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TW-SUPA Trial Program Scheduled To Be Launched Soon

A six-month trial program named "TW-Supporting Using the PPH Agreement" or "TW-SUPA" in acronym is scheduled to be launched on March 1, 2012 in Taiwan. This trial program is to accelerate first examination reports to be completed within six months and to encourage applicants to use the examination result to apply for the PPH (Patent Prosecution Highway) examination with the foreign patent office under a PPH agreement with Taiwan.

The requirements of applying for the TW-SUPA program follow.
1. The eligible applications are limited to the invention patent applications in Taiwan. The Taiwanese invention patent applications must be the base applications for priority claimed in their subsequent corresponding foreign applications that are filed with the foreign patent offices under the PPH agreement with Taiwan. Currently, only the USPTO has a PPH agreement with Taiwan.

2. The application for the TW-SUPA program must be filed within six months from the filing date of the corresponding foreign application.

3. The subject Taiwanese invention patent application has been rendered a notification that the substantive examination will be conducted, but no official examination reports have been rendered yet.

4. If the subject Taiwanese invention patent application has not been laid-open when the applicant applies for the TW-SUPA program, the applicant must request the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) to
advance the laying-open of the invention patent application.

In addition to meeting the foregoing requirements, the applicant must submit an application form, a document to prove the filing of the corresponding foreign application, two items of prior art that are most relevant to the subject invention, patentable reasons in view of the two items of prior art, and an official fee of NTD 4,000 (about USD 140).

The TIPO has only allocated a small portion of their examination manpower for this trial program and set an upper limit in the amount of applications to be handled per month by technical fields. After the upper limit for a specific technical field has been reached, any subsequent qualified applications will be placed in a queue to be handled in the following one or more months.

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