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「我發現有人生產跟我新型專利一樣的產品,我該怎麼辦好?」

「這時候你要先保全證據跟申請新型技術報告啊…(略)」

 

 

今天就來談談,什麼是新型技術報告,以及拿到這張新型技術報告到底可以做什麼呢?

 

 

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美國專利的圖式相關規定,記載於37 CFR § 1.84.(1)當中。本文針對圖式所使用的視圖、編號、參考符號、導引線及箭頭做介紹:

  1. 視圖(views)

圖式中應包括足夠的視圖以呈現專利的內容,視圖可以是平面圖、正視圖、剖面圖或立體圖,必要時亦可將視圖局部放大以呈現細節。各視圖不可以投影線連接也不可以包含中心線。波形圖或電子訊號可以使用虛線連接,以顯示波形與時間的關係。

  1. 視圖編號:

視圖的編號應由「1」開始編號,儘可能依出現在紙張上的順序編號,數字前面須加上「FIG.」,並與頁碼作區隔。若數個視圖分別為同一標的的局部,且該些視圖可組成一完整的標的整體,則該些視圖應使用相同的數字編號,並在數字後加上不同的大寫英文字母。若該申請案中的圖式僅有一個視圖,則無須編號。

  1. 數字、字母及參考符號:
    1. 參考符號(最好是數字)、頁碼、以及視圖編號須清楚易讀,且不可與括號或引號一起使用,亦不可被視圖的輪廓線包圍。參考符號以及視圖編號須與視圖的閱圖方向相同。
    2. 文字須使用英文字母,除非有其他慣用的字母代表特定的意義,例如使用希臘字母來表示角度、波長以及數學公式。
    3. 數字、字母及參考符號的高度須至少0.32 cm. (1/8 inch),且不應被編排在圖式中,意即數字、字母及參考符號不可跨越線條或與線條混合在一起,也不應被放在剖面或陰影面上,以避免干擾讀者對圖式的理解。但必要時,例如標示表面或剖面時,可於參考符號下方畫底線,並在該表面或剖面的一小部分留白,以放置畫底線的參考符號,使該參考符號可以輕易被讀取分辨。
    4. 發明的相同部分出現在不同視圖時,應以相同的參考符號標示,且不同的部分不可以同樣的參考符號標示。
    5. 說明書中未提及的參考符號,不可出現在圖式中,而說明書中所有提及的參考符號,則必須出現在圖式中。
  2. 導引線:

導引線是指出現在參考符號及參考特徵之間的線條,須由緊臨參考符號之處延伸至參考特徵。導引線必須以直線或曲線方式呈現,並儘可能的短,且不同導引線不可互相交錯。每一參考符號都須要有一條對應的導引線,除非該參考記號以畫底線的方式標示在表面或剖面上。

  1. 箭頭:

以下情況可以允許使用箭頭:

  1. 在導引線的一端使用箭頭,且箭頭未接觸任何線條,用以指向所標示的剖面。
  2. 在導引線的一端使用箭頭,且箭頭接觸一線條,用以標示該線條所代表的表面。
  3. 表示移動的方向。

 

 

關鍵字;美國專利、參考符號、圖式

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美國專利的圖式相關規定,記載於37 CFR § 1.84.(1)當中。本文針對圖式所使用的紙張的種類、尺寸、邊界、圖式的識別以及視圖的編排原則做介紹:

  1. 紙張種類:

提供給官方的圖式,須繪製或印製在具有彈性、強韌耐用、光滑但非亮面的白紙上,且不可有刮痕、裂縫、摺痕及皺褶。一張紙只能使用一面來繪製或印製圖式。

  1. 紙張大小:

雖然有兩種尺寸的紙張大小可被接受,但同一申請案的所有圖式須統一紙張尺寸,且須以紙張其中一較短的邊作統一作為上方。目前可接受以下兩種紙張大小:

  1. 21.0cm. × 29.7cm. (DIN size A4)
  2. 21.6cm. × 27.9cm. (8 1/2inch × 11inch)
  1. 紙張邊界:

不可在頁面的周圍設置框線,但須在紙張的兩對角線的角落設置掃描目標點,例如十字線。且每一紙張頁面須預留上邊界至少2.5 cm. (1 inch)、左邊界至少2.5 cm. (1 inch)、右邊界至少1.5 cm. (5/8 inch)以及下邊界至少1.0 cm (3/8 inch)。也就是說當使用21.0cm. × 29.7cm. (DIN size A4)的紙張時,實際使用區域須小於17.0cm. × 26.2cm.;當使用21.6cm. × 27.9cm. (8 1/2inch × 11inch)的紙張時,實際使用區域須小於17.6cm. × 24.4m. (6 15/16inch × 9 5/8 inch)

