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IP system
Overview of IP system
Protection of the brand
 
 
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Protection of Industrial Property Right
Inventions and designs are concept and ideas which cannot be seen with eyes. Inventions and designs in which you invested considerable time and money are easy to be stolen by others if you do not take steps to protect the inventions and designs. Industrial property rights are effective in protecting a right to use your own inventions and designs and precluding imitation by others. There are three kinds of industrial property rights, patent, utility model, and design, which protect inventions and designs.

アイメックス特許事務所事務所 知財図

 
 
PATENT
The subject of protection is an invention.(The maximum period for protection is 20 years from a filing date of a patent application in a general case.)

The Japanese patent law defines “invention” as "the highly advanced creation of technical ideas by which a law of nature is utilized" (Article 2, paragraph 1).

There are three types of inventions in the Japanese patent law (Article 2, paragraph 3):
a product (including a computer program, etc.),a process, and a process for producing a product.

In order to obtain a patent right, a patent application must go through a substantive examination. The substantive examination is performed on a patent application for which a request for examination have been filed. An examiner examines whether a claimed invention meet all the requirements (shown in the Japanese patent law) to qualify for “patentable invention”.
The patented invention is used exclusively by the patentee.


 
Utility model
The subject of protection is a devicerelating to a shape or structure of an article or combination of articles).
(The maximum period for protection is 10 years from a filing date of a utility model application. )

The Japanese law for utility model defines “device” as “the creation of technical ideas utilizing the laws of nature” (Article 2, paragraph 1). A subject of protection is a device that relates to the shape or structure of an article or combination of articles and is industrially applicable. Therefore an idea of method and a chemical material are not valid subjects.
A utility model system is similar to a patent system. You need to consider merits/demerits of the utility model system and decide if you file an application with the utility model system or not.


・ Merits
■ You can obtain a utility model registration early because utility model system has
 no examination.
■ Compared to the patent system, the utility model system is moderate in price for
 obtaining a right.

・ Demerits
■ Protection period of a utility model registration is shorter than that of a patent.
■ It is necessary to present examiner's technical opinion at the time of exercising
 the rights.

 
Design Patent
The subject of protection is a design of an article that is industrially applicable.(The maximum period for protection is 20 years from the date of registration of its establishment. )

The Japanese design law defines "design" as “the shape, patterns, or any combination thereof, of an article (including a part of an article) which creates an aesthetic impression through the eye” (Article 2, paragraph 1).
The above definition consists of the following concepts.

■ A thing to the design must conform to an article used in the Japanese design law. The article must be tangible and movable.
■ The design as applied to an article should be integral with the article itself.
■ The design should appeal to the eye. Design should be judged by the eye.
■ The design should create an aesthetic impression through the eye.

Please note fireworks, a knot of tie, and a molecular structure are not valid as an article of the design application according to the above concepts.

※Every design application will be examined in principle without a request for an examination.

 

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Protection of brand value
 
Brand distinguishes company names or products names from others one.
Trustworthy company activity improves brand image. However if you do not protect a brand of your company, the brand may be used by others and lose not only a benefit but a company trust. “Right of trademark” is valuable for the protection of your brand.



 
Right of trademark
The subject of protection is a trademark.(A period for protection is 10 years from the date of registration of its establishment. The protection period is renewable if necessary.)

A trademark means a mark which is used for distinguishing one’s own goods or services from other’s one.

Every trademark application will be examined in principle without request for an examination.


Functions of trademark
① To indicate the source of the goods
 Goods or services provided with a trademark can identify a manufacturer, a seller or a supplier.
② To suggest quality assurance
 An identical trademark indicates the same quality of goods or services.
③ To advertise
 A customer may remember a trademark on a package, an advertising display etc.
If goods, service or advertisement with a trademark make a good impression on the customer, the trademark itself become to have good image.。


Types of trademark
"Trademark" is defined as any character(s), figure(s), sign(s) or three-dimensional shape(s), or any combination thereof, with colors.
The trademark must be capable of being recognized visually.


Effects of trademark right
Trademark right’s owner is able to use the trademark exclusively in respect of the designated goods and services. The trademark protects the owner from the use by another party of an identical or similar trademark in respect of an identical or similar range of goods or services.

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Types of trademark application
① Trademark
Trademark which is used by the owner of the trademark in respect of the designated goods and services.

② Collective trademark
A collective trademark which is used by members of any group comprised of businesses (with the exception of groups that are not official bodies corporate) and aims to protect the unique brands and names used by groups formed to revitalize regional economies and specific industries.

③ Regional collective trademark
A regional collective trademark which is used by members of certain associations and consists solely of a name of the region and a common name or a customarily used name of the goods or services.

④ Defensive mark
Defensive mark creates a wider protection for a famous mark, which can prohibit a third party from using or registering the famous mark for goods and services in a dissimilar range.
 

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