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Newsletters

Establishment of Intellectual Property Office
Winter, 1997 

       Effective from January 26, 1999, the official organization in charge of the patent and trademark matters is National Bureau of Standards (NBS) of Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) no longer but Intellectual Property Office (hereinafter referred to as IPO) of MOEA.  The IPO will engage in matters relating to patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, integrated circuit layouts and anti-counterfeiting.  It would appear that the rationale underlying the establishment of such organization is in response to the advocacy that intellectual property rights (IPRs) are indispensable weapons to survive in the 21st century.

@@It is well-established that ambition often makes one rigorous and better tomorrow.  It certainly will thus do this country wonderful if a special authority could satisfactorily handle all IPR-related matters.  The international practice, however, shows that the agency in charge of patent and trademark matters in a country is the patent and trademark office rather than the intellectual property office.  Although it is of no weight as to the title and what will play the important role is what it will do in reality, the fact is that there are many advanced countries, e.g. U.K., Germany, Japan etc., having no organization in charge of copyright matters, for example.  As is known, an original copyrightible work automatically generates a copyright so that there is no necessity to have a special authority to regulate the copyright matter.  There are areas with which it is inappropriate to officially interfere.  How to successfully operate an officially established organization theoretically having nothing to do is something like a masterstroke.

@@ There are some other countries, e.g. Korea and the Philippines, also establishing IPOs to handle their IPRs.  It will be interesting to trace and understand how IPOs of this and other countries run.  We will report again when we find something new in this respect.

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