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E-Filing System for Intellectual Property-Related Administrative Litigation Commenced on July 20, 2015

According to the paper "Doing Business 2015" published by the World Bank in October 2014, out of 189 economic bodies worldwide, 19 have allowed electronic commencement of litigation. In order to maintain Taiwan's competitiveness as well as to promote a paperless office, the Judicial Yuan has actively made plans for an e-filing system for litigation since 2014; open testing was conducted for over a month at the end of 2014. Following feedback from the tests, the Judicial Yuan conducted another large-scale test in June 2015, gathering trial opinions from major law firms and making adjustments to the system accordingly. After testing, adjustments and confirmation during the first part of July, the Judicial Yuan finally declared the system open on July 20, 2015 in a grand ceremony. Lee and Li filed the Administrative Complaint for an intellectual property litigation at 11:00 am on the same day by using such system.
As the e-filing system is the first of its kind used in Taiwan, cases accepted after its launch on July 20, 2015 will be limited only to "intellectual property-related administrative litigation". It is expected to be used for "tax-related administrative cases" in September 2015, and in early 2016, it will cover civil litigation at first and second instances in ordinary courts. Coverage will be gradually expanded over time.
Litigation can be instituted in intellectual property-related administrative litigations using the e-filing system. In the majority of cases, the defendant will be the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office ("TIPO"), which has indicated that it will cooperate with the system's usage. Once a plaintiff commences litigation through the system, a certified copy of its statement of claim would be deemed to have been served on the TIPO. Once the plaintiff completes the e-filing of a complaint, the plaintiff would not need to deliver any original or certified duplicate copies to the Intellectual Property Court. Simultaneously, the TIPO will file its defense online through the system. If there are other participants in the case and they engage counsel, the judge handling the matter will encourage counsel to also use the system such that the participants' defenses and submissions can be delivered through it. Furthermore, the Judicial Yuan stresses that the system is limited only to exchange of submissions and exhibits between the litigants; all letters issued by the court to them would continue to be in paper form. Finally, the Intellectual Property Court will publish the Regulations of the Intellectual Property Court on Electronic Litigation system for Intellectual Property-Related Administration Litigation, which will serve as the regulatory basis for the system.
At present, the system is only available for use by counsel and patent attorneys. Thus, if a litigant does not have legal representation, the litigant or patent attorneys would be unable to use the system. Nevertheless since counsel and patent attorneys are often engaged in administrative litigation cases, it can be expected that the system could be widely used and that it will significantly improve efficiency of litigation work and reduce production of paper-based documents, thereby achieving the dual purposes of promoting environmental protection and the economy.