November 9, 2020
The government of Japan fundamentally revised the Design Act in order to allow applicants to protect their outstanding designs that contribute to the promotion of innovations and establishment of brands. As a result, on April 1, 2020, the revised Design Act came into force, newly covering graphic images, building designs and interior designs subject to protection under the Act. The Japan Patent Office (JPO) hereby announces that one graphic image has successfully been registered under the Act for the first time in Japan.
Note: The illustrations of the registered graphic image below are partial excerpts from the submitted application.
In response to the diversity of internet services and the dramatic popularization of smartphones in recent years, more and more businesses have been providing cloud-based applications and software via networks to users for their utilization. In addition, as sensor technologies and projection technologies have been developed, people are able to operate devices or utilize the functions thereof by making use of graphic images projected on walls or human bodies.
Graphic image designs in such cloud-based applications or graphic images projected on places other than goods are considered to play important roles that determine the user-friendlessness of products. In light of this, the government of Japan fundamentally revised the Design Act in 2019 for the purposes of: allowing applicants to obtain an exclusive right for their graphic image designs and thereby promote innovations and enhance competitiveness. As a result, from April 2020, applicants are eligible to protect their graphic image designs under the design rights.
2. Graphic image design successfully registered for the first time in Japan
The JPO hereby announces that one design of a graphic image below was successfully registered for the first time in Japan.
Japan Design Registration No. 1672383: “Graphic Image for Displaying Information on Situation of Vehicle” (Applicant: Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd.)
Note: The applicant has filed a request to have “the exception to lack of novelty” provision be applied.
Reference: Area Marker (registered trademark; Koito Manufacturing Co., Ltd.)
Referential information (press release on November 2, 2020)
From April 2020, applicants are eligible to protect building designs and interior designs as well under the design rights. In response, some building designs and interior designs were successfully registered under the Design Act for the first time in Japan and the JPO released them.
- Two Building Designs and Two Interior Designs Successfully Registered under the Design Act for the First Time in Japan (November 2, 2020)
For details of the Revised Design Act FY2019, visit the following website.
Division in Charge
Design Division, Patent and Design Examination Department (Physics, Optics, Social Infrastructure and Design), Japan Patent Office