Under Article 32 of the Taiwanese Patent Act, a patent applicant is allowed to file an invention patent application and a utility model patent application for the same creation(s) on the same date. Since the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office only conducts formality review for a utility model patent application1), the applicant can protect the creation(s) first with a utility model patent, which can be granted quickly, while the invention patent application is still under substantive examination. Once the invention patent application is approved after substantive examination, the applicant can then select the invention patent to enjoy continuous protection2).
The applicant can obtain a patent right quickly and maximize the patent term by using the regulations of continuous protection (utility model patent first and then invention patent) at the expense of the maintenance fees for one patent.
To enjoy continuous protection, the following requirements must be met:
1) The subject matter eligible for utility model patent is a creation relating to the shape and/or structure an article.
2) According to the processing times information issued by the TIPO, an invention patent application is usually about 18-24 months while that of a utility model patent application is only about 5 months.