  1. 圖式的識別(Identification of drawings)

在每一紙張的上方應標示發明名稱、發明人姓名及申請案號。在尚未獲得申請案號時,如果有檔案號碼(docket number),可以使用檔案號碼代替申請案號。在申請日之後才提供的圖式,還須在每一紙張頁面的上方標示「Replacement Sheet」或是「New Sheet」字樣([2])。另外所提交的劃線頁副本,若在修改過的圖式中有加註圖式的修改處時,則須在劃線頁副本上清楚標示「Annotated Sheet([2])

  1. 視圖的編排:

一申請案的圖式可能包括複數個視圖,視圖的編排應以不浪費空間為原則,但不同視圖之間須有清楚的區隔,不可為了節省空間,而使不同視圖重疊。視圖的閱讀方向應儘可能為紙張的直立方向(即以紙張其中一較短的邊作為上方)。若視圖必須以垂直紙張的方向始能清楚呈現時,可以將視圖逆時針轉90度後再配置於紙張上,即視圖的下方在紙張的右側。須注意的是,同一紙張上的所有視圖,須統一閱讀方向。

 

 

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美國發明專利(utility patent)以及設計專利(design patent)的圖式相關規定,記載於37 CFR § 1.84.(1)當中。目前可接受的圖式類型有以下幾種:

  1. 圖式
  1. 黑白圖式:

須以墨線圖(India ink)提供,或是以可確保品質的黑色實線繪製。

  1. 彩色圖式:

彩色圖式須有足夠的品質,以確保彩色圖式被複製成黑白紙本後,所有細節仍然可以清楚呈現。若是經由USPTO官方電子申請系統提出申請,須準備1份彩色圖式;若非經由電子申請系統提出申請,則須提供3份彩色圖式。當專利中有彩色圖式時,說明書的簡單圖式說明(brief description)部分,須包括以下文字:

“The patent or application file contains at least one drawing executed in color. Copies of this patent or patent application publication with color drawing(s) will be provided by the Office upon request and payment of the necessary fee.”(2)

然而,雖然彩色圖式可被允許使用在設計專利中,但發明專利只有在少數情況下才可使用彩色圖式。由於國際申請案(3, PCT Rule 11.13)不接受彩色圖式,因此發明專利若要使用彩色圖式,須先提出說明使用彩色圖式的必要性,並且在獲得USPTO允許後始可使用。

  1. 照片
  1. 黑白照片:

在一般情況下,並不允許使用照片以及照片的影印本作為圖式,除非照片或顯微照片是唯一可揭示發明內容的媒介,例如:電泳膠(electrophoresis gels)、墨點(blots)、放射性自體顯影(auto-radiographs)、細胞培養(cell cultures)、組織切片(histological tissue cross sections)、動植物的活體影像(vivo imaging)、薄膜層析片(thin layer chromatography plates)、晶體結構(crystalline structure)及裝飾效果(ornamental effects)等等。但若審查委員認為所提供的照片可以使用圖式替代時,審查委員可要求以圖式替代照片。

  1. 彩色照片:

須符合上述彩色圖式(a)(2)項以及黑白照片(b)(1)項的條件,才能以彩色照片作為圖式。

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  台灣專利法第23條規定了「申請專利之發明,與申請在先而在其申請後始公開或公告之發明或新型專利申請案所附說明書、申請專利範圍或圖式載明之內容相同者,不得取得發明專利。但其申請人與申請在先之發明或新型專利申請案之申請人相同者,不在此限」。為了方便描述,一般會將台灣專利法第23條的內容稱為「擬制喪失新穎性」。

  中國專利法第22條第2款則是相對應於台灣專利法第23條,其中規定了「由任何單位或者個人就同樣的發明或者實用新型在申請日以前向專利局提出並且在申請日以後公佈的專利申請文件或者公告的專利文件損害該申請日提出的專利申請的新穎性」。為描述簡便,在判斷新穎性時,將這種損害新穎性的專利申請,稱為「抵觸申請」。

  台灣專利法中的擬制喪失新穎性與中國專利法的抵觸申請相同之處在於時間點的判斷,兩者規範之引證文件的申請日必須早於申請案的申請日,而引證文件的公開日則晚於申請案的申請日。在比對申請案與引證文件時,兩者同樣包括引證文件的說明書、申請專利範圍、圖式。此外台灣的擬制喪失新穎性與中國的抵觸申請,皆不適用於進步性的審查。

