April 30, 2024


Relaxed Procedure to Apply for the Exception to Lack of Novelty of Design in Japan (Revised Design Law, 2024)

The Japanese Design Law was revised by the partial revision of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, etc. (Act No. 51 of June 14, 2023). Under the revised Design Law, which entered into effect on January 1, 2024, the procedures to apply for the exception to lack of novelty when filing a design application in Japan have been relaxed. Specifically, when an applicant has published designs that are identical or similar to a claimed design multiple times prior to the filing date of a design application, under the revised Law, the applicant needs to submit a certificate only for the first disclosure, while before the revision, it was necessary to submit a certificate for each and every publication prior to the filing date. This revision is expected to considerably reduce the burden on design applicants. This IP News article will outline the relaxed procedure of applying for the exception to lack of novelty in Japan and provide our suggestions.