Design Registration

What is a design right?

This is the right to monopolize the implementation of the new design, given to the person who created the design. You can hold the right for up to 25 years[*] from the filing date. By acquiring a design right, you can exclusively manufacture and sell the products with the design identical or similar to the design right, or you can make a profit by granting a license to manufacturers or sellers.

[*] For applications from April 1, 2007 to March 31, 2020, duration of design rights is up to 20 years from the date of registration. For applications before March 31, 2007, duration of design rights is up to 15 years from the date of registration.

Flow from design application to acquisition of rights

This is the procedure from filing a design application to obtaining a right. The following flow is just a basic flow and may differ depending on cases.

Design registration application
When you file the application documents with the JPO, the examination will be carried out without any special procedure.
Approximately 8 to 12 months after filing the application, the JPO will notify you of the initial examination results.
Notice of reasons for refusal
If the reason for refusal is found as a result of the examination, the JPO will send the “notice of reason for refusal”. In this case, we will respond by submitting the following written opinion and amendment.
If the reason for refusal is not found as a result of the examination, the JPO send the "notice of allowance".
Preparation and submission of written opinions and amendments
In response to the reason for refusal notified by the JPO, you can submit a written opinion or make amendments for the application. If the reasons for refusal can be resolved through these procedures, the registration of the desing will be granted.
Decision of registration
If there is no reason for refusal in the application, or if the reason for refusal is resolved by submitting a written opinion or making an amendment, the examiner of the JPO will approve the registration and issue the "notice of allowance". However, at this point, the design right has not yet been issued.
Payment of registration fee
If you pay the registration fee at least for 1 year (our standard is for 3 years) to the JPO within 30 days from the date when the notice of allowance is issued, the setting of the design registration will be done.
Rights acquisition
When the registration is established, the design right will arise and you will receive a "registration certificate". As a general rule, the contents of the design will be published in the Design Gazette. However if you request a secret design, it will not be published for a certain period of time (it has the effect of preventing imitation by a third party).
Maintaining rights
The design right lasts up to 25 years from the filing date, during which time you need to pay an annual fee.
* We will send you the deadline notification and take procedures for maintaining rights on your behalf.

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