Services and Practice Areas

Services and Practice Areas

Designs & Trademarks


By the 2019 amendment to the designal law, disclosure requirements have been relaxed and protectable design subject matter has been expanded to include, among other things, icons (GUIs) and building designs. This has further harmonized the Japanese design system with international systems. However, uniquely advantageous features of the Japanese Design Law such as 'related designs' have also been strengthened, resulting in an overall strengthening of the Japanese design system.

The scope of protection of a design is determined by the figures submitted with the application. Unlike a patent, it is not possible to correct the scope of protection. Therefore, it is essential to have a strategy at the time of application to obtain the broadest possible protection.

With newly added flexibility to the design system, there are now more design application options, and it has become possible to take an even more strategic approaches by effectively selecting whether to protect a 'whole design', a 'partial design', or a 'related design'.



Smart phones and tablets are some of today's most popular products. The brands borne by such products are renowned and instantly recognizable, and are themselves representative of the `look' of the product. Consumers frequently buy goods relying on the reputation of the brand. Your brand is paramount, and must be carefully protected.

It is essential for a brand to match the style of the product and the business, and to be easy to remember.

Every company wishes to create a brand name that is simple and impressionable as a trademark, but on the other hand, there are now 6.5 million trademark registrations in Japan, so there is a chance that the desired name has already been registered. It is not easy to find a trademark that can be used safely. When selecting your trademark, careful consideration is necessary in view of similarity of trademarks and the competitive relationship with other companies.

At Ohtsuka Patent Office, we listen to our clients' wishes and analyze the state of the relevant industry before providing the most appropriate advice regarding (1) if the trademark can be used, (2) whether the application, if filed, would be successful, and (3) the chances of successful registration and use.

Trademarks, which are at the front line of business in the hyper-connected modern world, are ever more important. At Ohtsuka Patent Office, we will support the development and protection of your trademark and brand.