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, one for each design. It is called the “one-design-per-object principle”.
How do you determine “one design”?
If there are any differences in shape, color, ornament, or the like, they are not regarded as “one design”. Therefore, it is not possible to file the design variations as one application even if the differences are slight.
On the other hand, if a shape changes during normal use, it is possible to file all such shapes as “one design”. For example, a convertible car can be filed in one application for both its roof in an open position and in a closed position.
Exceptions for one-design-per-object principle
a) When the shapes of physically separated portions show a strong connection, such as in their symmetry, the design will be regarded as being “one-design”, even though it is not physically one body as shown in the example below:
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