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我國發明專利侵害鑑定之方法(下)專利工程師  /  陳詠容

Ways to examine invention patent infringements in Taiwan (3)

Patent Engineer Yung-Zhong Chen

專利範圍雖無歷史禁反言之適用,惟如被控侵權對象與先前技術相同,或依先前技術所能輕易完成者,為避免專利權人藉由均等論擴張後之範圍,涵蓋與先前技術相同或依先前技術所能輕易完成之部分,造成公眾利益受有損害。被控侵權對象經判斷與某一先前技術相同,或為一先前技術與專利申請時之所屬技術領域中的通常知識之簡單組合,或為二以上先前技術之簡單組合,則得依先前技術阻卻主張不適用均等論。Despite there is no doctrine of prosecution history estoppel, the accused party must not ensnare the prior art, nor to have its prior art to be easily accomplished. This is to avoid the scope of claims expansion beyond their literal language to the true scope of inventor’s contribution and to damage its public interests. In circumstances where an accused device performs the same function recited in the element, and the accused device embodies the corresponding structure, material, or acts described by the specification or an equivalent thereof, if any of the above elements apply, then a claim cannot be broadened. The range of equivalents permitted under the doctrine of equivalents must not ensnare its prior art. The fundamental purpose of all evaluations must prevent the patentee from obtaining, under the doctrine of equivalents, coverage which the patentee could not have obtained by literal claims.

而發明專利權範圍,以申請專利範圍為準;於解釋申請專利範圍時,得審酌說明書及圖式,此乃《專利法》第58條第4項所明文。說明書或圖式中有揭露,但並未記載於專利之請求項的技術手段,非屬專利法所賦予專利權的保護範圍內,專利權人不得以均等論重為主張或復奪(recapture)其原可於專利請求項中申請,卻不申請之技術手段。貢獻原則的意旨便在於,如說明書或圖式中有揭露但未於請求項主張之技術,應被視為貢獻給社會大眾,專利權人不得藉由均等論而重為主張其原可申請卻不申請之技術手段。Patent Law Article 58, Paragraph 4 expressly indicates that the scope of patent right shall be determined based on the claim(s) set forth in the specification of the invention. The descriptions and drawings of the invention may be used as reference when interpreting the scope of claims in the patent application. In terms of the scope of contents which were disclosed in the original specification or drawing while filing the patent application, for claims that are not written in its description, won’t be covered by Patent Law. Such claim cannot be broadened so far as to read on the prior art and a patentee cannot recapture what was given up during the prosecution of the patent. The fundamental purpose is to prevent the patentee to cover its claim which could not have obtained from the Patent and Trademark Office by literal claim to preserve the best interest of public to prevent patentee to expand or alter the scope of patent claims.

誠如國內學術文章已指出,美國最高法院在肯認均等論保護專利範圍的,認為此種不確定性乃是為了保護創新所必要付出的代價的原則之下,惟趨勢上,仍呈現出一股限縮均等論適用之浪潮。主要係均等論的適用會使得申請範圍具有不確定性,難以清楚劃定專利權範圍的界限,容易導致競爭者產生難以預期的訟爭,或者後進者在投入產品生產製照後,對於侵權與否,存有高度的不確定性,造成司法資源有浪費之疑慮。此種趨勢,亦促使我國於「2015年專利侵害要點草案」中,擬納入申請歷史禁反言、先前技術阻卻及貢獻原則等限制均等論之相關規範。According to Taiwan’s scholarly articles indicates that, the US Supreme Court adopted the doctrine of equivalents analysis, despite its uncertainties, it is necessary to preserve its invention by all means. However there appears to have a trend of narrowing the literal scope of the patent claim. The purpose of such is to avoid uncertainties, circumstances where it’s difficult to draw clear lines for the scope of patent claims that would mislead its competitors for unpredictable litigations. To prevent waste of its judicial resources, it is necessary to prevent uncertainties for the later not knowing whether there are any infringements for its manufactured products. Due to this, the “key points on invention patent infringement draft 2015” inherited the prosecution history estoppel and the prior art principles into the rules of doctrine of equivalents.

參考資料:References

專利侵害鑑定要點,經濟部智慧財產局,2004年。Intellectual Property Office (2004) Key points on invention patent infringement.

專利侵害鑑定要點草案, 經濟部智慧財產局,2015年。Intellectual Property Office (2015) Key points on invention patent infringement draft. 

專利法。Patent Laws

劉尚志、張添榜、陳薈潁,專利均等侵害判斷之判決分析:由美國專利案例觀照臺灣最高法院判決,台灣法學雜誌第219期,2013年,第112-143頁。Shang-Zhi Liu., Tian-Bang Zhang., Hui-Ying Chen. (2013) Case analysis on patent infringement: using US Supreme Court’s patent case as reflection on Taiwan Supreme Court’s ruling. Taiwan Law Journal 219 edition, page 112-143. 

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我國發明專利侵害鑑定之方法(中)專利工程師  /  陳詠容

Ways to examine invention patent infringements in Taiwan (2)

Patent Engineer Yung-Zhong Chen

相對於均等論,專利範圍雖符合文義讀取,惟倘其技術手段與被控侵權對象所使用之技術原理,係以實質不同的手段,達到相同或類似的功能或結果,即使被控對象落入專利之文義範圍內,應判斷其適用逆均等論,不構成侵權。然而,逆均等論所欲避免的「文義相同但實質不同」的目的,近年來,在美國專利實務上,大多在鑑定流程的第一步,解釋申請專利範圍時便已解決,逆均等論僅是在判決中附帶的論述,似無直接適用逆均等論而認定不侵權的案例。配合實務現況,我國「2015年要點草案」擬刪除逆均等論之相關規範。

According to the doctrine of equivalents theory, despite the scope of clams is in line with the context, to determine whether such difference is “insubstantial” or not, it is important to figure out the difference between the feature in the accused device and the limitation literally recited in the patent claim. The patent claim may be found to be “insubstantial” only if its technical means and the accused parties perform substantially the different function in a substantial different way with substantial different results. Nevertheless, the doctrine of equivalents analysis is applied to individual claim limitations, not to the invention as a whole. In the United States, there only needs one kind of identity test to come to its conclusion for which the doctrine of equivalent is only considered as claimed of invention which described its purpose that does not directly allow a court to hold a party liable for patent infringement. In Taiwan, the “Key point draft 2015” deleted everything against the doctrine of equivalents theory.

