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Protection of NFT-represented Designs in Taiwan

According to the explanatory report entitled “Taiwan’s Metaverse and Design Patents” issued by the Taiwan IP Office (TIPO) on June 13, 2022, the appearance of virtual objects represented by NFTs (hereinafter referred to as “NFT Representation Designs”). Can be protected as “”Computer image design.. ”

It is widely believed that the views of this report will be adopted by the examiner as a basic principle for examining Metaverse / NFT-related design applications prior to the next update of the Examination Guidelines.

Computer image design

The review guidelines state that “computer image design” includes a GUI and computer icons, but the wording of the review guidelines leaves room for other types of computer-generated images to be included in this category. Therefore, the above opinions are included in the report. Note that the report does not classify the design represented by the NFT as a GUI or computer icon.

Starting November 1, 2020, you no longer need to apply “Computer Image Design” to devices such as screens and monitors. They are simply “Images / GUI / icons generated by computer softwareMeets the product labeling requirements.

For the time being, virtual objects are usually classified by TIPO in LOC14-04. Designs represented by NFTs may also be placed in this subclass before the LOC is updated.


In Taiwan, there is no need for a representation to display a device that can display “Computer Image Design”. In addition, TIPO’s report shows that the representation of physical object designs can be applied similar to the design of virtual objects, including designs represented in NFT, citing US Design Patent D893616 “Augmented Reality Globe” as an example. I am.

Perspective view of US design patent D893616

The TIPO report further states, “If it is common for someone with a general knowledge of digital design to transform a real-world design into a virtual-world design … then the physical car design is next. It can be quoted as. Prior art For Metaverse virtual car design applications from an ingenuity perspective [but not novelty].. ”

Scope of rights

Despite the above views on the prior art, the report states, “Physical objects and virtual to eliminate others from transforming physical car designs into NFT-represented designs. It is safe to patent the design in both. ” image. ”

It is not yet clear whether the court will adopt the same view. In a 2017 infringement proceeding, Judge Henry Tsai of Taiwan’s IP & Commercial Court decided that the similarity between two objects should be judged from the designer’s perspective, not the consumer’s perspective. The two products should be considered similar if the designer in the art can easily convert the design from the patented product to the defendant’s product. Gwangyang Motor Co., Ltd. v.Shenshan Electric Scooter Co., Ltd., Taiwan IP & Commercial Court (2017). The products in this case are all physical and this retention is not the majority view, but it may take hold in the case of future transformer virtual and physical designs.


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