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Q5. How can you file for a plurality of similar designs?

Q5. How can you file for a plurality of similar designs?

A5. If applications for similar designs are filed separately, one application will be cited to reject another application on the basis of similarity. To avoid this situation, there is a Related design system. In case of applications filed under the Related design system, the applications are not cited against one another (Art.10). It should be noted that under the Related design system, the duration of their design rights are deemed to have the same length as that of the earliest registration (Art. 21(2)). In addition, Related designs cannot be separated after registration, and therefore, they must be transferred together if they are transferred from one owner to another (Art. 22).
It should also be noted that if the Examiner finds that the applications filed as Related designs are not similar to one another, he/she will issue notices of rejection. In this case, the applicant is entitled to amend the Related design applications to independent applications. Further, if one of the independent applications is rejected over another application on the basis of similarity, the rejection can be overcome by amending the independent applications into Related design applications.