有鑑於文字之敘述有其侷限性,無法合理期待專利權人於申請專利時能將所有無法預見但實質相同的技術特徵寫入請求項中,因此,專利權範圍不應僅侷限於文義範圍,而應包含均等範圍,此乃均等論之意旨。然而,均論一方面藉由擴張專利範圍的方式,保全專利權人之權益,另一方面,卻造成公眾無法由專利公告的字面得知專利權的範圍,使得專利侵權的判斷充滿不確定性,甚至提高訴訟與社會成本。在這樣的情況之下,均等論實有必要被適當的限縮。相較於2004年的「專利侵害鑑定要點」,我國智財局於「2015年專利侵害鑑定要點草案」納入均等論之限制事項。倘專利符合申請歷史禁反言、先前技術阻卻及貢獻原則,則被控侵權對象應視為未落入專利範圍內。

Due to the fact that when interpreting patent claims, there is strict literalism, which cannot reasonably expect patentee to write down all the claims which cannot foreseen when lodging its patent application. Therefore the scope of claim should not be read literally for which a patent literally “reads on” an accused infringer’s device or process rather than looking at its intention. Nevertheless, the expansion of claim coverage is to protect its patentees’ right, would cause the general public not knowing the actual scope of its patent claims in result of uncertainties. Whether there are any patent infringements or not would give rise to its litigation and social costs. Therefore, the doctrines of equivalents would need to narrow the literal scope of the patent claim. By comparing the “key points on invention patent infringement in 2004”, the” key points on invention patent infringement draft 2015”, the expansion of claim coverage permitted the doctrine of equivalents, however the patentee is limited by the doctrine of prosecution history estoppel and the prior art.  

呈上,專利權人於專利申請過程為符合專利申請要件或為維護專利,而所為之修正、更正或申復,導致最後限縮專利權範圍,則專利權人便無法依據均等論主張其於申請專利時無法預見但實質相同的技術特徵。換而言之,該修正、更正或申復將導致放棄的部分,專利權人不得再藉由均等論而重為主張其所放棄之申請標的,此即所謂的歷史禁反言。From the above analysis, for the patentee to fulfill its patent application requirement so as to maintain its patent, it is necessary to amend, correct and response in result of narrowing the scope of claims, patentee cannot claim for something which cannot foresee base on the doctrine of equivalents theory. In other words, patentee who has filed a patent application and then to amend, correct and response its claim by narrowing its amendments to accommodate the patent law, would be precluded from invoking the doctrine of equivalents to broaden the scope of their claims to cover subject matter ceded by the amendments.

參考資料:References

專利侵害鑑定要點,經濟部智慧財產局,2004年。Intellectual Property Office (2004) Key points on invention patent infringement.

專利侵害鑑定要點草案, 經濟部智慧財產局,2015年。Intellectual Property Office (2015) Key points on invention patent infringement draft. 

專利法。Patent Laws

劉尚志、張添榜、陳薈潁,專利均等侵害判斷之判決分析:由美國專利案例觀照臺灣最高法院判決,台灣法學雜誌第219期,2013年,第112-143頁。Shang-Zhi Liu., Tian-Bang Zhang., Hui-Ying Chen. (2013) Case analysis on patent infringement: using US Supreme Court’s patent case as reflection on Taiwan Supreme Court’s ruling. Taiwan Law Journal 219 edition, page 112-143.

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我國發明專利侵害鑑定之方法(上)專利工程師  /  陳詠容

Ways to examine invention patent infringements in Taiwan (1)

Patent Engineer Yung-Zhong Chen

為了保護發明人的智慧財產權,我國專利法授予專利權人於一定的期間內,享有法律賦予之專利權,排除他人未經其同意而實施其專利。而當他人未經專利權人同意而製造、販賣、為販賣之要約、使用或為上述目的而進口其專利物品時,專利權人得依《專利法》及《民法》請求損害賠償。倘專利侵權案件有爭議,雙方當事人得尋求法律途徑解決。法院在受理發明專利訴訟案件時,依據《專利法》第103條第2項及第3項規定,得囑託司法院指定之侵害專利鑑定專業機構為鑑定。經濟部智慧財產局(以下簡稱「智財局」)為有助於侵害專利鑑定機構提昇作業之正確性,遂提出「專利侵害鑑定要點」供法官於送鑑定時參考。

In order to protect inventor’s intellectual property right, Taiwan’s patent law authorities may grant its patentee, within a considerable period of time, some legal patent rights. Unless otherwise provided in this Act, the patentee of a patented article shall have the exclusive right to preclude others from manufacturing, making an offer to sale, selling, using or importing for above purposes the patented article without his/her prior consent. Patentee can request for damages in pursuant to the “Patent Law” and “Civil Law”. If disputes arises in terms of infringement on an invention patent, both parties can resolve its conflict through litigation, Pursuant to Patent Law Article 103, Paragraph 2(3) in regards to litigation involving an invention patent, the Judicial Yuan may appoint specific professional institution(s) to perform the expert verification work as required in patent infringement case. In order to help to increase the accuracy for specific professional institution(s) to perform the expert verification work as required in patent infringement case(s), the Ministry of Economic Affairs Intellectual Property Office (“Intellectual Property Office”), may list out all the relevant evidences of invention patent infringements before court.