  然而台灣專利法的擬制喪失新穎性與中國專利法的抵觸申請之間最大的差異點在於,台灣專利法的擬制喪失新穎性排除了同一申請人的狀況,如台灣專利法第23條的規定「申請人與申請在先之發明或新型專利申請案之申請人相同者,不在此限」。換言之,同一人有先、後兩申請案,後申請案中請求項所載申請專利之發明若僅與先申請案所附說明書或圖式載明之內容相同而未載於請求項時,後申請案仍得予以專利。

  相較之下,中國專利法則並未排除同一申請人的狀況,如中國專利法第22條第2款的規定「任何單位或者個人就同樣的發明或者實用新型在申請日以前向專利局提出並且在申請日以後公佈的專利申請文件」。另外中國專利法的抵觸申請還包括進入了中國國家階段的國際專利申請(PCT案),其中PCT案必須滿足以下條件,申請日以前由任何單位或者個人提出、並在申請日之後由專利局作出公佈或公告的且為同樣的發明或者實用新型的國際專利申請。


專利專案經理 蕭錫裕

關鍵字:1.擬制喪失新穎性;2.抵觸申請;3.同一申請人

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  中國專利審查指南的第二部分第八章5.2.1.3具體定義了不能被視為是針對通知書指出的缺陷進行的修改,其主要包括:

  1. 主動刪除獨立權利要求中的技術特徵,擴大了該權利要求請求保護的範圍。

  2. 主動改變獨立權利要求中的技術特徵,導致擴大了請求保護的範圍。

  3. 主動將僅在說明書中記載的與原來要求保護的主題缺乏單一性的技術內容作為修改後權利要求的主題。

  4. 主動增加新的獨立權利要求,該獨立權利要求限定的技術方案在原權利要求書中未出現過。

  5. 主動增加新的從屬權利要求,該從屬權利要求限定的技術方案在原權利要求書中未出現過。

  綜合上述中國專利審查指南的內容,基本上申請人在收到審查意見之後,對申請案的申請案的申請專利範圍所進行的修正,基本上不能擴大或更改申請時請求項的範圍,此外亦不能增加申請時的申請專利範圍中未描述的獨立項或附屬項。

  即便新增的內容已揭露於申請時的說明書中,並符合中國專利法第33條之規定,「申請人可以對其專利申請文件進行修改,但是,對發明和實用新型專利申請文件的修改不得超出原說明書和權利要求書記載的範圍」,仍舊會被審查委員認為未針對通知書指出的缺陷進行的修改,導致上述的修正不被審查委員所接受。

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  根據中國專利法第33條的規定,「申請人可以對其專利申請文件進行修改,但是,對發明和實用新型專利申請文件的修改不得超出原說明書和權利要求書記載的範圍」。依照字面上的解釋,只要是出現在申請時的說明書揭露的內容,皆可在修正時增加在申請專利範圍中。

  至於中國專利申請案的修正時機,主要可以區分為兩個大類。第一大類如中國專利法實施細則第51條第1款所述,「發明專利申請人在提出實質審查請求時以及在收到國務院專利行政部門發出的發明專利申請進入實質審查階段通知書之日起的3 個月內,可以對發明專利申請主動提出修改」。

  第二大類則是如中國專利法實施細則第51條第3款所述,「申請人在收到國務院專利行政部門發出的審查意見通知書後對專利申請文件進行修改的,應當針對通知書指出的缺陷進行修改」。

  換言之,申請人對申請案提出修正的時機主要包括:1.提出實質審查的階段;2.收到審查意見的階段。當然不管在那個時間點提出的修正,都必須符合中國專利法第33條的規定。另外在收到審查意見通知書後,對申請案的內容所提出的修正,還必須符合「針對通知書指出的缺陷進行修改」的規定。

  中國專利審查指南第一部分第二章的8.2規定了,對於申請人提交的包含有並非針對通知書所指出的缺陷進行修改的修改檔,如果其修改符合專利法第33條的規定,並消除了原申請文件存在的缺陷,且具有授權的前景,則該修改可以被視為是針對通知書指出的缺陷進行的修改,經此修改的申請文件應當予以接受。對於不符合專利法實施細則第51條第3款規定的修改文本,審查員可以發出通知書,通知申請人該修改文本不予接受,並說明理由,要求申請人在指定期限內提交符合專利法實施細則第51條第3款規定的修改文本,同時應當指出,如果申請人再次提交的修改文本仍然不符合專利法實施細則第51條第3款的規定,審查員將針對修改前的文本繼續審查,例如作出授權或駁回決定。


