Taiwan and Japan to implement a cooperative program on biological materials for patent

Following the PPH partnership in 2012 and PDX program in 2013, the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO) have achieved yet another milestone in November with the signing of a memorandum for a cooperative program on mutual recognition of deposit of biological materials for the purpose of patent procedure.
On the 20th of November, the Association of East Asian Relations and Interchange Association Japan signed a memorandum for a cooperative program on mutual recognition of deposit of biological materials between Taiwan and Japan. Through cooperation between TIPO and JPO, this mutual recognition aims to lessen the burden on the part of patent applicants having to repeatedly make deposits in respective countries. After the signing of the memorandum, TIPO will promulgate the Guidelines for Mutual Recognition of Deposit of Biological Materials for the Purpose of Patent Procedure between Taiwan and Japan.
Taiwan and Japan have had a long history of close trading relation. Japan outnumbers other countries in biological deposits made in Taiwan for patent applications. Over the past 20 years, that number has reached 600 cases, second only to those made by Taiwan nationals.
According to the Budapest Treaty, a patent applicant of any country party to the Treaty needs only to deposit biological materials at one designated depository, and this deposit will be recognized in all other countries party to this Treaty. However, Taiwan is not a country party to this Treaty and therefore cannot ask depositories within these countries to furnish samples of deposited materials. As such, prior to the implementation of this program, Japan applicants filing patents with TIPO still have to make a deposit at a designated depository in Taiwan. Likewise, Taiwan applicants filing patents with JPO have to do the same. With the implementation of this program, applicants filing patents with TIPO or JPO need only to deposit biological materials at a designated depository nearest to them in their home country. In addition, the biological materials of a patent application filed with TIPO that have been deposited in a designated depository in Japan may be furnished upon request by any party.
Under this program, applicants are allowed to make only one deposit at a designated depository either in Taiwan or Japan. In other words, applicants are no longer burdened with the inconvenience and cost of having to make a deposit in both countries. As a result, the program can significantly benefit domestic industries and academic institutes of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and food sciences, such as the GenMont Biotech Inc., Bio-Ray Biotech Co., Ltd., and Academia Sinica. In all, this program meets the expectation of relevant sectors in Taiwan with the country’s food science institutes now being recognized as equally eligible depositories capable of furthering cooperation with depositories in Japan.
Source: http://www.tipo.gov.tw/ct.asp?xItem=535693&ctNode=6687&mp=2

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