Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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Overview of IPR Systems

Types and System of Intellectual Property Rights in Japan

"Intellectual Property" means: (1) things that are generated through creative activities of human, such as invention, device, new varieties of plants, design or copyrightable works; (2) things that are used in business activities to indicate that goods or services are of your own, such as trademarks; (3) and trade secrets or other technical or trade information useful for business activities. "Intellectual Property Rights", the rights for the aforementioned, are the collective name for industrial property rights (patent rights, utility model rights, design rights, trademark rights), copyrights, circuit layout rights, breeder's rights and other rights for the interests that are legally protected with respect to intellectual property and the shown below is the overview.

Industrial Property Rights:

"Industrial property rights" is the collective name for patent rights, utility model rights, design rights, trademark rights.

  • Patent rights:
    The rights to exclusively use sophisticated inventions among such creations based on technical ideas utilizing natural laws. The term of patent rights expire, in principle, 20 years after the filing date of the patent application.
  • Utility model rights:
    The rights to exclusively use the device of shape, structure or combination of articles. The term of utility model rights expire, in principle, 6 years after the filing date of the utility model application. (Effective from April 1st, 2005, the 6 years' term changes to 10 years.)
  • Design rights:
    The rights to exclusively use the designs of shape, pattern, color or combination thereof that create visual aesthetics. The term of design rights expire, in principle, 15 years after the registration date of its establishment.
  • Trademark rights:
    The rights to exclusively use the trademarks used for specific goods or services that are letters, figures, signs, three-dimensional shapes or a combination thereof or a composition therewith together with colors. The term of trademark rights expire, in principle, 10 years after the registration date of its establishment. The term of trademark rights may be renewed by a request for registration of renewal.

Copyrights:

Copyrights are the authors' rights to protect their own works (such works that fall with literary, scientific, artistic or musical domain that are expression of thoughts or sentiments in a creative way) from being copied or altered without consent.

Integrated circuit layout-designs rights:

The integrated circuit layout-designs rights are the rights to exclusively use, within a certain scope, layout-designs for semiconductor.

Breeder's rights:

Breeder's rights are the rights to exclusively use a new variety of plant when such new variety is bred.

Unfair Competition Prevention Law

In addition to the rights described above, the Unfair Competition Prevention Law functions to protect intellectual properties. The Unfair Competition Prevention Law is the law to secure fair competition among businesses and it also functions to prevent unfair competition in connection to usage of intellectual property rights.

Division in Charge

Office for Intellectual Property Right Infringement and International Trade, Manufacturing Industries Bureau
Tel: +81-3-3501-1701
Fax: +81-3-3501-6588

 
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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