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Intellectual Property and Commercial Court



Decision No. 2012-Xing-Zhuan-Su-10
Date June 28, 2012
Decision Highlight

The so-called “functional design” means that the exterior design feature of an article is to be designed in correspondence with its own or another article’s function or structure in view of a merely functional purpose. Because a design patent is to protect a creation made in respect of the shape, pattern, color or so of an article’s appearance by visual appeal, a functional design, which is not a creation made by visual appeal, does not fit into the definition of a design patent. Whether a design is merely functional shall be determined with an altitude corresponding to that of a person skilled in the art. The structure with functional design for implementing a locking function disclosed by the application at issue is deemed not within a scope depicted for design comparison or examination, therefore, in accordance with the aforementioned, it is not improper for both of the Intellectual Property Office and the Board of Appeal to adopt the “Front View” of the design at issue as a visual plane and to determine whether the application at issue satisfied the statutory creativity requirement based upon the design features disclosed therein.

Relevant statutes Paragraphs 1 of Article 109 of the Patent Act amended and effectuated on February 6, 2003
  • Release Date:2020-11-13
  • Update:2020-12-07