies, filing 132 applications (a 13 per cent decrease compared to last year), while Japan’s Toshiba Memory Corp. was third on the list, filing 115 applications (a 39 per cent increase compared to last year).
Qualcomm is forecasted to invest heavily in Taiwan in the future. Subsequent to a settlement reached between Qualcomm and Taiwan’s Fair Trade Commission in an antitrust dispute, Qualcomm recently committed to making a US$700 million investment in Taiwan over the next five years. This investment will cover 5G collaboration, startup and university collaborations and market expansion.
Local invention patent applicants with a high number of filings included MediaTek Inc. (MediaTek) which designs integrated circuits, PC brand Acer Inc., (Acer) and Realtek Semiconductor Corp. (Realtek). MediaTek filed 83 patent applications – down 14 per cent from the previous year, Acer filed 82 patent applications – a decrease of 4 per cent from a year earlier, and Realtek had 58 applications – up 76 per cent.
In total, 11,746 invention patent applications were filed in Taiwan in the third quarter of 2018 – a 1 per cent growth from the previous year. Taiwan’s Intellectual Property Office provides further information on patent applications and IP news in Taiwan.