FAQ

March 30, 2016

Should an inventor search for prior art before applying for a patent?

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.
February 23, 2016

What types of things can be covered by copyright law?

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.
February 23, 2016

What are the categories of objects that can receive a copyright in Japan?

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.
February 23, 2016

Is it possible to copyright a translation or musical remix?

Normally, for a work to be copyrighted it must be original. Therefore, someone who directly copies another work cannot receive copyright protection for the copy.