Throughout the first half of 2019, Taiwan IPO (TIPO) received a total of 35,534 applications for invention, utility model, and design patents, which represent a slight 1% increase if compared with the same period of 2018. There was a more apparent rise in the number of design patent applications by 10%, while trademark registration applications totaled 41,986 which remained steady if compared with the same period of 2018. It is noticeable that the number of invention patent applications filed by Taiwanese nationals grew by 2%, but the number of design patent applications filed by non-residents drastically jumped by 30%. TSMC and Alibaba topped the respective ranking of resident applicants and non-resident applicants filing for invention patent applications.
I. Patent applications
1. Apparent rise in number of design patent applications
Total applications filed for three kinds of patents in the first half of 2019 amounted to 35,534 applications, slightly increasing over the same period of last year. Among the overall applications, the number of those filed for invention patents (22,775 applications) and design patents (4,259 applications) went up by 1% and 10%, respectively, while those for utility model patents dropped by 5% (8,500 applications).
2. 30% growth in design patent applications filed by non-resident applicants
Among patent applications filed by Taiwanese nationals during the same period time of 2018, there was a slight increase of 2% in the number of invention patent applications (8,563 cases) in 2019, while the number of utility model patent and design applications dropped to 7,978 cases and 1,960 cases, respectively. As for the patent applications filed by non-resident applicants, the numbers of invention patent applications and design patent applications climbed to 14,212 and 2,299, respectively, but the increase did not occur to utility model patent applications which on the contrary were down to 522 cases. The number of design patent applications filed by non-resident applicants soared by 30%, an evident growth caused by the surge of the applications filed by French applicants. Similar increase of the applications filed by Japanese and US applicants also contributed to such a drastic growth.
3. TSMC, the domestic company with most invention patent filings
There was a minor increase in the number of invention patent applications filed by domestic companies. TSMC topped the ranking with 429 applications, surpassing AU Optronics (318 applications) at No. 2 and MediaTek (163 applications) at No. 3. TSMC and AU Optronics both experienced a significant rise of 24% and 30%, respectively, over the same period of 2018. Moreover, the number of invention patent applications filed by small and medium enterprises has been steadily growing for three consecutive years. The growth in the first half of 2019 reached to 16%, which manifests a fact that the small and medium enterprises of Taiwan have gradually recognized and fulfilled the concept of R&D performance protection through patenting.
4. National Tsing Hua University, outshining other universities with most invention patent filings
There was a general decline in the invention patent applications filed by universities and colleges of Taiwan. National Tsing Hua University topped with 44 invention patent applications to see a 13% increase in the number of applications. Among private universities, Oriental Institute of Technology and Chang Gung University outranked others by filing 18 applications, respectively. The overall analysis indicates that public and private universities/colleges had filed 381 and 319 applications, respectively, each contributing 54% and 46% of the total invention patent applications, while those applications filed by private universities/colleges grew to reach higher percentage.
5. ITRI trailed by other research institutions to claim the crown
Overall invention patent applications filed by research organizations of Taiwan slightly fell in number. ITRI (Industrial Technology Research Institute) filed a total of 81 invention patent applications to outnumber other institutions, including Academia Sinica, which ranked second with 22 applications.
6. Alibaba’s and Renault’s proactive filing in invention and design patent applications by non-residents
Japan was the top filing country of invention patent applications filed in Taiwan with the largest 6,707 applications, significantly surpassing the US (3,047 applications) and other countries (regions). Moreover, the growth rate of both Japan and Hong Kong climbed by 5% and 56%, respectively. Breakdown by nationality of non-resident applicants, Alibaba accounted for 408 applications to account for a significant rise of 92% over the same period of 2018.
For design patent applications, most of the applications came from Japan in 704 cases. The top five filing countries (regions) had all experienced their respective growth in number of applications, except for Germany. The number of applications filed by French applicants surged by 400%. Among the applications filed by individual applicants, France-based Renault topped with 102 cases.
II. Trademark applications
1. Steady number of trademark registration applications
There were 41,984 applications filed for trademark registration, which number remained steady if compared with the same period of 2018. Applications filed by resident applicants amounted to 29,957 cases, slight up by 0.2%. There was a 2% slip in the number of trademark registration applications filed by non-resident applicants, which totaled 12,029 cases and was down because of the drop in US and Hong Kong applications.
2. Non-resident applications mostly from China
Non-resident applications were mostly from China, coming to 2,958 cases with a 8% rise. China claimed the top position to be followed by Japan with 2,249 applications at No. 2 and the US with 1,828 applications at No. 3. It is noticeable that four of the top five filing countries (regions) were in Asia, and the total number of applications from these countries was still slightly up. (July 2019)