After taking a look at the caseload of Taiwan’s Intellectual Property Court (“IP Court”) in part one, we now focus on the number of litigation cases and trends over time.
Number of litigation cases closed
“Closed case” means a case decided at the IP Court, regardless of whether the decided case was subsequently appealed or not. The trend of closed litigation cases is similar to the number of all cases closed which we looked at in Part 1. The peak number was 1178 cases in 2011, after that, the number of cases gradually decreased to 862 cases in 2019. The number of closed litigation cases has never exceeded 1000 from 2012 onward.
Number of closed litigation cases from 2008 to 2019
Proportion of copyright, patent, and trademark litigation cases
The statistics show that patent and trademark litigation cases are the majority of all litigation cases handled and since 2014 have accounted for approximately 35% of cases each year. As for copyright litigation, the proportion has remained between 20% and 30%. Except for these three major categories, the proportion of other litigation, such as those involving trade secrets, shows an upward trend from 7% in 2008 to 13% to 2019.
Proportion of closed copyright, patent, and trademark litigation cases from 2008 to 2019
Number of copyright, patent and trademark litigation cases handled
The number of closed copyright litigation cases has remained roughly the same. Since 2009 when the IP Court was in full swing, there have been 190 to 240 cases every year, except for in 2017 where there were 157 cases. The peak was 238 cases in 2010. The number of closed copyright litigation cases has increased for three consecutive years, with 210 cases in 2019.
Number of closed copyright litigation cases from 2008 to 2019
In terms of whether the litigation was civil, criminal or administrative in nature, we find that the majority are criminal cases. In 2008 and 2009, criminal cases accounted for 72% and 66% of all cases respectively.
The proportion of civil litigation cases surpassed those of criminal cases in 2014 for the first time, and has been increasing since then. In the last three years, civil litigation cases have accounted for more than 60% of all copyright litigation cases, peaking in 2019 at 78%. It is clear that the mode of solving copyright disputes in Taiwan has transferred from criminal prosecution by the state to civil litigation between private entities.
The proportion of administrative litigation is comparatively low, except for 2013, 2016 and 2018, never having been higher than 5%.
Proportion of closed criminal, civil, and administrative copyright litigation cases from 2008 to 2019
The number of patent litigation cases solved has shown a downward trend since the highest period from 2010 to 2011, with 476 and 462 cases. Although there were years with more than 300 cases between 2012 and 2015, the number has never exceeded 300 since 2016. There were 267 patent litigation decided in 2019.
Number of patent litigation cases closed from 2008 to 2019
Source: Judicial Yuan
Only civil and administrative cases are included since there is no criminal liability under Taiwan’s Patent Act. Apart from 2008 where there was a higher proportion of administrative litigation, patent litigation was roughly 60% civil, 40% administrative.
Proportion of closed civil and administrative patent litigation cases from 2008 to 2019
The number of trademark litigation cases was comparatively high between 2009 and 2011, with a peak of 390 cases in 2009. There has been a downward trend until 2007 with 248 cases, but the numbers have risen in the last two years. The number of trademark litigation cases handled was 279 in 2019.
Number of closed trademark litigation cases from 2008 to 2019
Administrative litigation has always been the primary type of trademark litigation, accounting for more than half among all trademark litigation every year. It appears to be a decreasing trend in recent years, even though administrative litigation still accounts for 53%, its lowest point reached in 2019. The proportion of criminal litigation has gradually reduced from 25% in 2008 to 13% in 2009. The proportion of reduced criminal and administrative litigation has been replaced by civil litigation, whose proportion has doubled from 17% in 2009 to 34% in 2019. Overall, administrative litigation accounts for the largest volume of cases, while criminal litigation accounts for the smallest.
Proportion of closed criminal, civil, and administrative trademark litigation cases from 2008 to 2019
By looking at these statistics, we now know more about the quantity and type of litigation cases at the IP Court. The proportion of criminal, civil and administrative litigation cases provides interesting insights into each type of litigation. In part three, we will focus on civil litigation and further explore statistics regarding the success rate, settlement rate and claims awarded.
For more information on IP matters in Taiwan, please contact Gary Kuo at email@example.com.
*Note: Some of the figures provided in this report are calculated using raw data and may differ from those figures officially reported.Written July 21, 2020 By Gary Kuo, Yi-Kai Chen.