Unique features in Partial Design System

December 09, 2010

Pratial design system

Partial design system under Japan's Design Law has several unique features.  Here are some tips for being taken into consideration when design applications are filed in Japan.

1. Name of article

Not the name of a part but the name of an article must be written in the request.  The part itself cannot be registered under the Japan's Design Law because the part cannot be distributed alone on the market and lacks requirements for being an "article".

ex.) "Mobile phone" can be written as Name of article while "Icon" cannot.

You have to choose the name of the article very carefully because it bears a great influence on the interpretation of the scope of a design right.

2. Other descriptions regarding a partial design in the request

The intention for obtaining the right of a partial design is to be included.  Also, the part for which the registration is sought must be indicated and explained.

Addition of these descriptions to the request on the later stage can be accepted if the addition is not regarded as change of gist with overall evaluation.

3. Broken line practice under Japan's Design Law system

The broken lines play significant roles in the determination "position (the relative position in the article)", "size (the absolute size )" and "area"(the relative area in the article) in judgment of the similarity.  In other words, the broken lines may affect the scope of the right of a partial design.

4. Divisional application

The divisional applications derived from the design for a whole article are not acceptable under Japan's Design Law.  Therefore, if a plurality of parts is to be filed claiming priorities, they have to be filed in the first applications.

When a partial design comprised of a plurality separate parts such as the shape of the handles on a pair of scissors or the shape of individual control buttons on a cell phone, they would be acceptable as one design.

 For more detailed information can be obtained on the following PDF.

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