What is a design?
Design rights are the right to protect the design of industrial products.
It is a right that can be used as a countermeasure against counterfeit products that are copied from the design.
Since the design right is the right to protect the "design", it is possible to judge whether the imitation product is an infringing product of the registered design by the visible "design", and compare the discovery of the infringing product. The greatest merit of design rights is that it can be done easily.
The design of iphone is registered as a design.
Benefits of acquiring a design right
If you acquire a design right, your company can exclusively manufacture and sell the product for which you have acquired the design right.
Since the iPhone design shown above is registered as a design, it is an infringement of the design right owned by Apple Computer, as other companies other than Apple Computer manufacture and sell smartphones that imitate the iPhone design.
In other words, no one but Apple Computer can manufacture or sell a smartphone that imitates the design of the iPhone.
The term of the design right is 25 years from the date of filing, and you can protect your product from counterfeit products for a relatively long time.
The period during which the form is protected due to the violation of the form imitation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law is only three years from the date of first sale.
If you have a design right, you can warn those who manufacture and sell counterfeit products to stop manufacturing and selling counterfeit products.
After the warning, there are many cases of settlement to stop the manufacture and sale of counterfeit products.
Flow from design registration application to acquisition of design right
Approximately 6 months after applying for design registration, the first examination result will be notified.
You can also acquire the design right for the technical shape.
It is easy to think that a design will not be registered unless it has a high degree of design, but if it is a new design (novelty) and a design that is not an easy combination of existing designs (creative non-preparation), The design can be registered as a design right.
From this, the technical shape (* 1) can be suppressed by the design right.
For example, the design right can be obtained for the groove pattern of the tread part of the tire.
* 1: However, designs consisting only of shapes that are indispensable for ensuring the function of the article cannot be registered (Design Law, Article 5, Item 3).
Example: A design that attempts to receive design registration only for the inner surface of the parabolic antenna.
We recommend that you file a design registration application together with a patent application if the product has a characteristic shape.
In particular, we recommend applying for design registration of the partial designs shown below.
Even if the patent right cannot be obtained, if the design right can be obtained for the technical shape, the exclusive right for the technical shape can be obtained for 25 years from the filing date.
A partial design is an attempt to obtain a design registration for the form of a part of an article.
While incorporating original and distinctive parts, the overall design of the product can protect the product from clever imitations that avoid infringement of design rights.
In the example below, it is a partial design of the lens part of the iphone. The part shown by the solid line is the scope of rights, and regardless of the design of the broken line part other than the solid line part, a counterfeit product with the same or similar design as the part shown by the solid line is an infringement product of the partial design.
When a design is registered using the partial design system, the design rights of the product have a wide range of rights because it does not matter what shape the design other than the partial design has. Become.
Shin-Nagoya Patent and Trademark Office recommends that you apply for a partial design as well as an application for the entire design if the product has unique and characteristic parts.
The cost reduction for multiple applications for related designs is described below, but if multiple applications for related designs are filed, the basic fee and drawing creation fee will be reduced according to the degree of relevance, so the overall design and If you apply for both partial designs, you can prevent the application fee from becoming high.
Our client's design registration application has been registered (technical design / partial design)
Our client's design has been registered.
This client is making a seat rail with a lot of ingenuity, but I was worried that it would be imitated by other companies.
This seat rail has a lot of ideas for mounting the seat low on the floor, but I applied for multiple applications for this devised part as a partial design.
Even with such a technical shape, it is possible to acquire an exclusive right as a design right.
The term of the design right is 25 years from the date of filing.
You can get exclusive rights to the technical shape over a long period of time.
A related design is a design similar to one of the designs related to the application for registration of one's own design or one of the registered designs of one's own (this design) (Article 10, Paragraph 1 of the Design Law).
A related design is a system that protects multiple variation designs as an exception to the first-to-file principle and novelty when multiple variation designs are born from one design concept.
Due to recent revisions to the law, related designs can be filed for 10 years from the filing date of the design even if the company's products that are the same as or similar to the design have been sold and have already been published. I did.
If you come up with a variation of a design similar to the one you applied for after applying for design registration, you can apply for the design of the variation as a related design.
Due to recent revisions to the law, related design C, which is similar only to related design B, can now be applied for and registered.
By acquiring a related design, it is possible to prevent the manufacture and sale of counterfeit products not only within the similar range of this design but also within the similar range of the related design.
The cost reduction for multiple applications for related designs is described below, but when filing multiple applications for related designs, the basic fee will be reduced by 1/3 according to the degree of relevance, and the drawing creation fee will be related. Since the amount will be reduced according to the degree of the above, it is possible to prevent the application fee from becoming high when applying for this design and related designs.
A secret design means that, at the request of the applicant, the contents of the registered design will not be published in the gazette for up to 3 years from the date of design registration, but will be kept secret (Article 14, Paragraph 1 of the Design Law).
If the product of the design is released later than the date of design registration, it is possible to prevent the contents of the registered design from being disclosed and prevent rival manufacturers from detecting the company's design.
This will prevent rival manufacturers from imitating the design or making the design trends known.
When you can request a secret design, you can either (1) apply for design registration at the same time, or (2) pay the registration fee for the first year at the same time.
The confidential period can be extended or shortened.
Exception to loss of novelty
In the past, if a product was sold and made public before filing an application, it was not possible to obtain a design right.
Due to the recent amendment of the law, if the application is within one year from the date of publication, by filing an application subject to the provisions of the exception of loss of novelty, it will be said that the application has never been published. became.
* If your application is published in a public gazette or published by another person, the exception of loss of novelty cannot be applied.
Even if you have already released the product, you may be able to apply for a design, so please contact us.
Comparison of design right and form imitation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law (Article 2, Paragraph 1, Item 3 of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law)
If a counterfeit product appears in the case where the design right has not been obtained, injunction / compensation for damages may be possible as a form imitation act of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law for the act of transferring the counterfeit product. ..
The difference between the design right and the form imitation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law is explained below.
The range in which the morphology is protected
Design right: extends to similarities
Form imitation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law: Substantially the same
In order to be regarded as a form imitation act of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, it is understood that the counterfeit product must be substantially the same as the product for sale, which is narrower than the similarity of the design right.
Design right: 25 years from the date of application for design registration
Form imitation of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law: 3 years from the date of first sale in Japan
In this way, acquiring a design right is far superior to dealing with the form imitation act of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, both within the scope of protection of the form and during the protection period.
Considering the original form, it is recommended to apply for design registration.
The Shin-Nagoya Patent and Trademark Office accepts design searches.
Merits of applying for design registration at Shin-Nagoya Patent and Trademark Office
(1) The basic fee is reasonable, and there is a cost reduction system for multiple applications for related designs.
The Shin-Nagoya Patent and Trademark Office sets a reasonable basic fee for design registration applications.
When filing multiple applications for related designs, Shin-Nagoya Patent and Trademark Office will reduce the basic fee by 1/3 according to the degree of relevance and the drawing creation fee according to the degree of relevance of the drawings. ..
By filing multiple applications for related designs, it is possible to obtain all rights while suppressing the high filing costs.
Examples of multiple applications for related designs: (1) Multiple applications for similar designs (this design and related designs), (2) When applying for a whole design and a partial design for the same article, (3) When applying for multiple partial designs for the same article
(2) Free consultation
For customers who have applied for design registration at the Shin-Nagoya Patent and Trademark Office, consultation regarding design rights will be free of charge even after the acquisition of design rights.