專利專案經理 蕭錫裕

關鍵字:1.修正;2.修改;3.針對通知書指出的缺陷

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隨著近年產業上開始著重智慧型裝置的應用以及整合,因應而生如何對各種app、軟體進行智慧財產權的保護也益發重要。筆者將會以系列文章討論台灣、中國、美國及歐洲現行對軟體專利的申請及保護,拋磚引玉希冀能夠邀請從業人事互相切磋討論。

 

首先軟體的智慧財產權保護可以粗分成程式碼(著作權)以及本身的核心概念(專利權)兩個不同的客體。前者不須進行申請,後者則為本文討論的核心。進一步而言,專利申請的標的則可分為物之標的以及方法標的。

 

 

 

軟體專利標的.jpg

 

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足跡遍佈全球的眾律,今日韓國Hanbyol專利法律事務所Kay Kim, Patent Attorney  來訪本所,討論台灣、韓國專利制度與國際專利趨勢,會後互換台韓點心

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Bilateral Investment Treaties Concluded by Taiwan

 

A Bilateral investment treaty (BIT) is an agreement between two countries that sets up the rules for foreign investment in each other’s countries, providing companies and individuals with special rights and legal protections when they invest in a foreign country. Therefore, in order to address foreign investors’ concerns and promote investing, many countries have entered intro bilateral treaties for the protection of investment. When two countries enter into a BIT, both agree to provide protections for the other country’s foreign investors that they would not otherwise have, reducing many of the risks associated with foreign investment. It provides major benefits to foreign investors, including fair and equitable treatment. A key protection offered by the majority of bilateral investment treaties is to allow international arbitration in the event of an investment dispute, rather than to force foreign investors to sue the host-State in its own courts. In this context, BITs are typically created to promote investment in the host State.

The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) reaches the following 23 bilateral investment agreements in force concluded by the Republic of China with the following contracting states:

 

No.

Contracting State

Date of signature

Date of entry into force

Text

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Rules of intestacy in Spain(II)

 

As mentioned before, Spain’s succession law operates a system of forced heirship, which means that certain percentage of the deceased’s assets in Spain must be transferred to people closely related to the deceased. Only through disinheritance the testator can deprive a forced heir of the property that would otherwise receive under the Spanish law of succession.

According to the Spanish Civil Code, it is possible to disinherit a child, and it is regulated by article 848 and following of the code.

Nevertheless, in order to disinherit, exclude someone to the inheritance, some legal requirements are met and it is mandatory that the testator performs the disinheritance through a will, which must also include a valid legal ground on which it is founded.

Bellow are the grounds to disinherit in the Civil Code:

 

  1. Specific reasons to disinherit descendants:

1. Children and descendants that have refused, without a legitimate reason, to support the parent or ascendant who disinherits him, and

2. Those who have mistreated the deceased in deed or seriously insulted him in speech.

3. The descendant who is sentenced in court for an attempt to take the life of the testator, his spouse, descendants or ascendants.

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International Investment Treaty Arbitration

 

It was once a basic principle of international law that just a State could assert a claim against a different State when breaching its obligations to the first State’s nationals. However, the number of international treaty arbitration cases has grown dramatically in the past years, where foreign investors (individuals or legal entities) can claim against the “host States” where the investments where made. It is a very important factor in economic development, since it facilitates access to world markets, to worldwide distribution channels and other networks and it is a consequence from the phenomenon of globalization.

A country’s foreign investment climate is determined by the legal framework of foreign investment, which include, among others, stability of the legal conditions under an investor operates, the transparency of the system of local regulation and an effective system of dispute settlement. This last factor, an effective system of dispute settlement, is a particularly important one when it comes to legal protection of foreign investments.

In absence of other arrangements, a dispute between a foreign investor and a host State will usually be settled by the host State’s domestic courts. This fact is not an attractive option from the investor’s perspective for the following reasons: a) rightly or wrongly, the courts of the host State are not seen as sufficiently impartial in this kind of situations and b) the regular courts can often lack of the technical expertise required to solve complex international investment disputes.

Therefore, today direct arbitration between the host State and the foreign investor is the preferred option for this kind of disputes, and foreign investments enjoy international legal protection through a large number of investment treaties. There is as yet no single comprehensive treaty for the legal protection. Instead, there is a network of treaties which applies between two countries or among a number or countries.