智財局於2015年草擬的「專利侵害鑑定要點草案」(以下簡稱「2015年要點草案」)中指出,在判斷專利是否有被侵害時,應先解釋專利範圍之文字意義,以合理界定專利權範圍。後比對經文字解釋後之專利技術特徵,及被控侵權對象之技術內容的差別。文字意義解釋的用意在於確認專利是否完全對應表現在被控侵權對象中(文義讀取)。一般常見被控侵權物雖未落入文義讀取的範圍內,惟其僅就其申請專利範圍之技術特徵稍作非實質之改變或替換,基於保障專利權人利益的立場,專利權範圍得擴大至,與專利範圍之技術特徵均等的範圍,而非僅侷限於專利之文義範圍(均等論)。According to the “key points on invention patent infringement draft” (“key point draft 2015”) indicates that in order to examine there is any invention patent infringements, shall understand its literal meaning written in its specifications so as to know what is covered in its claims and the drawings of the application. After having its literal interpretation done on its technical patent and infringement parties’ technical contents of an invention, it is to confirm whether such infringements are truly reflected to the corresponding object (literally). Despite the general infringement has not been written in its specification, if you make some amendments to its claims and the drawings of the application, would protect patentee’s best interest by expanding its clams of specification. By pursuing the doctrine of equivalents would allow a court to hold a party liable for patent infringement despite such infringement does not fall within the literal scope of a patent claim, but can nevertheless be equivalent to the claimed invention (doctrine of equivalents).

我國有部分法院見解在判斷被控侵權物是否落入均等範圍時,已採取美國的三步測試法,比較兩者之間是否以實質相同的手段,達成實質相同的功能,進一步判斷是否產生實質相同的結果。值得注意的是,均等論如被過度廣泛應用,勢必將會與智財局公告的專利保護範圍產生衝突,而法院判決並沒有權利擴大專利局核准的專利範圍。因此,均等論與文義讀取皆應建立在全要件原則的基礎上,專利範圍請求項經智財局公告的專利範圍,都被視為決定專利範圍的重要限制,亦即,申請專利請求項中的技術特徵,均用於比對被控侵權對象。 In order to determine whether such infringement falls into its doctrine of equivalents category, Taiwan adapted United States’ “triple identity” test on whether the accused device performs substantially the same function, in substantially the same way and to yield substantially the same result. However, if the “doctrine of equivalents” is being used widely, conflict may arise with the scope of patent protection made by the Intellectual Property Office. The court may not have the power to expand the scope of the claims and the drawings of the application. Therefore, the “doctrine of equivalents” and its literature should be built on the full requirements. Where the contents of an invention claimed in a patent application are published, would be treated as major decision to restrict the scope of patent claiming. Therefore, the scope of claims shall indicate distinctly on its technical features so as to identify the alleged infringement parties.

參考資料:References

專利侵害鑑定要點,經濟部智慧財產局,2004年。Intellectual Property Office (2004) Key points on invention patent infringement.

專利侵害鑑定要點草案, 經濟部智慧財產局,2015年。Intellectual Property Office (2015) Key points on invention patent infringement draft.  

專利法。Patent Laws

劉尚志、張添榜、陳薈潁,專利均等侵害判斷之判決分析:由美國專利案例觀照臺灣最高法院判決,台灣法學雜誌第219期,2013年,第112-143頁。Shang-Zhi Liu., Tian-Bang Zhang., Hui-Ying Chen. (2013) Case analysis on patent infringement: using US Supreme Court’s patent case as reflection on Taiwan Supreme Court’s ruling. Taiwan Law Journal 219 edition, page 112-143. 

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專利進步性之判斷(一)—美國判例於進步性之原則—   專利工程師  /  陳詠容

Discretion of whether such patent has useful improvement to the existing solution (1) – improvement to the existing solution principles in Taiwan - Patent Engineer Yung-Zhong Chen

一、前言 Preamble

新穎性、進步性與產業可利用性為取得專利權之三大要件,發明欲取得專利權需同時兼具該三要素。然而綜觀專利行政爭訟與民事訴訟之案例,不難發現近期與進步性相關的爭議佔了絕大部份之比例。本文分作四篇,前兩篇先帶讀者了解美國判例對於進步性所建立出之判斷準則,接著檢視該準則與我國現行專利法與專利審查基準對於進步性判斷基準之異同,最後探討我國實務判決之判定標準。

The issue of novelty, improvement to the existing solution, and industrial usefulness are the three main requirements to gain its patent right. By looking at the patent administrative litigation and civil litigation case studies, it is not hard to find that there are more topics focuses on its controversial issues of improvement to the existing solution principles. This article would be divided into four parts; the first two articles would lead our reader to understand how the America’s case study can influence on its discretion of whether its patent has useful improvement to the existing solution, followed by examining its judicial reasoning by comparing our current patent examination procedure. Lastly, we will discuss Taiwan’s case judgements and its criteria standards.

