Inventions that are not novel cannot be patented, but sometimes an inventor who has spent months working on a new product won’t have realized that someone else has already invented the same thing. In order to ensure that an invention is able to be patented, it is always advisable to first search for prior art that makes the invention not novel.
To receive the protection of copyright law in Japan, an object must contain the “thoughts or sentiments” of its creator. While this sounds like a very deep and existential question it is broadly interpreted to mean some indication of human mental activity. This means that natural objects or art created by animals cannot be copyrighted.
To be subject to copyright law and receive the protection of a copyright, an object must be part of either the literary, scientific, artistic or musical domain. Some examples of literary works include novels, poems and comedy routines. Musical works include songs but the actual lyrics themselves are classified as literary works.