Japanese Design FAQs
Related Design Protection System
Q.In case of applications claiming foreign-priority, what dates are the deciding dates to judge the requirements for filing related design applications?
The critical filing date is the filing date of the original application, not the filing date in Japan.
Q.If a group of related designs applications includes a design similar to one of the related designs but not to the principal design, is it possible to obtain a design registration for such a design?
It is not possible to obtain a design registration that is similar only to one of the related designs. If all the applications are pending during the examination, it may be possible to obtain a design registration by changing the principal design to one of the similar related designs by amendment.
Q.What will happen if a person did not designate similar design applications as related designs?
Such applications may be the subject for consultations for an agreement to avoid double patenting. However, by amending one of the applications to be the principal design, it is possible to register both.
Q.What will happen if a related design is deemed to be not similar to the principal design?
By amending the principal design application to be a regular design, these designs may be registered separately.
Q.If a principal design and related designs are filed under the exceptions to lack of novelty, is it necessary to designate the published design as a principal design?
No, it isn’t. It is up to the applicant to decide the published design as a principal or related design.
Q.How is a registration number of related designs be indicated?
As in the case of a principal design, an independent registration number will be given to each of the related design registrations. In the official design register for a principal design registration, all the related registration numbers will appear. Likewise, in the official register for a related design registration, all the related registration numbers and the principal design registration number will appear.
As to the official design gazette, since the principal design and the related designs are not always registered on the same date, only the relevant registration numbers that were available at the time of registration will appear in the gazette. Thus, in the official gazette entry for a design registration that is registered last in a set, all the relevant registration numbers will appear.