In this context, Bilateral investment treaties (BITs) are international agreements between countries that provide companies and individuals with special rights and legal protections when they invest in a foreign country (the host State). BIT’s set out the terms and conditions for investment in one country by private companies and individuals of another country and are typically created to promote investment in the host State.

Investment treaties adopt an essentially private mode of adjudication dispute and that can make it a very similar figure to commercial arbitration, since both involve a claim by a private party before a tribunal of private arbitrators. However, notwithstanding the similarities, it would be a mistake to confuse both types of arbitration. Commercial arbitration originates an agreement between private parties to arbitrate disputes between both in a particular manner. The authority derives from the autonomy of every individual to chose and organize their own private affairs. On the other hand, investment arbitration originates in the authority of the state to use adjudication to solve disputes arising from the exercise of public authority. It is constituted by a sovereign act, as opposed to a private act.

 

 

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Rules of intestacy in Spain

 

If Spanish law applies, in the event of being no will, when the will is null and void or has subsequently become invalid, legal intestate succession regime applies. For most of Spain, the law can be found in the Spanish Civil Code (1889), but some of the Autonomous Communities (six out of seventeen) have their own private law.

The Spanish Civil Code therefore establishes the general law, and articles 930 and follows establish a list of beneficiaries, identifying three categories of heirs: relatives (descendants, ascendants and collaterals), the surviving spouse and the State, and they are arranged in hierarchy of classes, which is summarized below: 

  1. Descending direct line.
  2. Ascending direct line.
  3. Spouse.
  4. Collateral relatives
  5. The State.  

Under the principle of proximity of degree, the closest relatives exclude remote relatives (for example, a child excludes a grandchild and a parent excludes a grandparent), with the exception of the right of representation, in virtue of which the descendants of a predeceasing heir occupy that heir’s position. Also, relatives within the same degree inherit equally.

  1. The primary claim to inherit lies with the direct descendants, without any distinctions resulting from gender, age or filiation of the deceased, with no limitation of degree, but subject to a usufruct of 1/3 of the estate to the surviving spouse (if any). Children inherit the whole estate in equal shares and in their own right, but grandchildren and other descendants can only inherit by representation, taking the share which would have fallen to a predeceasing parent.
  2. In the absence of children and descendants of the deceased, his ascendants shall inherit, subject only to a usufruct of half of the estate in favour of surviving spouse. Father and mother shall inherit in equal shares, and in the event that only one of the parents survives, the surviving one shall inherit the whole estate from his child. In the absence of parents, the ascendants closest in degree will succeed. There is no limit of degree in the ascending line, nor is there representation in this case.
  3. When the deceased passes away without ascendants or descendants, the spouse inherits all of the deceased’s property. To be heir as a spouse, it is necessary to have been still married at the time of the death, this way a claim on intestacy is defeated by nullity, divorce and separation, whether judicial or de facto.
  4. In the absence of all of the above mentioned, the intestate estate passes to collateral relatives, beginning with siblings, who inherit equally, but also with the children of a predeceasing sibling taking the place of their parent.  
  5. Finally, and in absence of descendants, ascendants, spouse or siblings, the deceased’s estate passes to the State, or in the case of Autonomous Communities with civil competence in this matter, to those Communities.

 

 

 

 

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「環太平洋戰略經濟夥伴協定」TPP

 

一、前言

在「WTO與貿易有關的智慧財產權協定」(WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property, TRIPS) 出現以前,國際間對於是否以制定刑罰條款以保障智慧財產權,保持沉默。兩個重要的智慧財產權協定「巴黎公約」(the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of 20 March 1883, Paris Convention) 與「伯恩公約」(Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works),均未強制會員國制定刑罰條款,將此視為各會員國的自主決定事項,尊重各該會員國內法的決定[1]

自我國決定加入「環太平洋戰略經濟夥伴協定」(Trans Pacific Partnership, TPP) 後,各界即開始好奇,TPP究竟會對我國法制造成何種衝擊,本文擬簡要介紹TPP的相關內容,以利我國企業針對未來的區域變動做出可能的預測與回應。

 

二、TPP的背景

        TPP的前身,來自新加坡、智利、紐西蘭與汶萊簽訂的跨太平洋經濟戰略夥伴協定(P-4)P-4 是第一個連結太平洋、拉丁美洲與亞洲的跨境自由貿易協定,其成立之初即要求幾乎百分之百的貨品貿易自由化,但並未包括投資與金融服務兩大類。P-4的目標不在於獲得彼此間更優惠的市場進入,而是為將來的亞太自貿區協定,提供可能的參考範本。在美國加入後,以P-4為基礎擴張的TPP,方才開始吸引全球的目光[2]

