Taipei, May 7, 2012 (CENS)--Richard Thurston, vice president and general councilor of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) estimated that patent royalty payment by Taiwan's enterprises would rise to US$10 billion in five years from 2011's US$5 billion if they fail to resolutely protect their intellectual properties.
Microsoft Taiwan's general councilor, L.C. Shih, suggested that Taiwan's enterprises need make well-rounded preparations and best protect their patents before jumping into international competition.
The two patent executives made the comments at a recent international patent trend forum held in Taipei.
Although Taiwan was the No.1 patent winner in the United States in 2010 at the rate of 413 approved patents for every one million people, Taiwan's enterprises were charged as much as NT$100 billion (US$3.4 billion at US$1: NT$29) in patent royalty a year between 2005 and 2008 in lawsuits, settlements and infringement cases, according to Taiwan's Control Yuan, the nation's highest watchdog.
Thurston pointed out that Taiwan's enterprises have been considered easy preys for patent holders in the United States and many other nations. He estimated that the island's enterprises only received NT$7-8 billion (US$241-275 million) from foreign users of their patents in each of the past few years.
He suggested that Taiwan's enterprises should take determined actions to protect their intellectual properties against non-practicing entities (NPEs), patent holders making money not from manufacturing or providing services with the patents but from licensing.
Also, he suggested that the government-backed Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) should adjust its role to assist Taiwan's small and medium-sized enterprises short of R&D resources develop technologies that enable the core competences of these enterprises to complement each other.
Microsoft Taiwan's Shih suggested that Taiwan's enterprises should take protective measures on their innovations and inventions sooner than later.
(by Ken Liu)