The Taiwan Trademark Association was formed in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. As the organization moves into a more normal time, its president says that it will continue to work closely with TIPO to provide professional legal training to trademark professionals. Ivy Choi reports.
The year 2020 marked the 90th anniversary of the enactment of the Taiwan Trademark Act. While Taiwan’s history of trademark laws dates back to nearly a century ago, it wasn’t until 2020 that a dedicated trademark organization was finally established. For the past three years, the Taiwan Trademark Association (TTA) has made great progress in achieving its vision of building a robust global network for Taiwan’s trademark community, despite challenges such as the Covid pandemic.
Grace Shao, president of TTA and a partner at Baker McKenzie in Taipei, said that prior to the establishment of TTA, the absence of a dedicated trademark organization in Taiwan made it difficult to sustain international collaborations, as there was no dedicated entity to facilitate such partnerships and exchanges, especially when there are already organizations such as INTA, the Japan Trademark Association, the China Trademark Association and other such local and regional organizations. “The founding president of TTA, Dr. Wen Pin Lai, is the key person in making this possible. With support from the Taiwan IP Office (TIPO), he invited 37 well-known trademark professionals as the founding members to establish TTA.”
Lai, also known as Peter Lai, established Chien Yeh & Associates in 1975; prior to the establishment of the TTA, he had a long history of working with Taiwanese companies doing business in mainland China.
According to Shao, TTA now comprises more than 200 members, including individual and group members. Individual members are mainly lawyers, trademark agents, IP-related legal personnel and law firm partners. Other members include corporate executives, professors, patent agents, designers and engineers. While the majority of group members are patent and trademark agencies, there are also high-tech enterprises, food companies, and design firms. “We hope to enhance the awareness and recognition of Taiwan brands,” Shao said.
Furthermore, TTA has become an official member of INTA, which opens more opportunities for TTA to collaborate with international counterparts, share insights, and contribute to global trademark discussions so that it can work towards its goal of strengthening international connections within the trademark industry. An example of TTA’s endeavour to strengthen its presence in the international trademark arena is hosting the “Taiwan Night” cocktail reception on May 18, during INTA’s 2023 annual meeting in Singapore. The reception attracted more than 120 guests from around the world, and was supported by partners including Yu Jen Jai, Delta, Acer, Gigabyte, Chi Po-lin Foundation, Hsin Tung Yangimei, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, Wistron and Longkow.
“TTA has set its sights on expanding its network and influence by reaching out to different trademark organizations across various jurisdictions,” Shao said. “Target organizations include the Japan Trademark Association and China Trademark Association, among others. By broadening its connections, TTA aims to foster greater international cooperation, exchange ideas and best practices, and strengthen the global trademark ecosystem.”