二、美國判例於進步性之原則

America’s case implications on its improvement to the existing solution principles

美國對於進步性之判斷,早已豎立了TSM檢測法,即教示(Teaching)、建議(Suggestion)及動機(Motivation)。而1966年美國最高法院於Graham v. John Deere Co.[1]案(以下簡稱「Graham案」)提出進步性分析原則[2]:(1) 確定先前技術之範圍與內容;(2) 確定先前技術與有爭議之專利範圍請求項間之區別;(3) 確定相關領域一般技術之水準。如經此三步驟判斷出爭議專利範圍請求項係其所屬領域中具通常知識者可輕易完成者,則該發明則為顯而易見,惟仍須同時考量爭議之專利範圍是否有商業上成功、解決長期未解決之問題、或他人皆無法成功發明等次要衡量因素。然而,TSM檢測法在美國實務運作卻產生引證資料只限於明示,且忽略所屬技術領域中具有通常知識者之角色等問題[3]

In terms of America’s discretion of whether such patent has useful improvement to the existing solution, there is implications on the TSM test and concepts including teaching, suggestion and motivation. In the case of Graham v John Deere Co (1996), (“Graham” case) list out all the elements when determining whether its application has improvement to the existing solution on principles. This includes: (1) confirm the claims and the drawings of the application; (2) confirm its prior art and the disputed claims and the drawings of the current application; (3) confirm relevant skills in the relevant field. Once we determine the three steps in terms of its patent dispute range that an ordinary person can be easily accomplished, such patent would be treated as ‘obvious to try’ and its case would be treated as invalid. However examiner should also need to balance and to take other factors into account such as how wide is its patent claiming and whether there is any business success, long term problem solving solutions or others inventions that cannot be easily accomplished by an ordinary person. However by looking at the implications of the TSM test, it only included ‘obvious to try’ principle in practice but neglected to look at its technology field problems for which an ordinary person would have.

2007 年美國最高法院於 KSR v. Teleflex 案[4]除了重申Graham判決提出的分析方法應為廣泛、彈性,更指出TSM檢測法之運用不宜僵化[5],認為[6] (1) 引證案不應侷限於所欲解決的問題相同;(2) 先前技術應涵蓋所有技術領域; (3) 「教示、建議或誘因」的考量不應僅限於先前技術;(4) 可預見之成功並非發明

In the case of KSR v Teleflex (2007), is a decision made by the Supreme Court of the United States, apart from the principles established in Graham, for which the ‘obvious to try’ principle should be broader and flexible. This case is being criticized to be too rigidly that its citing reference (1) shouldn’t be limited to its problem solving ; (2) such prior art should cover all the technical field; (3) the “teaching, suggestion and motivation” principles shouldn’t be restricted to prior art only; (4) if such patent is foreseeable of its success, it wouldn’t be considered as invention.


[1] 383 US 1, 17-18, 148 USPQ 459, 467 (1966).

[2] 參張啟聰,KSR案及其對美國專利實務造成之影響,科技法學評論,第5卷1期,2008年,頁234。

Qi-Chong Zhang (2008), The case of KSR and its influence on United States in practice Technology Law Review (5)1, Page 251-253.

[3] 同前註,張啟聰,頁231-232。

Ibid, page 231-232.

[4] 550 U.S. 398, 419-22 (2007).

[5] 參顏吉承,美國 KSR 案判決對我國進步性審查之啟示,智慧財產權月刊,第105 期 ,2007年,頁17-21。

Ji-Cheng Yan (2007), KSR case in America which is a reflection of Taiwan’s concerning issue of obviousness as applied to patent claims. Intellectual Property Monthly. 105, Page 17-21.

[6] 參沈宗倫、何皓華、潘玉蘭,以美國聯邦最高法院KSR 案為借鏡再建構我國專利法下專利進步性要件之合理詮釋,行政院國家科學委員會專題研究計畫(NSC 99-2410-H-004-222),2011年10月21日。

Zong-Lun Chen., Hao-Hua He., Yu-Lan Pan (2011, October). Uses the KSR case made by the Supreme Court of the United States as reflection on restricting Taiwan’s Patent Law and the issue of obviousness as applied to patent claims. National Science Board Task Research Project (NSC 99-2410-H-004-222). 

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專利進步性之判斷(二)—美國判例於進步性之原則專利工程師  /  陳詠容

Discretion of whether such patent has useful improvement to the existing solution (2) – improvement to the existing solution principles in Taiwan – Patent Engineer Yung-Zhong Chen

呈上篇,2007 年美國最高法院於 KSR v. Teleflex 案[1]除了重申Graham判決提出的分析方法應為廣泛、彈性,更指出TSM 檢測法之運用不宜僵化[2],認為[3] (1) 引證案不應侷限於所欲解決的問題相同:在探求一專利請求項是否具備非顯著性時,應以請求項之客觀範圍為判斷標的,而非專利權人企圖解決什麼問題上或受到什麼特定的啟發 。縱然先前技術解決的問題,未必與爭議發明完全相同,不能僅因引證專利主要目的與爭議專利標的不同即不考慮以引證專利所揭露之技術作為證據;(2) 先前技術應涵蓋所有技術領域:且一位通常知識者在面對問題時有可能利用的所有解決方式,因此不應將技術領域侷限於該發明之所屬領域; (3) 「教示、建議或誘因」的考量不應僅限於先前技術:市場改良的渴望與顧客的需求所形成的市場力量,亦可形成新發明技術的因果關係;(4) 可預見之成功並非發明:一個擁有通常技術的人因市場需求而採取某種解決方式,而創造出原先預期之成功時,這不是發明而是常識,為顯而易見的嘗試(obvious to try),不符進步性應為非顯而易見之規定。

From the previous article, in the case of KSR v. Teleflex (2007), is a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States concerning the issue of obviousness as applied to patent claims. There should be broader obviousness evaluation established in Graham with some flexibility on its “teaching-suggestion-motivation” (TSM) test. Elements include the following:

(1) The citing reference should not be restricted to merely solving problems but to examine whether such patent has useful improvement to the existing solution. Examiner should examine base on its objective claiming, not to merely look at the inspiration made by patentee when resolving issues. Despite its prior art has resolved some of the issues, it is not necessary the same with the current patent application in dispute. Examiner cannot examine its application base on its differences in terms of its purposes or patent objectives in dispute, but to merely consider the disclosed citing reference as evidence for comparison; (2) its prior art covered all the technology field, this include to resolve issues that a person of ordinary skill in the art would have done to combine the prior art elements to the current matter; (3) teaching, suggestion and motivation should not be restricted to its prior art but to adjust its claim in accordance with market’s desire of improvement and client needs in the market; so as to create a correlation of its new design and its technology; (4) such success is foreseeable, not necessarily to its invention: under general circumstances, a technical person would adjust its problem solving solution in accordance to its market needs and for which is foreseeable in advance would not be considered as an invention but as common sense. The reason behind this is that ‘obvious to try’ does not fulfill the improvement to the existing solution principle requirement.  

