It’s been a while since a national intellectual property office has seen fit to open a fast lane for green technology patent applications. Â So the recent announcement out of Taiwan is welcome news.
The Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) now includes green technology as a new category of application or invention eligible for expedited examination under TIPO’s existing Accelerated Examination Program (AEP).
TIPO is defining green technologies broadly (as I have argued is important for boosting participation in these programs); the application is eligible if the invention is:
- related to energy saving, new energy or automobiles powered by new energy;
- related to energy saving and carbon reduction
One drawback of TIPO’s fast track program is its publication requirement; to qualify for the AEP a patent application must have published before the applicant makes the AEP request.
Because Taiwan is not a PCT contracting state (i.e., it does not participate in the international patent application system), non-Taiwanese applicants must file their applications in TIPO within one year of their original home country filing date. Â And because patent applications typically publish 18 months after their original filing date, that means non-Taiwanese applicants must wait an extra six months or so after filing their application in Taiwan to request expedited examination there.
The TIPO fee for accelerated examination of a green technology patent application is NT$4000 (about $134 USD), and the applicant need only submit a written request explaining that the invention in the subject patent application relates to green technology.
The time saved under the AEP is substantial. Â According to this article, it takes about 29 months to receive a first office action during ordinary examination in TIPO; under the AEP TIPO issues a first office action in about nine months.