Taiwan, UK conclude MOU on biological materials deposit
E171204Y1．E171204Z1 | Dec. 2017（E217）
To cope with Taiwanese nationals’ diversified patent applications and patent layout and to expand deposit network collaboration with other countries, Taiwan IPO and UKIPO signed a memorandum of understanding, “Mutual Cooperation on Biological Materials Deposit for Taiwan-British Patent Procedures” on December 1, 2017 and the mutual recognition was officially effected on the same day. This Taiwan-U.K. MOU manifests another breakthrough for patent cooperation subsequent to Taiwan-Japan mutual recognition of deposit of biological materials implemented in 2015.
Taiwan IPO pointed out that under the Taiwan-UK cooperation agreement, Taiwanese national applicants will have to make a deposit of biological materials at Food Industry Research and Development Institute in Taiwan or the depositary institution in the UK and also provide depositary documents to Taiwan IPO or UKIPO. Both Taiwan IPO and UKIPO will recognize the fact of the deposit, and therefore, applicants will not have to repeatedly make duplicate deposits. Now with the Taiwan-U.K. cooperation program, Taiwanese companies or research institutions which file patent applications in multiple countries may choose to make a deposit at the depositary in the U.K. in addition to that in Japan mutually recognized by our country and Japan.
According to the Taiwan IPO’s press statement, most of the invention patent applications coming from the U.K. involve inventions regarding biotechnology, medicine, and pharmaceuticals and their numbers have been increasing year by year. In this regard, Taiwan IPO took the initiative in contacting the UKIPO to take up their mutual collaboration, and after efforts for years, both sides concluded the MOU, which enlarges Taiwan’s scope of mutual recognition for deposit with other countries.
The Taiwan-U.K. cooperation under this MOU will not only provide Taiwanese nationals with multiple options for depositories but also avoid the complicated procedures for import or export of biological materials and also the risk of contamination with other microorganisms during transportation. Moreover, the Taiwan-U.K. cooperation will be contributive to the development of patent layout of domestic biotechnology, medicine, and food industries and will also attract more investments and patent applications coming from the U.K. or any other countries in Europe. (December 2017)