While Japan’s Design Law provides much of the same protection as other intellectual property laws around the world, it also has a few unique elements that provide protections not found in other countries. For example, since 2006, the Japanese Design Law also protects the design of screens for cell phones, DVD recorders and other electronics that are not normally subject to protection in other countries.
Partial designs may also be registered and protected, providing a major protection that other countries’ Intellectual Property systems do not always provide. Therefore, someone who copies even a small part of a design cannot escape prosecution even if they change the look of the overall design. This is considered one of the most important aspects of the Japanese Design Protection system.
If you have any questions about design law in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.