KSR案使得非顯而易見性在進步性的審查上較為嚴格,請求項易受到先前技術之挑戰,新申請之專利取得趨於困難,而已取得專利之申請案則易於遭受不具進步性而撤銷其專利權之挑戰[4]。而如欲舉證專利權不具進步性,發明人在專利所屬技術領域所受之訓練或教育程度、對系爭發明之成功的合理預期或發明是否由常用的研發方式研發出來,皆成為KSR案後得做為判斷因素之證據。

From the case of KSR, we can know that there seems to have a strict restriction in terms of making its discretion of whether such patent has useful improvement to the existing solution. Such claim can be easily challenged with its prior art and makes it harder to grant its application that the invention does not have improvement to the existing solution. If evidence shows that such patent does not have any improvement, factors would be taken into accounts in terms of its patent designer’s training skills and education, disputed invention of a reasonable expectation of success would be analyzing factors after case of KSR.


[1] 550 U.S. 398, 419-22 (2007).

[2] 參顏吉承,美國 KSR 案判決對我國進步性審查之啟示,智慧財產權月刊,第105 期 ,2007年,頁17-21。

Ji-Cheng Yan (2007), KSR case in America which is a reflection of Taiwan’s concerning issue of obviousness as applied to patent claims. Intellectual Property Monthly. 105, Page 17-21.

[3] 參沈宗倫、何皓華、潘玉蘭,以美國聯邦最高法院KSR 案為借鏡再建構我國專利法下專利進步性要件之合理詮釋,行政院國家科學委員會專題研究計畫(NSC 99-2410-H-004-222),2011年10月21日。

Zong-Lun Chen., Hao-Hua He., Yu-Lan Pan (2011, October). Uses the KSR case made by the Supreme Court of the United States as reflection on restricting Taiwan’s Patent Law and the issue of obviousness as applied to patent claims. National Science Board Task Research Project (NSC 99-2410-H-004-222).

[4] 參張啟聰,KSR案及其對美國專利實務造成之影響,科技法學評論,第5卷1期,2008年,頁251-253。

Qi-Chong Zhang (2008), The case of KSR and its influence on United States in practice Technology Law Review (5)1, Page 251-253. 

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專利進步性之判斷(三) —  我國於進步性之原則專利工程師  /  陳詠容

Discretion of whether such patent has useful improvement to the existing solution (3) – improvement to the existing solution principles in Taiwan - Patent Engineer Yung-Zhong Chen

三、我國專利法對於之判斷準則

3. Taiwan’s Patent Law patentability criteria

對照美國判例所建立之原理原則與我國《專利法》與《專利審查基準》之進步性判斷標準大體上為一致的。我國於在判斷進步性時依循下列步驟[1]:(1) 確定申請專利之發明的範圍;(2) 確定相關先前技術所揭露的內容;(3) 確定申請專利之發明所屬技術領域中具有通常知識者之技術水準;(4) 確認申請專利之發明與相關先前技術之間的差異;(5) 該發明所屬技術領域中具有通常知識者參酌相關先前技術所揭露之內容及申請時之通常知識,判斷是否能輕易完成申請專利之發明的整體。且判斷時應以專利申請發明整體為對象,綜合考量其是否有動機而明顯結合相關先前技術,包含技術領域、所欲解決之問題、功能或作用的關連性或發明的教示或建議。發明雖經上述判斷不具進步性,惟倘其具有無法預期之功效、解決長期存在的問題、克服技術偏見、獲得商業上的成功,則申請專利之發明仍應視為非能輕易完成

By looking at America’s patent precedent which is established based on previous legal cases, is similar to Taiwan’s patent law and patent examination procedure’s principles on useful improvement to the existing solution. There are steps to determine whether there is improvement to the existing patent: (1) confirm the claims and the drawings of the application; (2) confirm its content of prior art and to confirm what information has been made available in public previously; (3) confirm its technical field in its specification; (4) confirm the difference between prior art and the current application; (5) having ordinarily knowledge based on its prior art before filing its application. In addition when making its discretion, examiner should take its overall patent application into account and to gather all the factors in terms of its prior art; including its technical field, problem solving, its function and role or other suggested invention or teaching. Even though by its discretion, such invention may not have useful improvement to the existing solution, for which the invention doesn’t have prospective functionality, long term problem solving, conquer technical bias, gaining business success, however such patent may still be hard to accomplish.