        自日本加入起,至今TPP共有十二國參與談判,佔了全球GDP 38%、貿易量25%,儼然形成份量極重、足以影響下一代全球貿易規則的「鉅型區域貿易協定」(mega-regional trade agreement)[3]

        TPP所有談判中,美國扮演主導的關鍵角色。美國的經濟強項在於高科技、服務業與投資,它的目標是在付出最小代價下、透過TPP實現其於WTO杜哈談判回合所未能實現的目標,制定有利於己、超越現行WTO規範之貿易規則,將美國自己的國內法透過TPP向其他談判國輸出[4]

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「東南亞區域全面經濟夥伴協定」RCEP

 

一、前言

為了因應全球化的趨勢,對於大多數企業而言,邁向國際市場為生存之道。相較於TPPRCEP 係以貨物貿易自由化為主要目標,未來還會分段進行投資、服務貿易、經濟技術合作、競爭政策、爭端解決以及智慧財產權等談判。

 

二、RCEP的背景

RCEP 的主要成員是以東協10國加上日本、中國、韓國、印度、澳洲、紐西蘭等六國,共計16個國家所構成,形成區域全面經濟夥伴關係(Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, 簡稱RCEP)RCEP成員國總人口約占全世界一半(34億人)GDP約占全世界三成(20兆美元)RCEP倡議實現後,其經濟規模將占全球年生產總值31.35%,達到23兆美元[1],是更近一步的自由貿易協定(FTA)RCEP主要是以區域經濟一體化進行合作,成員國間相互開放市場、建立一個削減關稅及非關稅壁壘的自由貿易協定。其主要用意在於調和各成員國原產地規則和海關措施,並實行漸進式的服務貿易開放,同時在投資便捷化方面仍以准入後的國民待遇為主。目前RCEP20135月正式談判後所成立之貿易談判委員會(Trade Negotiation Committee, TNC),包含貨品、服務、投資、競爭政策、經濟與技術合作、法律及制度、以及智慧財產權議題等8個工作小組[2]

實際上,台灣附近的國家都已經加入了RCEP這一行列,成為一個大經濟體,但台灣迄今尚未正式參與任何主要的區域經濟整合,未來外國企業前來台灣投資的情形可能因此減少,加上出口商品相較於其他國家多了關稅的障礙,將導致台灣在國際喪失競爭力,漸漸地被邊緣化,嚴重影響台灣未來的發展。

事實上,RCEP市場對台灣而言相當重要,2013年台灣對RCEP16個成員國的出口額占出口總額約70%,如果台灣沒有加入RCEP,可能會嚴重影響台灣的出口貿易跟投資活動。尤其是RCEP將形成泛亞洲經濟圈龐大市場,將有利其成員國企業延伸供應鏈和降低通關成本,進行優勢的投資佈局。由於臺商長期以來深度參與東南亞地區產業分工,將我國生產的半成品、零件、中間財等出口到東南亞,利用東南亞充沛勞動力生產製造後,再把大部分的完成品出口到美國和歐美市場,若台灣不能加入RCEP,關稅上的差別待遇將使我國貿易成本高於其他國家,會導致台灣在RCEP市場喪失競爭力。長期以來,台灣因為國際局勢而未能加入相關的東協經濟活動,對台灣的經濟發展有所影響。

 

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Types of wills in Spain

 

In accordance to Spanish Civil Code, Spanish wills may be common or special. The special ones are: military will maritime will and the will made in a foreign country. The common ones are: holographic, open and closed will.

 

Holographic will

A holographic will (testamento ológrafo) must be written entirely in the handwriting of the testator and shall be dated and signed by him or her in every page of the will. It must also be clearly drafted in order to ensure that the testator’s wishes are absolutely clear. No other formalities or witnesses are required.

On the death of the testator, it must be verified as genuine before a judge and the decedent’s handwriting is required to be authenticated by witnesses, who are the decedent’s closest relatives. Once it is verified, the judge will enforce the will’s contents.

 

Open will

Open will (testamento abierto) is the most common and suitable form of will for most people in Spain and it is a recorder document which contains the testator’s intentions as declared in the presence of a Notary Public.  Before a Notary Public the testator shall express, orally or in writing his last will to him. The Notary may request the presence of two witnesses, who must also be required in case the testator is blind or illiterate.

