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Japan Patent OfficeInformation on Japan’s Design Rights to be Provided to the World- Japan’s design information to be provided to “Global Design Database” -

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) will start the provision of its Registered Design Gazettes, which include information on designs registered in Japan, to the Global Design Database, the worldwide database maintained by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).
Including Japan’s registered design gazettes in the database will provide information on design rights that have passed high-quality examination in Japan and allow Japan’s users to bulk search not only Japan’s gazettes but also those of other countries. This approach will contribute to the more effective utilization of the database for users formulating their global design strategies.

1. Background

Recently, designs have become more important as Japanese companies globally expand their businesses. Appropriately protecting designs of products with design rights and also publicizing to the world that they have been granted design rights is important for securing the international competitiveness of Japanese companies and effective for countermeasures against imitation products in other countries.

Under such circumstances, Japan acceded to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs in February 2015, in order to improve the legal system for the environment for internationally acquiring design rights. From May 13, 2015, it has become possible for design rights to be acquired and managed in member countries of the Geneva Act through simple procedures at low cost.
Meanwhile, IT infrastructure that allows users to more efficiently and more conveniently find design information in each country is required from the viewpoint of providing global design information.

Furthermore, the JPO has examined designs to grant appropriate design rights, and has accumulated approximately nine million pieces of data including publications such as magazines and catalogs and new product information published on websites of companies in addition to the registered design gazettes in the search database. The data has been accumulated as information for examinations to determine whether the designs are new or not (novelty) and whether the designs could easily be created from past designs or not (creative difficulty). According to examination based on such an enormous quantity of data, the JPO has implemented high-quality examinations and has granted design rights with high reliability. It will be necessary to broadly provide information on design rights that have passed such high-quality examinations in Japan to the world.

2. Provision of Japan’s design information to the WIPO Global Design Database

The JPO held many discussions with WIPO, and has decided to provide the WIPO Global Design Database with the information from gazettes of designs registered in Japan from time to time in addition to the information for the database on the approximately 480 thousand registered design gazettes that have been issued in Japan since 2000. This provision is to start from August 1, 2015.
The provision of Japan’s registered design gazettes will result in more than 700 thousand pieces of data in total on the database and further enhancing the existing information on the database.

In addition, companies in Japan and other countries that intend to develop their designs globally will be able to bulk search Japan’s design gazettes and those issued in other countries free of charge, and acquire global design information more efficiently.

Furthermore, it is expected that registrations of similar designs by other persons overseas will be suppressed by publishing design gazettes consisting of information on the design rights that passed the high-quality examination in Japan on the database.

Reference: Details of the Global Design Database

Outline of the service

The database is one of the information services that WIPO provides free of charge, in which users are able to search registered designs as well as refer to details of the information on such designs by the batch. The database service started in January 2015, and stores approximately 234 thousand pieces of data in total including information on international registration of designs at WIPO (about 40 thousand gazettes), Canadian design gazettes (about 150 thousand), and those issued in New Zealand (about 44 thousand) at present. More than 700 thousand pieces of data in total will be on the database once the provision of Japan’s design gazettes starts.

Top page of the Global Design Database

Source: Global Design Database website: External Site Link

Release date

July 30, 2015

Division in Charge

Patent Information Planning Office, General Coordination Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, Japan Patent Office

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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