四、我國判例對於進步性之判斷準則

4. Relative cases on its improvement to the existing solution principles in Taiwan

審視最高法院廢棄智慧財產法院或台灣高等法院之判決或裁定中,最高法院所持判斷爭議專利是否具進步性(非顯而易知)之理由,其主要包含如下[2]:(1) 爭議專利是否具功效之增進;(2) 爭議專利是否係所屬技術領域中具有通常知識者依申請前之先前技術顯能輕易完成;(3) 爭議專利是否為熟習該項技術者所能預期之一般性技術發展;(4) 先前技術所揭露者於欲解決之問題是否提供教示建議或動機;(5) 爭議專利是否可達成不同之功效。其中又以專利是否具功效之增進為主要判斷標準者占大多數,而先前技術對於爭議專利是否提供教示建議或動機則占少數,與美國實務上判斷進步性之準則相符。

When examining its abandoned judgement from Taiwan High Court or Intellectual Property Court, the ratio decidendi behind Supreme Court’s ruling on patent’s improvement to the existing solution includes the following: (1) whether there is improvement of functionality for controversial patents; (2) whether such technology with its prior art is easy to be accomplished; (3) whether such patent invention is foreseeable and can be expected as one of the general technical development; (4) whether its prior art’s disclosure leads to any inspirations and motivations; (5) whether its controversial patents can reach its different purposes and functionality. However questions as to whether such patent has useful improvement to the existing solution would be the major consideration factor of whether such patent application is valid. Any prior art that has any inspirations and motivations would be considered as a minor factor, which is similar to America’s patent examination principles in terms of its improvement to the existing solution in practice.

而最高行政法院對各引證之考量則係著重於引證案是否教示或揭露系爭專利之技術特徵,未探究引證案是否教示系爭專利所欲解決之問題[3]。此與KFR案中美國最高法院所教示兩原則一致,即應以請求項之客觀範圍為判斷標的,而先前技術與爭議專利所欲解決的問題雖未必完全相同不能因此即不考慮以引證專利所揭露之技術作為證據且應設想一位通常知識者在面對問題時,有可能利用的所有解決方式,不應將技術領域侷限於該發明之所屬領域。

The Supreme Administrative Court has its different citing reference in terms of its patent technical characteristic and whether there are any conflicts in terms of its disclosure and teaching. In the case of KFR, the judicial reasoning in the United States is the same as Taiwan. However in cases where the prior art and its controversial patent issues are not necessarily the same, such evidence cannot be used as one of the citing reference. Under general circumstances, the most practical solution is not to restrict its invention technical field but to look for all the possible solutions to see whether such prior art can be considered as one of the citing reference in its application.


[1]參專利審查基準,經濟部智慧財產局。.Patent Examination Guidelines, Intellectual Property Office.

[2]劉尚志、湯舒涵、張添榜,專利進步性要件之判決分析由美國專利案例觀照台灣最高法院及最高行政法院判決,第220期,2013/3/15。Shang-Zhi, Liu., Shu-Han, Tang., Tian-Bang, Zhang. Patent’s improvement to the existing patent solution cases and judgements from America’s case law to reflect Taiwan’s Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court judgement, 220 Edition, 2013/3/15.

[3]同前註。Ibid. 

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標示專利證書號的效果 / 專利工程師林孟萱 The effect to mark the serial number of patent certificate / Patent Engineer Meng-Xuan Lin

當專利獲准時,專利專責機關會頒給專利權人具有專利證書號的專利證書。將專利證書號標示在商品上,除了具有宣示作用之外亦具有廣告作用。一方面是向社會大眾宣示此商品具有專利權,未經專利權人同意即製造、販賣會有專利侵權問題;另一方面民眾一般認為擁有專利權的產品於技術內涵上必定有一定之水準,故又有廣告宣傳的作用。而將專利證書號標示在商品上,是專利權人的權利還是義務,各國有不同的見解。

When such patent is granted, the Patent Authority shall mark the serial number of patent certificate on his/her patented article. Such serial number of patent certificate would be marked on products for declaration and advertisement purposes. On the other hand, it is to declare the public that such product has its patent right, the patentee of a utility model shall have the exclusive right to preclude other persons from manufacturing, offering for sale, selling, using, or importing for such purposes such patented products without his/her prior consent. In addition, the general public believes that if such products have its patent right; it generally means that such product has its standard quality. This is another way of advertisement. Therefore question arises as to whether to mark the serial number of patent on his/her patented article is considered as its right or obligation, every country has its own different interpretations.

美國專利法第287條規定為專利標示是專利權人的義務,並且是請求損害賠償的前提要件;日本特許法第187條僅訓示性「勸導」專利權人應努力在產品上進行專利標示,未揭示專利產品無專利標示會有何後果;英國專利法第62條第1項以及澳洲專利法第187條亦將專利標示作為侵權行為人是否知悉專利權存在的要件(註[1]);大陸專利法第17條第二項規定「專利權人有權在其專利產品或著該產品的包裝上標示專利標示」,故推定專利標示於大陸是專利權人的權利而非義務。

United States Patent Law Article 287 indicates that the patent label is considered as patentee’s patent right and has grounds to seek for compensation for its damages. Japan Patent Law Article 187 only indicates that a patentee, exclusive licensee or non-exclusive licensee shall make efforts to place a mark to indicate that the product or process is patented. United Kingdom Patent Act Article 62, Paragraph 1 and Australian Patent Law Article 187 indicates that in proceedings for infringement of a patent damages shall not be awarded, and no order shall be made against a defendant or defender who proves that at the date of the infringement has was not ware, and had no reasonable grounds of supposing, that the patent existed. China Patent Law Article 17, Paragraph 2 indicates that “an inventor or designer shall have the right to state in the patent documents that he/she is the inventor or designer. The patentee shall have the right to have his patent mark displayed on the patented products or the package of such products.” Therefore, the trademark mark is considered as patentee’s right but not obligation.

依照我國現行專利法第98條規定,專利權人應於專利物上標示專利證書號,若因物品過小或形狀怪異等因素而無法標示於物品上時,應於標籤、包裝或其他組已引起他人注意的方式標示,若未標示,請求損害賠償時,應舉證證明侵害行為人明知或可得而知為專利物。

According to Taiwan’s Patent Act Article 98, an invention patentee shall mark the serial number of patent certificate on his/her patented article or the packaging thereof, unless the item is too small or with odd shapes that it is not feasible to mark the serial number of patent certificate. In case of failure to affix such marking, no claim for damages shall be allowed, except in the case that the infringer has known, or should have known as proved by facts, the existence of the patent.

