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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