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Forced heirship in Spain 

 

Firstly, it is important to note that the Spanish Civil Code recognises a quite limited testamentary freedom compared with other countries. Therefore, people closely related to the testator shall always receive a part of the estate, which is called “la legítima”. It is also possible to disinherit a child, but only in the cases explicitly enshrined in the Civil Code (such as denying maintenance, or seriously mistreated or slandered the parent or ancestor, see Articles 853 and 756).

Spain is divided in 17 different Autonomous Communities, and some of them have their local inheritance regulations. However, the following is according to the general Spanish inheritance law contained in the Civil Code.

The beneficiary of the reserved portion is called a forced heir and, according to the Article 807, the deceased’s spouse, descendants and – if there are no descendants – the parents or other ascendants of the deceased are entitled to the reserved portion.  The spouse is not entitled to receive the property of the estate, but the usufruct. This way, the spouse has the exclusive right to use the property until his/her death.

In general terms, when the testator is survived by his children and spouse, the estate shall be divided in three shares:

 

  1. One third of the estate must be distributed in equal parts among the testator’s children.
  2. One third must go to the children and grandchildren of the deceased, but he can decide whether to distribute it in equal or non-equal parts, or only give it to some of the heirs, or just to one of them. The testator’s widow or widower has the right to receive at least a usufruct of this portion of the estate (but it is very common in testamentary dispositions to include more than this portion).
  3. The last third part can be disposed freely by the testator.

 

 

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The Lifting of the Corporate Veil Doctrine in Spain

 

The most frequently used business entities in Spain are the Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada) and Join Stock Company (Sociedad Anónima). In both cases, the liability is generally limited to the amount of the capital stock contributed by each of them.

Nevertheless, in exceptional cases, liability shall be sought from the shareholders in order to protect the interest of other third parties. Along with the provisions of the Corporate Enterprises Act, which is the basic legal text that regulates the different legal forms of capital companies envisaged in Spain, there is an important body of case law in the field of Corporate Law. In this context, in those exceptional circumstances where liability may be sought from shareholders to protect third parties, Spanish courts apply the Anglo-Saxon doctrine of “lifting the corporate veil”, as a reaction to misconduct by the shareholders while fraudulently sheltering behind the company’s legal personality.

 

As is known, under Corporate Law, a corporation is specifically referred to as a legal person, subject of rights, duties and capable of being part of contracts, owning real property and having the ability to sue and be sued. Generally, when forming a company, it offers limited liability to its shareholders, like in the case of the Spanish Limited Liability and Join Stock Company, which means that a shareholder may only lose what he has contributed as shares to the entity, and nothing more, since a registered company is a separate legal entity distinct from its shareholders, and therefore, it shall be treated as any other person with its own responsibility.

 

The case of Salomon V. Salomon & Co (U.K. 1897) is the foundational case and precedence for this doctrine of corporate personality.

Facts of the case: Mr Aaron Salomon was a British leader merchant who had a boot manufacturing business which he decided to incorporate into a private limited company. By 1892, Mr Salomon decided to incorporate his business as a Limited Liability Company, Salomon & Co. At that time, the legal requirement for incorporation was that at least seven persons had to subscribe as shareholders, so he designated his wife, daughter and four sons as shareholders. Two of the sons became directors and Mr Salomon himself was managing director. Mr Salomon owned 20,001 (of one pound each) shares of the 20,007 (the remaining six where shared individually between his family). Mr Salomon sold his business to the new corporation for almost 39,000 pounds, of which 10,000 was a debt to him. Thus, he was the company’s principal shareholder and creditor simultaneously.

When the company went into liquidation, the liquidator argued that the debentures used by Mr Salomon as security for the debt were invalid on the grounds of fraud, and the Judge accepted this argument, ruling that since Mr Salomon had created this company solely to transfer his business, the company was in reality his agent and he as principal was liable for debts to unsecured creditors.

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The Determination of Injury in the WTO Antidumping agreement

 

Determination of injury consists on determining whether the dumped imports have caused material injury. It shall be based on positive evidence and involve an objective examination of:

  1. the volume of the dumped imports: the authorities investigating shall consider whether there has been a significant increase in dumped imports, either when it comes to absolute terms or relative to production or consumption in the importing country.
  2. the effect of the dumped imports on prices in the domestic market for like products: the investigating authorities shall consider whether there has been a significant price undercutting by the dumped imports in comparison with the price of the like product in the importing country.
  3. the consequent impact of these imports on domestic producers of such products, which shall include an evaluation of all the relevant economic factors and indices, having a bearing on the state of the industry and including actual and potential decline in sales, profits, output, market share, productivity, return on investments, utilization of capacity, factors affecting domestic prices, etc.

