Jul 26, 2017 Politics Comments Off on Patent portfolio spurs Taiwan’s industrial competitiveness
The rising number of U.S. patents in key technologies issued to applicants from Taiwan and a more than 50 percent full-term conversion rate for such protections are playing a central role in advancing the nation's industrial development, according to a survey released July 25 by National Applied Research Laboratories under the Ministry of Science and Technology.
Conducted by the NARL Science and Technology Policy Research and Information Center, the survey reveals that semiconductors comprise 15.58 percent of the patents. This is followed by optics, 10.39 percent; measurement technology, 7.79 percent; audiovisual technology, 7.14 percent; and communication technology, 6.49 percent.
The survey found Taiwan ranks fifth on the list of source countries for U.S. patents from 2003 to 2015�a significant accomplishment given the scale of the local economy. First goes to the U.S., with Japan, South Korea and Germany rounding out the top five in that order.
Li Sen-yin, survey team leader and NARL research fellow, said the findings underscore Taiwan's innovative prowess and bode well for public and private efforts to develop sectors under strategic promotion like artificial intelligence and smart machinery. According to the survey, 70.2 percent and 61.1 percent of patents issued to major companies and education and research institutions, respectively, were maintained to full-term. But these numbers tumbled to 36.1 percent for small and medium enterprises.
The ability of big firms to readily allocate funds for patents and their defense explains the high full-term numbers, Li said. As SMEs are lacking in this area due to tighter bottom lines, more must be done to support them and ensure they maintain their innovative edge through pursuing niche technologies, he added.
One way of quickly addressing this issue involves the government assisting SMEs in better utilizing patent assets, Li said, adding that other measures include promoting collaboration between research organizations and businesses so the latter can access a broader range of resources.
Strengthening the patent regimes of homegrown firms is a top priority for the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and viewed as integral to sustaining the global competitiveness of Taiwan.
The latest MOEA statistics showed 17,670 patent applications were received by the ministry's Intellectual Property Office in the first quarter of 2017, up 6 percent from the same period last year. Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. was first in application numbers, followed by MediaTek Inc., Hon Hai Precision Ind. Co. Ltd., Acer Inc. and AU Optronics Corp. in that order.
The technology exports of Taiwan, including patent licensing fees and royalties, reached NT$36.2 billion (US$1.19 billion) in 2015, up 7.1 percent from the year before. At the same time, technology imports totaled NT$160.1 billion, down 1.9 percent year on year, with 77.64 percent from the U.S.
Source: Taiwan Today
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