Like in the previous news, we would like to introduce revisions of the Taiwanese patent law that have been decided in the end of November in 2011. The law revision expanded and strengthened the protection of designs. Particularly the following protection systems have been implemented:
1 protection of partial designs
2 protection of computer-generated icons and graphical user interfaces
3 protection of combined items
4 protection of related designs
The partial design system deals with the problem that if only a part and not the whole design is copied this will not be considered as infringement and increased the protection strength of design patents even more.
The related design system makes it possible to file a design similar to a design that has been filed earlier in order to strengthen the scope covered by the application. These two systems have been established newly in order to increase the design protection.
By establishment of protection for computer-generated icons and graphical user interfaces the Taiwanese IP laws tries to protect designs of a new technical field that do not have to be physical items such as buttons and keys, but can also be touch panel buttons and the like that have become popular due to recent smartphones.
The combined item system allows protection of items that go together as a set, e.g. a tableware set, in one design application. With this law revision the targets for design protection have been increased and the protection itself has been strengthened.