 

Material injury: demonstration

As mentioned above, the determination of material injury must be based on positive evidence and also involve and objective examination of dumped imports. It must be demonstrated that the dumped imports are causing injury within the meaning of the Agreement. The demonstration of a causal relationship shall be based on an examination of all relevant evidence before the authorities, who shall also examine any known factors other than the dumped imports which at the same time are injuring the domestic industry.

With respect to cases where injury is threatened by dumped imports, the application of anti-dumping measures shall be considered and decided with special care.

 

Definition of domestic industry

The authorities shall identify the domestic industry before addressing the injury issues. In general, in accordance to Article 4:

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立法院第九屆第一會期已於今(105)年2月間開議,由於立法院職權行使法第13條屆期不連續原則之限制,許多法案在第八屆立法委員任期屆滿前,未能順利議決,只好重起爐灶,期待立法委員的垂青。行政院於94年、97年及101年三度提出「濫發商業電子郵件管理條例草案」,葉宜津、陳亭妃二位委員自97年起分別二度提出類似法案,即是著例。垃圾電子郵件(即上開「濫發商業電子郵件」)氾濫,早已為網際網路世界的一大難題,各國多立有專法試圖規範之。上揭行政院94年版草案即已參考美國、澳洲、歐盟、英國、日本、加拿大、韓國等立法例,我國本有機會在10年前趕上世界先進各國的腳步,惜礙於立法效率,迄今仍尚待行政院第四度捲土重來。

前(103)年10月間,臺灣士林地方法院就郭姓民眾訴請特力屋公司依個人資料保護法(下稱個資法)損害賠償一案,認特力屋公司於郭姓民眾退出該公司會員,並要求刪除個人資料後,仍持續寄送廣告電子郵件,違反個資法第29條第1項規定等,判決特力屋公司應賠償新臺幣26000元。電子郵件位址相當於個資法第2條第1款所稱「自然人之聯絡方式」,原則上應屬於得以間接方式識別個人之資料。而垃圾電子郵件通常未經收信者之同意而寄發,是否構成個資法第29條第1項「非公務機關違反本法規定,致個人資料遭不法蒐集、處理、利用或其他侵害當事人權利者,負損害賠償責任」之規定?易言之,得否以個資法填補「濫發商業電子郵件管理條例草案」遲遲未能立法之空白?

首先,垃圾電子郵件所造成的問題眾多,除了頻寬及伺服器處理時間的占用、ISP成本的提高、收信者時間及精力的耗損之外,還有垃圾郵件所反映的地下經濟,包括著作權、商標權、兒童色情、賭博,乃至於毒品、槍械等非法物件或行為的流通,以上違法行為的「被害人」都無法憑藉個資法獲得正義。

其次,誠如首段所述,世界重要國家早在10年前就已立法規範垃圾電子郵件,然而垃圾電子郵件之問題非但沒能解決,反而日益猖獗。全世界每天收到的垃圾電子郵件,各方估計自145億至540億封不等,且數量與日俱增。其原因在於,該等垃圾電子郵件,並非由特定郵件伺服器所發出,而係由數以億計所謂殭屍電腦(zombie)或傀儡網路(botnet)所寄送,因此難以根除。殭屍電腦,係指經駭客以木馬或其他惡意軟體所入侵、取得控制權之電腦;該電腦仍能正常使用,並無異狀, 使用者對於其電腦被他人控制一事毫無所悉,因此駭客得以利用電腦寄發垃圾電子郵件,或進行其他非法行為。由同一控制者所主宰殭屍電腦的集合,即為傀儡網路,規模自數千部至數百萬部電腦不等。反垃圾電子郵件組織Spamhaus於西元2013年間遭受史無前例的超大型分散式阻斷服務攻擊(Distributed Denial of Service, DDoS),可見垃圾郵件業者之猖獗。

最後,不法「利用」個人資料之前提,應在於不法「取得」個人資料。而垃圾電子郵件的寄送者,係如何「取得」個資當事人的電子郵件位址?可能之途徑有以下四種:

一、 自擁有個資之業者取得:

若業者因故意或過失致個資外洩,他人即有取得當事人電子郵件位址之可能。

二、 因當事人自行公開而取得。

若當事人在網際網路上自行公開其電子郵件位址,他人即可藉搜尋引擎輕易蒐集之。

三、 以其他不法方式取得。

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