Taiwan, EU discuss design protection at local seminar


TAIPEI, Taiwan — Taiwan and the European Union shared experiences of design protection at a seminar in Taipei, the organizers said yesterday. Legal frameworks and design patents were the main themes covered at the event, held jointly by Taiwan’s Intellectual Property Office (IPO), the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO), and the Taiwan Design Center (TDC).

“Design is the outward appearance of a product. But such a design has its value to the product,” said Guy Ledoux, head of the EETO, the European Commission’s permanent presence in Taiwan.

In the EU, he noted, design protection was regulated both at EU level and national level, meaning that designs had equal right to protection in all member states.

Taiwanese design firms would do well to strengthen their understanding of such legal systems and patent rights, said TDC Chief Executive Tony Chang.

“The better a design is, the more it should be protected,” he said.

Taiwan’s expanding role in global design is evidenced by the increase in local designs winning recognition at the four major annual international design awards, which had increased from 16 in 2003 to 260 this year, Chang added.