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Individual question (Design)

Q&A Regarding Japanese Design Practice

I. APPLICATION
Q1. What kind of design can be registered in Japan?
Q2. Under which criteria is a design not registered? And, is there any measure to register a design that has already been known to the public?
Q3. What documents and/or information are required to file a design application in Japan?
Q4. How can you file a plurality of designs?
Q5. How can you file for a plurality of similar designs?

II. EXAMINATION
Q6. What are the procedures for obtaining a design right? And, how long does it take to obtain the design right from filing of an application?
Q7. What are typical reasons a design application may be rejected?
Q8. Are a whole design application and a partial design application judged in accordance with the first-to-file rule?
Q9. If an applicant files a design application and receives an Office Action which says that the design is similar to a design of an application that the applicant filed previously, what should applicant do?

III. POST-GRANT
Q10. After a design application has been filed, how long does it take before the design is registered?
Q11. How long does a design right last?
Q12. What countermeasure can be taken against copying of a pending design application?
Q13. After having received a decision of registration, can the applicant defer publication?
Q14. When a registered design right is in conflict with another’s copyright, is there any measure that can be taken to avoid copyright infringement?
Q15. When a registered design includes another’s prior registered design, what measures are available for working our design in no danger of infringement?
Q16. After a pending design application was allowed and the registration fee was paid, the design has been slightly modified so as to tailor to the latest fashion. Is this design preferentially registered as a similar design related to the registered design?
Q17. When a proprietor has two design rights; that is, a Principal design registration and a Related design registration, is it possible for him/her to assign one of them to another?
Q18. What types of licensing are available?
Q19. Does the lapsing of the Principal design registration due to failure to timely pay an annuity fatally affect the Related design right?
Q20. A competitor has a design registration, but the prospective user has prior art possibly relevant to the competitor’s registered design. Is it possible to invalidate the design registration, and how?
Q21. A product expected to be marketed has been found to include another’s registered design. In such a situation, is a declaratory judgment action available in Japan?
Q22. A competitor has a registered design similar to a prospective seller’s product, but the seller’s design was once placed in the market by another distributor in Japan. Can the seller qualify for any advantages due to the prior use?
Q23. If a registered design has not been used in Japan for a long time, is there a possibility of a compulsory license or invalidation due to non-working?
Q24. How can the proprietor of a secret registered design warn an alleged infringer?
Q25. What remedies for infringement of a registered design are available?

IV. APPLICATION BASED ON FOREIGN APPLICATION
Q26. What point or points should be carefully considered when a Japanese design application is filed claiming priority based on an U.S. design patent application?
Q27. What point or points should be carefully considered when a Japanese design application is filed claiming a priority based on a Community Design (CD) application?
Q28. What point or points should be carefully considered when a Japanese design application is filed claiming a priority based on a foreign application?