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PME et propriété intellectuelle: Cas de Taiwan

par Laura Desboeufs
Université de Neuchâtel (Unine) - Master en sciences économiques-orientation développement international des affaires 2010

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SMEs and Intellectual Property: The case of Taïwan

Laura Desboeufs



1.1 Research objective 4

1.2 Research structure 5


2.1 Macro-level (Environment) 6

2.1.1 Government Attitude & Commitment 6

2.1.2 IPR Instrument Structure & Scope 10

2.1.3 Supporting legal and regulatory environment 18

2.2 The meso-level (Institutional) 25

2.2.1 Sector Review & Analysis 25

2.2.2 The institutional map 26

2.2.3 Degree of institutional proactivity 29

2.3 The Micro (Enterprise) Level 30

2.3.1 Level of use of IPR protection instruments 30

2.3.2 Level of Transgressions 31

2.3.3 From Awareness to Action 34

2.4 Summary 35


3.1 Quantitative Methodology 36

3.1.1 The sample 37

3.1.2 Survey information 37

3.1.3 Data analysis method 38

3.2 Results 38

3.2.1 Descriptive analysis 38

3.2.2 Reliability and validity measures 38

3.2.3 IP survey results + analysis 38


4.1 Discussion of key findings of the survey in the context of the national background 39

4.1.1 Macro-level (Environment) 39

4.2 Implications 41

4.2.1 For Government and policy makers 41

4.2.2 For SMEs 41

4.3 Limitations and future research 41



6.1 Appendix: The survey 45

6.2 Appendix: statistical data 45


Taiwan market is a distant and difficult to access. Do not ignore it. The business world is complex and difficult to understand for foreign makers. The market information and the actual situation of Taiwanese companies is often difficult to find. The barrier of language (Mandarin) is a real obstacle. These difficulties are disadvantageous for many SMEs.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, The Republic of China (here inafter Taiwan) has been notoriously dubbed by many, particularly U.S. industry, as the «pirate kingdom» of the world1(*). Based on one estimate, the U.S. copyright industry alone suffered US$669 million loss from Taiwan piracy and counterfeiting activities in 19922(*). Ever since the enactment of the «Special 301» provision under the U.S. trade law, Taiwan has been a regular on the law's hit list. This means Taiwan was identified as a «priority foreign country», a U.S. trade partner which «has committed the most onerous or egregious acts, policies or practices» in denying «adequate and effective protection of intellectual property rights» or «fair and equitable market access to U.S. persons that rely upon intellectual property protection» or being placed on the «Priority Watch» list pending further investigations and consultations3(*). It was not until November 1996 that Taiwan was completely removed from the list4(*).

A careful examination of Taiwan's experience in dealing with IP protection reveals a remarkable path for its peaceful transformation. In less than twenty years, Taiwan has changed from being the reigning king of global piracy and counterfeiting activities to one whose government officials and businessmen now travel the world advocating better IP protection, and do so completely without the coverage of any international convention. This path, however, is anything but a straight line; rather, it is filled with zigzags, often involving struggles among different interest groups and sometimes even violent protest, all in the name of preserving Chinese cultural values and Taiwan's national economic interests. But as the dust settles, the counterfeiters are now clearly on the run, and Taiwan's industry has been enjoying a tremendous boom. Taiwan now looks like a shining-knight waving the banner of international IP community. So how did Taiwan succeed in its IP reforms and what is their substance? What issues are still outstanding are unresolved and most pressing issues? What are the challenges ahead? This report attempts to address these questions, including a survey and an analysis of the latest amendment to Taiwan's IP laws.

2.1 Research objective

The study set up by the observatory undertaken jointly with the University of Neuchatel part of a broad vision of the economic structure of developing countries. The part that interests us in this report concerns the intellectual property rights in Taiwan. The objective of this research is to construct a map of institutional country in order to provide international SMEs with a tool to estimate the level of protection and violation of individual rights. In addition, this document will provide the most comprehensive list of the possibilities of protection in Thailand and the procedures to follow in case of violation of protection.

The second objective of this research is to compare the structures with other countries in development to realize the differences that might exist and then try to suppress them for some international cohesion.

* 1 See United States Trade Representative (hereinafter USTR), Fact Sheet on AIT-CCNAA Understanding

Regarding Intellectual Property Protection in Taiwan (June 5, 1992).

* 2 This is an estimate by the International Intellectual Property Alliance (IIPA) in its 1993 annual submission to the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) and was adopted by the latter without change (hereinafter SPECIAL 301 RECOMMENDATIONS). See USTR, 1993 NATIONAL TRADE ESTIMATE REPORT ON FOREIGN TRADE BARRIER (hereinafter NTE REPORT), at 251 (1993).

* 3 See Section 182 of the Trade Act of 1974, an addition to the 1974 Act by Section 1303 of the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, Pub.L. No. 100-418, apprv'd, Oct. 3, 1988, 102 Stat. 1107, 19 U.S.C. §2242 (1997).

* 4 See Andy Y. Sun, The Prospect for a Dispute Settlement Mechanism under the World Trade Organization -- International Intellectual Property and Trade Disputes, reprinted in PAUL C. B. LIU AND ANDY Y. SUN, ed., INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY PROTECTION IN THE ASIAN-PACIFIC REGION: A COMPARATIVE STUDY, Occasional Papers/Reprint Series in Contemporary Asian Studies, University of Maryland School of Law, No. 4 -- 1996 (135), at 153-183

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