專利進步性之判斷（三） — 我國於進步性之原則專利工程師 / 陳詠容
Discretion of whether such patent has useful improvement to the existing solution (3) – improvement to the existing solution principles in Taiwan - Patent Engineer Yung-Zhong Chen
3. Taiwan’s Patent Law patentability criteria
對照美國判例所建立之原理原則與我國《專利法》與《專利審查基準》之進步性判斷標準大體上為一致的。我國於在判斷進步性時依循下列步驟：(1) 確定申請專利之發明的範圍；(2) 確定相關先前技術所揭露的內容；(3) 確定申請專利之發明所屬技術領域中具有通常知識者之技術水準；(4) 確認申請專利之發明與相關先前技術之間的差異；(5) 該發明所屬技術領域中具有通常知識者參酌相關先前技術所揭露之內容及申請時之通常知識，判斷是否能輕易完成申請專利之發明的整體。且判斷時應以專利申請發明整體為對象，綜合考量其是否有動機而明顯結合相關先前技術，包含技術領域、所欲解決之問題、功能或作用的關連性或發明的教示或建議。發明雖經上述判斷不具進步性，惟倘其具有無法預期之功效、解決長期存在的問題、克服技術偏見、獲得商業上的成功，則申請專利之發明仍應視為非能輕易完成。
By looking at America’s patent precedent which is established based on previous legal cases, is similar to Taiwan’s patent law and patent examination procedure’s principles on useful improvement to the existing solution. There are steps to determine whether there is improvement to the existing patent: (1) confirm the claims and the drawings of the application; (2) confirm its content of prior art and to confirm what information has been made available in public previously; (3) confirm its technical field in its specification; (4) confirm the difference between prior art and the current application; (5) having ordinarily knowledge based on its prior art before filing its application. In addition when making its discretion, examiner should take its overall patent application into account and to gather all the factors in terms of its prior art; including its technical field, problem solving, its function and role or other suggested invention or teaching. Even though by its discretion, such invention may not have useful improvement to the existing solution, for which the invention doesn’t have prospective functionality, long term problem solving, conquer technical bias, gaining business success, however such patent may still be hard to accomplish.
4. Relative cases on its improvement to the existing solution principles in Taiwan
審視最高法院廢棄智慧財產法院或台灣高等法院之判決或裁定中，最高法院所持判斷爭議專利是否具進步性（非顯而易知）之理由，其主要包含如下：(1) 爭議專利是否具功效之增進；(2) 爭議專利是否係所屬技術領域中具有通常知識者依申請前之先前技術顯能輕易完成；(3) 爭議專利是否為熟習該項技術者所能預期之一般性技術發展；(4) 先前技術所揭露者於欲解決之問題是否提供教示建議或動機；(5) 爭議專利是否可達成不同之功效。其中又以專利是否具功效之增進為主要判斷標準者占大多數，而先前技術對於爭議專利是否提供教示建議或動機則占少數，與美國實務上判斷進步性之準則相符。
When examining its abandoned judgement from Taiwan High Court or Intellectual Property Court, the ratio decidendi behind Supreme Court’s ruling on patent’s improvement to the existing solution includes the following: (1) whether there is improvement of functionality for controversial patents; (2) whether such technology with its prior art is easy to be accomplished; (3) whether such patent invention is foreseeable and can be expected as one of the general technical development; (4) whether its prior art’s disclosure leads to any inspirations and motivations; (5) whether its controversial patents can reach its different purposes and functionality. However questions as to whether such patent has useful improvement to the existing solution would be the major consideration factor of whether such patent application is valid. Any prior art that has any inspirations and motivations would be considered as a minor factor, which is similar to America’s patent examination principles in terms of its improvement to the existing solution in practice.
The Supreme Administrative Court has its different citing reference in terms of its patent technical characteristic and whether there are any conflicts in terms of its disclosure and teaching. In the case of KFR, the judicial reasoning in the United States is the same as Taiwan. However in cases where the prior art and its controversial patent issues are not necessarily the same, such evidence cannot be used as one of the citing reference. Under general circumstances, the most practical solution is not to restrict its invention technical field but to look for all the possible solutions to see whether such prior art can be considered as one of the citing reference in its application.
參專利審查基準，經濟部智慧財產局。.Patent Examination Guidelines, Intellectual Property Office.
劉尚志、湯舒涵、張添榜，專利進步性要件之判決分析由美國專利案例觀照台灣最高法院及最高行政法院判決，第220期，2013/3/15。Shang-Zhi, Liu., Shu-Han, Tang., Tian-Bang, Zhang. Patent’s improvement to the existing patent solution cases and judgements from America’s case law to reflect Taiwan’s Supreme Court and Supreme Administrative Court judgement, 220 Edition, 2013/3/15.