承上段所述,專利標示在我國並非義務,亦非請求損害賠償的前提要件,亦未將專利標示列為侵權行為人是否知悉專利權存在的要件。為避免限縮專利權人請求損害賠償的權益以及減輕其負擔,我國現行專利法免除了於物品上標示專利證號的專利權人於專利侵權人的舉證責任,用以鼓勵專利權人將專利證書號標示在商品上讓大眾知悉該產品為專利產品。雖然我國目前核准之專利皆會公告在專利公報上,但並非所有人都會定期閱讀公報,亦並非每個人都能輕易瞭解具有一定格式的專利說明書以及專利申請範圍,透過專利物品的專利標示可以讓人較容易瞭解該專利權所在的技術領域。

From the above, we can know to mark the serial number of patent certificate is not considered obligatory and shall not claim for damages. Whether prior to filing, such a patent application has become known to the public, in order to prevent restraining its claim for damages, there is no burden of proof on the plaintiff where an invalidation action instituted involves the trial proceedings. This is to promote an invention patentee to mark the serial number of patent certificate on his/her patented article or the packaging thereof. Even though the Patent Authority would publish our granted patent in the Patent Gazette, however people in public wouldn’t read such Patent Gazette on regular basis, nor may necessarily understand its patent specification’s format and the claims and the drawings of the application. By marking the serial number of patent would make it easier for the public to understand the technical field of its patent.

註:

[1] 專利法逐條釋義第314頁。Trademark Act Interpretation, page 314.

參考資料:

專利法第98條 (Trademark Act Article 98)

專利法逐條釋義(Trademark Act Interpretation)

經濟部智慧財產局(Intellectual Property Office) https://www.tipo.gov.tw/mp.asp?mp=1

與貿易有關之智慧財產權協定(Agreement on Trade-Relted Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights,TRIPS)

專利實務論第6版 冷耀世編著Patent Practice, 6th edition by Yao-Shi Leng.

專利法案例式 修訂第五版 林洲富著Patent Law Cases, 5th edition by Chau-Fu Ling. 

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商標「善意」先使用:明知或非明知?實習律師李汝民 Using its trademark with Bona fide: knowingly or not knowingly? Intern Lawyer Ru-Min Lee

前言Preamble

商標法第30條第1項第3款規定:在他人商標註冊申請日前,善意使用相同或近似之商標於同一或類似之商品或服務者,不受他人商標權之效力所拘束。同款但書並規定,善意使用以原使用之商品或服務為限,商標權人並得要求其附加適當之區別標示。此即商標法所謂「善意先使用」之規定(商標法逐條釋義,頁95),其立法目的在於,商標權人於商標獲准註冊後雖享有排除他人使用其商標之權利,但為了避免過度保護商標專用權利反而造成市場自由競爭之阻礙、以及適當調和商標先註冊主義與先使用主義之衝突,故對於商標專用權利加諸一定之限制。

Trademark Act Article 30, Paragraph 1(3): by bona fide, prior to the filing date of the registered trademark, the proprietor of the registered trademark is entitled to request the party who use the trademark to add an appropriate and distinguishing indication when there is an identical or similar trademark on goods or services identical with or similar to those for which the registered trademark is protected for which the use is only on the original goods or services.

The purpose for such is for the proprietor of the registered to exclude others from using its registered trademark. Even though such third person knowingly used another person’s well-known registered trademark with bona fide (Trademark Act Interpretation, page 95). However in order to prevent overprotection on its trademark right which obstruct its free trade competition, it is important to have an appropriate reconciliation between the first register doctrine and the doctrine of first use of trademark. Therefore some of the restrictions need to be imposed on its trademark rights.

「善意」之解釋

What is ‘bona fide’?

然,所謂的「善意」,解釋上可能如同民法條文之「善意第三人」,係「不知情」之意。則「善意先使用」即須不知有他人商標,而使用相同或近似之商標於同一或類似之商品或服務,方可主張。

However the word ‘bona fide’, from its interpretation in civil law means ‘bona fides third party’, which has ‘not knowingly’ meaning. Where the trademark is identical with or similar to another person’s registered trademark in relation to goods or services, for which another person’s registered trademark is designated, does exists its likelihood of confusion on relevant consumers, would have grounds for revocation.

實務上有台灣台北地方法院93年度智字第70號判決可供參考。該判決指出,「商標法第30條第1項第3款之『善意』,係指『並非以不正當競爭為目的』,即使商標權人已使用商標,未申請註冊,但第三人明知該商標己使用,卻使用他人商標,在商標權人註冊商標後,第三人仍使用該商標,其不得主張係善意使用。」

In practice, the case of Taiwan Taipei District Court 93 years Zhi No. 70 can be used as reference. For its case, it indicates that the Trademark Act Article 30, Paragraph 1(3) ‘bona fide’ means ‘not for the purpose of unfair competition’. Despite that the proprietor of the registered has previously used its trademark, if such trademark is not registered and the third person still uses its trademark knowingly, such person is prohibited to claim prior use of such trademark after its trademark is being registered.

亦即,該判決認為第三人必須「非明知該商標已使用」方可主張善意先使用,可認為其對於商標法「善意」之解釋較為接近民法上之「善意」--即不知情。

The judicial reasoning behind this case is that the third person must ‘not knowingly use its trademark’ to claim for its bona fide prior use. You can treat the word ‘bona fide’ defined in Trademark Act similar to the ‘bona fide’ defined in Civil Law.

