Trademarks – FAQ

What can be protected as trademark in Japan? In Japan, only the “word”, “figure”, “sign” and “three-dimensional configuration” and a combination thereof used to be protected as “trademark” in Japan, but since April 2015, the “motion”, “hologram”, “position”, “color” and “sound” have been added to the subject of protection. → New types of trademarks introduced [...]

About Trademarks in Japan – 1

Trademark Search in Japan Why would the search be necessary? In Japan, an examination will be conducted not only for the absolute reasons for refusal, but also for the relative reasons for refusal. The reasons for refusal that a trademark is similar to the prior registered trademark of others can frequently be seen in practice. [...]

About Trademarks in Japan – 2

Japan: Protection of new types of trademarks Changes to Japanese Trademark Law – April 2015 From April 2015, in addition to the conventional word mark and figure mark etc. new types of trademarks such as motion mark, hologram mark, position mark, color mark or sound mark may be registered as a trademark in Japan.   [...]


Designs – FAQ

General information   Protection for the designs of commercial products may be made through application to the Japanese Patent Office. Protection covers the combination of color, shape and pattern. The scope of protection includes designs (products) that are similar to the registered design. Design applications are examined and will qualify for registration only if there [...]

About the Design System in Japan – 1

Required Illustrations for Design Applications What kinds of illustrations or drawings of designs will be accepted?   Accepted illustrations for design applications are line drawings, computer-generated pictures or photographs in either black-white (grayscale) or color. Contour lines and shadings are not required. With regard to disclaimed parts please refer to our information sheet “The partial design [...]

About the Design System in Japan – 2

One-Design-per-Object principle and a design for a set articles Is it possible to include multiple designs in one application in Japan?   No, unlike the European Community Design system, it is not possible to include multiple designs in one application. Thus, if a priority application contains multiple designs, it is necessary to file multiple applications, [...]

About the Design System in Japan – 3

The Grace Period and lack of novelty in Japan What is the grace period?   If an application will be filed for a design which is already publicly disclosed, the application will be rejected for reason of lack of novelty.   However, if the application is filed during the “grace period”, the design is regarded [...]

About the Design System in Japan – 4

The “Secret Design System” in Japan What is a Secret Design?   The design registration process starts with the examination of the respective application for registration in order to ensure that all requirements are being met. After successful examination, a Decision of Registration will be issued, followed by payment of the registration fee, which will [...]

About the Design System in Japan – 5

Partial Design What is a partial design?   A partial design is a form of a design registration focusing only on a unique part of a certain design.   How effective is this system?   Similarity of designs is measured based on the whole shape of designs. Even if parts of a design seem to [...]

About the Design System in Japan – 6

The "related design system" in Japan What is the "related design system"?   The "related design system" allows the respective registration of similar designs. It is useful to cover design variations with only a few applications. Under the Japanese design law, without using the “related design system,” a similar design will be rejected based on [...]