In order to encourage the filing of more metaverse-related applications for IP protection, the Taiwan Intellectual Property Office (TIPO) has published an article providing guidance for how 2 to obtain protection for metaverse-related designs. Technically, metaverse-related designs can be classified into three groups: virtual space, virtual objects and human-machine interface. When filing an application, applicants may present a virtual space in accordance with object design, or present a human-machine interface in accordance with graphical user interface (GUI).
Also, the article to which the design applies must be recorded as a computer product. Moreover, if applicants merely transform the appearance of an article existing in the physical world to a virtual appearance in the metaverse, this is likely to be regarded as a design which can be easily conceived and thus be rejected on the grounds of no creativeness. The possibility of an applicant being able to protect his or her designs in both the real world and the metaverse with a single design patent is not possible at this stage, so an applicant will need to file separate applications. There are still legal issues concerning computer program works that are used to generate icons or GUIs, and also there is the situation of territorial jurisdiction that needs to be worked out. TIPO is currently looking to adjust Article 121 of the Taiwan Patent Act when the abovementioned dilemmas have been fully resolved.