然亦有法院就善意之解釋採取更為寬泛之見解。台灣高等法院96年度上易字第597號判決指出,「按判斷是否符合商標法第30條第1項第1款之『善意』要件,考諸商標法為保障商標權及消費者利益,維護市場公平競爭,促進工商企業正常發展之立法目的,除視使用人是否知悉他人尚未申請註冊商標之存在以外,尚應視使用人於使用時是否意圖影射他人商標之信譽,而致影響公平競爭秩序為斷,以保護善意創用之使用人

There is wider interpretation of ‘bona fide’ by court, the case of Taiwan Taipei District Court 96 years Zhang Yi No. 597 indicates that in order “to determine whether such element satisfies the ‘bona fide’ defined in Trademark Act Article 30, Paragraph 1(1), you need to consider whether such Trademark Act would protect consumers’ best interest and to maintain trade market fairness and to promote industrial and commercial enterprises development. Apart from knowing whether such user knowingly used its unregistered trademark, it is important to know whether such user intent to take advantage of its trademark reputation in result of disturbing its trade market fair competition. The purpose for this is to protect the first trademark user with bona fide.

又現行商標法第30條第1項規定為:『凡以善意且合理使用之方法,...』,考其真意,核與美國法上之『fairly and in good faith』相當,是此『善意』並非民法上向來所解之『不知情』,亦不以無過失為要件。」

The Trademark Act Article 30, Paragraph 1 indicates: “reasonable with bona fide…”, is similar to the American Law “fairly and in good faith” but not similar to ‘not knowingly’ defined in Civil Law, which doesn’t constitute ‘negligent’ as one of the elements.

依照上述判決,則可以主張「善意」使用他人商標之情形即有下列兩者:

From the above cases, we can know that there are two scenarios to define ‘bona fide’:

(1)   不知悉他人尚未申請註冊商標之存在。

Not knowingly the existence of other unregistered trademarks.

(2)   雖知悉他人商標之存在,但使用人於使用時並無影射他人商標信譽之意圖。

Despite knowing the existence of other trademark, but such user does not have the intention to take advantage of its trademark reputation.

(1)之情形同於前述台灣台北地方法院93年度智字第70號判決之見解,但(2)之情形即係知情卻仍能主張善意先使用之例,可知上述高等法院之判決對於商標法「善意」先使用之解釋係較民法之「善意」先使用更為寬泛,可以說是更偏向於先使用主義之判決。

What’s described in (1) is similar to the case of Taiwan Taipei District Court 93 years Zhi No. 70, however what’s described in (2) above focuses on ‘knowingly’ but with bona fide prior use. There seems to have wider interpretation of ‘bona fide’ defined in Trademark Act than what’s defined in Civil Law which is more toward the bona fide prior use doctrine.

評析 Review

我國商標法第2條於92年修法後,已將原本法條文字「確具使用之意思」刪除,且修法理由亦明示本法採註冊保護原則,故我國商標法於92年修法後應係採先註冊主義無疑。

After the amended Trademark Act Article 2 in 2003, after amendment, deleted the word ‘indeed with the use of means’, such Act inherited the registered protection doctrine and therefore after its amendment in 2003, there is no doubt that Taiwan employs a first-to-register system for trademark protection.

先註冊主義的確可能衍生濫行申請而並無真正使用商標意思之問題,但此已有繼續三年未使用等商標廢止程序可供利用。故,商標法第30條第1項第3款之「善意」先使用實不應再採取過於擴張之解釋,以免因為本條之規定反而使本法傾向於先使用主義,而與第2條總則之規定產生衝突。

However the first-to-register system has its inherent problems to register trademarks even it is not really necessary. However there is a rule set out in its Trademark Act to cease its registration if such trademark has not been used for three years continuously. Therefore Trademark Act Article 30, Paragraph 1(3) ‘bona fide’ prior use should not have any wide interpretation to prevent any conflicts between the first-to register system defined in Paragraph 2.

此外,本國係採「民商合一」制度之國家,因此商標法之解釋亦應以民法相同之法概念為依歸,否則可能造成法體系之混亂與適用之衝突。

On the other hand, Taiwan inherent Civil and Commercial combination system, therefore Trademark Act’s interpretation should be the same as the Civil Law in Taiwan otherwise there may have conflict of laws between the two systems.

最後,美國商標制度本即係採「先使用主義」,於1998年後其商標制度雖有修正,亦僅修正為「先使用與先註冊並行主義」,而非改採先註冊主義。故前述台灣高等法院96年度上易字第597號判決以美國法上之「fairly and in good faith」解釋我國商標法之「善意先使用」實對於我國與美國之商標體制差異有欠考量。綜上所述,本文認同台灣台北地方法院93年度智字第70號判決,「善意」先使用應以第三人非明知系爭商標已使用為要件。

Lastly America employs first-to-use system, despite that there was some amendment after year 1998, however it is still ‘first-to use-and-register-system’, not the first-to-register system. Therefore in the previously described case of Taiwan Taipei District Court 96 years Zhang Yi No. 597’s “fairly and in good faith” indicates Taiwan and America’s differences in Trademark’s ‘first-to-use’ system. For the summary above, the author personally believe that the case verdict from the case of Taiwan Taipei District Court 93 years Zhi No. 70, is to consider whether the third person used its registered trademark as one of the elements by employing its ‘bona fide’ prior use doctrine.

參考資料 References

1.經濟部智慧財產局,《商標法逐條釋義》,2005年5月。

Intellectual Property Office (2005, May) Trademark Act Interpretation.

2.台灣台北地方法院93年度智字第70號判決

Taiwan Taipei District Court 93 years Zhi No. 70 Case

3.台灣高等法院96年度上易字第597號判決

Taiwan Taipei District Court 96 years Zhang Yi No. 597 Case 

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