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High-tech Lawyers Receive Training at NTHU
A new level of integration between the technology industry and the legal profession is on the way. Fifty-one practicing lawyers from all over Taiwan have recently completed a new nine-week course titled Academy of Technology Lawyer held at NTHU in conjunction with the Hsinchu Bar Association and the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center at the Industrial Technology Research Institute.
 
This rigorous course covered a wide variety of topics, including international business, intellectual property, business contracts written in English, and recent developments in Taiwan’s science and technology industry. During the completion ceremony held on August 12th the participants received certificates as well as a congratulatory letter from President Tsai Ying-wen.
 
The ceremony was attended by former vice president Wu Den-yih, who said that the technology industry creates many jobs, but changes very rapidly, so in such areas as patents and applications the assistance of lawyers is required to avoid unnecessary disputes. He also expressed his gratitude to the organizers for the opportunity to participate and congratulate all participants who have successfully finished the training.
 
"Very rewarding!" was the response of one participant, Cheng Chin-Rung, who passed the bar in 2004 with a specialization in accounting and tax law. After studying in Europe and setting up her law practice in Tainan and Kaohsiung, she found that when enterprises in central and southern Taiwan run into complex business legal issues related to science and technology, they usually look north to find a lawyer. This is something she intends to change. Two of the things about the course she found especially helpful were the lectures given by the chief legal officers of large enterprises and the discussions of international legal cases.
 
To be more specific, Cheng said that the chief legal officer who taught the English contract review class went through a number of English contracts and corrected all sorts of mistakes which would otherwise expose an enterprise to considerable legal risk. She also said that in the class on international intellectual property rights she learned how to provide medium- and small-sized enterprises with more sophisticated legal services by working with foreign lawyers.
 
“This is an area of legal training that has always been lacking,” said another participant Chia-Hsu Tai, a lawyer at the Chengding Law Firm. He added that upgrading his skills in the area of international contract law was his main purpose for attending the course, since it’s very important to Taiwan's economic development, yet very few lawyers have expertise in this highly specialized area.
 
Tai also said that through the course he gained a deeper understanding of the wafer subcontracting industry, which is closely related to patent law and intellectual property rights. Taiwan has a strong international reputation for technology subcontracting, so lawyers need to know how to use the law to protect a subcontractor’s interest.
 
Hsinchu Bar Association director Yang Ming-Hsun said that recent reforms of the lawyer qualification examination have resulted in a higher passing rate and an increase practicing lawyers. Thus the legal field has become more competitive, making it necessary for lawyers to continually upgrade their skills and add new areas of expertise. He also said that Hsinchu City, home of the Hsinchu Science Park, has a high demand for lawyers specializing in science and technology, and helping practicing lawyers to develop their expertise in these areas was the purpose of organizing this special training program.
 
Fan Chien-Te, the director of NTHU’s Institute of Law for Science and Technology, said that when enterprises encounter international legal issues they need to hire a lawyer specializing in transnational arbitration. Thus during the course senior legal experts shared their practical experience in international and cross-strait litigation and arbitration.
 
Fan pointed out that during their legal training few lawyers had the opportunity to learn about the special legal needs of high-tech industries, and that NTHU intends to help bridge this gap.
 
This special training program began in June of this year. The original plan was to enroll 40 participants, but due to unanticipated interest, it was increased to 53 participants, 70 percent of whom have a graduate degree. A total of 51 successfully completed the course, thereby earning a certificate and three academic credits.
 
Completion ceremony of the Academy of Technology Lawyer program. In the front row (beginning with the third person on the left) are: Fan Chien-Te; Yang Mung-Hsun; Wu Den-yih; Chen Sinn-wen; and Wang Peng-Yu, the general director of the
Technology Transfer and Law Center at the Industrial Technology Research Institute.

Completion ceremony of the Academy of Technology Lawyer program. In the front row (beginning with the third person on the left) are: Fan Chien-Te; Yang Mung-Hsun; Wu Den-yih; Chen Sinn-wen; and Wang Peng-Yu, the general director of theTechnology Transfer and Law Center at the Industrial Technology Research Institute.

Fan Chien-Te (second from left) encouraged the participants to continue upgrading their skills.

Fan Chien-Te (second from left) encouraged the participants to continue upgrading their skills.

Four participants displaying their certificates.

Four participants displaying their certificates.

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