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Following the launch of the cooperative program on mutual recognition of the deposit of biological materials for the purpose of patent procedure between Taiwan and Japan in 2015 and between Taiwan and the UK in 2017, the cooperative program between Taiwan and South Korea, based on an MOU signed in August, will be implemented on September 1, 2020. It once again expands Taiwan’s scope of international cooperation in this field.
Upon implementation of this program, TIPO will recognize the deposit at KIPO’s designated depositary and KIPO will recognize the deposit at TIPO’s designated depositary. Therefore, any Taiwanese applicant filing patent applications relating to biological materials with KIPO or any South Korean applicant filing patent applications relating to biological materials with TIPO is able to deposit his/her biological materials in a local designated depositary. This streamlines the deposit procedures for patent applicants in both countries, avoids problems due to the instability of biological materials that may be caused by cross-border deposits, and also reduces the cost of repeated deposits.
At present, the depositary designated by TIPO is the Food Industry Research and Development Institute (FIRDI), while those designated by KIPO are the Korean Collection for Type Cultures (KCTC), the Korean Culture Center of Microorganisms (KCCM), the Korean Cell Line Research Foundation (KCLRF) and the Korean Agricultural Culture Collection (KACC).
Moreover, both offices also recognize deposits of biological materials in a depositary designated by the other office made before the implementation of this cooperative program, provided two conditions are met. Patent applicants will not be required to make repeated deposits in either Taiwan or South Korea if: 1) their patent application is filed on or after September 1, 2020, i.e., the implementation date of this cooperative program; and 2) their patent application is filed along with copies of the deposit certificates submitted before the corresponding deadlines.
The Operational Directions Governing the Mutual Cooperation between TIPO and KIPO in the Field of Deposit of Biological Materials for the Purposes of Patent Procedure and related Q&A information can be found on TIPO’s website.