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Taiwan: Triple damages awarded in design patent lawsuit




This March, the IP Court awarded respective triple damages against an infringer on the ground of willful violation of both the Patent Law and the Fair Trade Act in an infringement lawsuit filed by HTC, a Taiwan-based smartphone maker.

Prior to the grant of a design patent for a novel smart phone protective case designed by HTC, HTC had sold the protective cases in the marketplace in collaboration with the release of its new smartphone. On the other hand, the defendant gained access to the particulars of the design in question at its research stage when seeking to be a protective case supplier. It also started selling counterfeits before the grant of the design patent. In view of this, HTC, apart from claiming its design patent right in the infringement lawsuit, averred that the infringer had committed unfair competition in the form of misappropriation prior to the grant of its design patent. While the claim made by HTC was upheld by the IP Court, the infringer was awarded to pay respective triple damages for willful violation of both the Patent Law and Fair Trade Act.

Since a design application filed in this country is subject to substantive examination, it takes time for the application to go through the examination procedure before maturing into a patent. In response to the shortened cycle of inception of a new product to its launch in the marketplace, it would be a sound strategy for a design patent owner to seek protection under the umbrella of the Patent Law and the Fair Trade Act against willful infringers when necessary.

Jun-yan Wu

Saint Island International Patent & Law Offices
7th Floor, No. 248, Section 3
Nanking East Road
Taipei 105-45, Taiwan, ROC
Tel: +886 2 2775 1823
Fax: +886 2 2731 6377


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