Japan-patent.jp

DESIGN

[From the web-site of JPO]

Procedures for Obtaining a Design Right

The whole procedure from filing to registration is shown in the flow chart below.

Procedures for Obtaining a Design Right
(1) Application
In order to obtain a design right, an applicant must fill out the forms prescribed in the relevant ordinances and submit them to the Japan Patent Office.
(2) Formality Check
An application document submitted to the JPO will be checked to see whether it fulfills the necessary procedural and formal requirements. An invitation to correct will be made where necessary documents are missing or required sections have not been filled in.
(3) Substantive Examination
A set of prescribed requirements must be fulfilled in order to obtain a design registration. An examiner will check whether an application meets these requirements.

* The requirements with respect to the contents of a design registration include the following.
1. It should be a design, i.e., a shape, pattern, color or combination of these in an article which arouses an aesthetic impression via the sense of sight.
2. The design can be utilized industrially.
3. The design should be innovative and without precedent.
4. The design should not be able to be easily created.
* In addition to these, there are several further requirements, for example that the design shall not contravene public order or morality. Where the examiner judges that the application does not fulfill these requirements, a Notification of Reason for Refusal will be sent to the applicant.
(4) Notification of Reasons for Refusal
If the examiner finds reasons for refusal, a notification to this result will be sent to the applicant.
(5) Written Argument / Amendment
An applicant may submit either a written argument against a notification of reasons for refusal or an amendment that would nullify the reasons for refusal.
(6) Decision of Registration
If the examiner judges that the application fulfills the requirements, a design registration will be registered.
(7) Decision of Refusal
If a written argument and an amendment can not eliminate the reasons for refusal, and if the examiner judges that the design can not be registered, a decision of refusal will be made.
(8) Appeal against Decision of Refusal
When dissatisfaction is in the decision of refusal of the examiner, the applicant may appeal against the decision of refusal.
(9) Appeal Examination (against Decision of Refusal)
The appeal examination against the decision of refusal is performed by a collegial body of three or five appeal examiners. Decision of the appeal examiners is called an appeal decision. When it is judged, as a result of appeal examination, that the reasons for refusal was solved, an appeal decision to register a design is performed, and when the appeal examiners judge that the reasons cannot be canceled and the design cannot be registered, an appeal decision of refusal is performed.
(10) Registration (Registration Fee Payment)
When the applicant pays the registration fee subsequent to receipt of the decision to register, the design right shall be established
(11) Publication of Design Gazette
A design gazette shall be published containing the contents of the right of design registration in order to inform the public of its establishment
(12) Appeal for Invalidation
Even after the design registration has been established, anyone can request for an appeal examination for invalidation to dispute the validity of the right if the design registration has a flaw.
(13) Appeal Examination (Invalidation)
An appeal examination for invalidation will be carried out by a collegial body of three or five appeal examiners. If the appeal examiners judge that there is no flaw in the design registration, they will make a decision to maintain the design registration. If however they judge that the decision to register was flawed, they will make a decision to invalid the design registration.
(14) Intellectual Property High Court
An applicant who is dissatisfied with an appeal decision of refusal of an appeal against decision of refusal, and an interested party who is dissatisfied with an appeal decision of invalidation or maintenance, can appeal to the Intellectual Property High Court.