YangMing’s Intellectual Property Management Plan and Implementation


Part One: Intellectual Property Management Plan


I. Introduction

Attention to customer’s needs is what motivates Yang Ming Marine Transport Corp. (Yang Ming) to keep adding new ideas to its logistics system. Aiming for greater convenience, the Company has been improving and upgrading its digital services over the past few years. For instance, the Line Chatbot, which was launched in 2017, allows users to share the latest information and track the real-time status of containers and ships on their smartphones. This was immediately followed by the introduction of Taiwan's first proof of concept for block-chain international trade. As a result, the processes of marine transport and trade finance are made faster. In 2019, Yang Ming took the lead and launched the first e-D/O (electronic bill of lading) service in Taiwan that allows users to download the delivery order (so-called small bill of lading) from the cloud server without having to go through the complicated process of replacing the original import cargo release documents. Considering the different locations for delivery and pickup, the Company also launched the e-receipt service that allows immediate and simple transmission of e-D/O via smartphones and thereby improves the efficiency of customers’ import procedures. The issues concerning IP management that derive from technological innovation, digital transformation, and the development of new types of business models are now being incorporated as part of the Company's corporate governance. In the Corporate Governance Best Practice Principles for TWSE/TPEx Listed Companies, IP management is stipulated under corporate governance. Regarding this, Yang Ming understands the importance of such management and follows regulations by formulating the appropriate management program on the basis of business characteristics and operating status. Safeguarding one’s intellectual properties and trade secrets while showing respect for those of others is what keeps Yang Ming on the path towards sustainable operation.

II. Intellectual Property Management Measures 

(I) Patent 
  1. The Company incentivizes its employees to file patent applications. If an invention or creation is considered to be worthy of patent protection, YM’s Legal Affairs Office will work with relevant law firms to provide consultation on patent application, change, extension, and assignment. Training sessions will also be conducted to strengthen all employees’ awareness of patent protection.
  2. Before filing a patent application, employees should conduct necessary search, analysis, portfolio mapping and document relevant files. They also need to keep such information in strict confidence. If a patent is developed in the name of a commissioned third party, the contract therefor shall stipulate the relevant personnel's obligations for confidentiality and legal liability for information leakage.

(II) Trademark 
  1. Tasked with overseeing the Company's trademark application and maintenance of marks, the Legal Affairs Office requests due compliance by all of the trademark-using departments/offices. All of the units requesting trademark use, including the internal and external ones, are required to use the reproduction of a trademark as represented in the Company's corporate logo manual and to not make any changes.
  2. An affiliated company or a third party that finds using the Company's trademarks is necessary for business should clearly state in writing the rights and interests as well as the purposes in respect of such use. The trademarks can be used externally only after such usage has been confirmed to be in compliance with the corporate logo manual by the Company's trademark management department. 

(III) Copyright 
  1. As stipulated in the Company's contracts, working guidelines, and internal regulations, all employees should refrain from infringing on other people's copyright with their own creations. Where citations are needed, their usage should be within a reasonable scope and the sources therefrom should be indicated.

(IV) Trade secrets 
  1. The Company implements access control at all of its premises. Identity registration is required of all visitors, who should be accompanied by the Company's employee throughout their visit.
  2. The Company uses contracts, working guidelines, and internal regulations to demand all employees' attention to trade secret protection. Keeping business information such as projects, files, client lists that is of economic value in strict confidence is mandatory for all employees during their employment or after their resignation. Such information should by no means be misappropriated for personal use or unjustifiably leaked.
  3. The departments/offices managing the control of trade secrets should adopt appropriate confidentiality measure to facilitate their utmost security.

III. Intellectual Property Management Plan 

(I) Patent 
  1. Apart from improving the quality of patent applications and increasing the number of patents, the Company is seeking to strengthen the protection of its R&D results by building patent portfolios.
  2. The internal regulations governing patent application, exercising of rights, and filing of remedies have been formulated to guarantee the protection of patents by the Company.
  3. The Company encourages its employees to engage in R&D by providing assistance from the Legal Affairs Office and external law firms. The employees with R&D results are offered guidance to apply for a patent and those with successful applications are given awards. At least one meeting is convened every year to review the above results and to improve or optimize existing procedures.

(II) Trademark 
  1. The Company regularly reviews and assesses its corporate trademarks to ascertain their status of use and modify application and management strategies according to the trademark laws in other countries and the needs for business development.
  2. The Company follows public opinions and monitors its trademark usage in order to take immediate measures and prevent loss or damage to corporate image due to confusion among customers.

(III) Copyright 
  1. The Company incorporates intellectual property clauses into its employment and external contracts to maintain proper copyright protection. It is also attentive to adjustments in the legal regime driven by technological development in order to increase employees’ knowledge about relevant laws.

(IV) Trade secrets 
  1. The Company's internal regulations and employment contracts require all employees to keep in strict confidence the information directly or indirectly accessed in the course of performing one's job duties. 
  2. The Company's internal regulations governing information security control are in place. The information equipment undergoes security updates on a regular basis to lower the risk of confidential information being leaked. Regarding such leakage, relevant coping measures are also in place. Drills are regularly performed to minimize the damages when leakage occurs.
  3. Where a contract involves trade secrets, the Company may assess whether to add clauses on confidentiality, penalty, or damages in order to guarantee compliance by the contractual partner.

IV. Disclosure of Information 

The Company should regularly (at least once a year) compile the information about the results of implementing IP management and report it to the Board of Directors. The above information should be disclosed in the Company's annual report or official website.

Part Two: Implementation 

I. YangMing has obtained the following intellectual property rights.

      (I) The invention patent numbered I741895 and titled “Information system for processing delivery order and method and servicing method thereof” was obtained on October 1, 2021.
      (II) The invention patent numbered I792933 and titled “Delivery method, calculator, and delivery data system at container yard” was obtained on February 11, 2023.
      (III) The invention patent numbered I792418 and titled “Method for Predicting Fuel Consumption of Ship” was obtained together with National Cheng Kung University on February 11, 2023.
      (IV) YangMing currently owns a total of 70 registered trademarks still within the exclusive use period and will continue their proper maintenance.

II. The formulation of the Procedural Guidelines Governing the Management of Confidential Information and amendment to the Procedural Guidelines Governing Information Access Control are both intended to maintain and manage the use and security of YangMing’s internal sensitive data. The two procedures were published on November 7 and 14, 2022, respectively to all employees.

III. YangMing had completed the formulation of its IP management program in December 2021. The status of implementing IP management is regularly reported to the Board of Directors.
(I)  The status of implementing IP management in 2022 was reported to the Board of Directors on June 17, 2022.
(II) The status of implementing IP management in 2023 was reported to the Board of Directors on May 12, 2023.

IV. YangMing have conducted a training session where the participating employees learned about specific cases, IPR-related problems and their analysis, as well as general knowledge about IPR.  The session also touched on trade secrets, data confidentiality measures, and patent application know-how. With 99 employees attending in 2023, the training session will continue to be held on a regular basis.
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