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April 2024 [Legal] Newsletter

April [Legal] Newsletter

Relaxation of procedures for applying exceptions to loss of novelty
Video released on the Japan Patent Office's YouTube channel

In the explanatory video series currently available on the Japan Patent Office's YouTube channel, a video has been released regarding the revised law regarding the ``Procedures for applying exceptions to loss of novelty of designs,'' which we have reported in our newsletter.

Additionally, a ``Q&A collection regarding exceptions to the loss of novelty of designs'' is provided on the Japan Patent Office website, and the Q&A collection has been revised in response to the revised Design Law. This is a very useful resource as it provides detailed explanations of individual cases.

In addition, the following cautionary note was posted on the Japan Patent Office website on March 5th, so we will reprint the contents below. In particular, it is important to be aware that it is difficult to apply the exception to loss of novelty in Chinese applications.

``It must be kept in mind that the exception to the loss of novelty of a design is merely an exception to the general rule that a design that has been published before the application for design registration cannot be registered. For example, even if this provision applies to a design thatIf a third party has created the same design independently and filed a design application first, or if it has been published first, the design cannot be registered, so please file the application as soon as possible. is important.
Additionally, if you are planning to file an application overseas, you should also be aware of each country's exceptions to the loss of novelty.Depending on the domestic laws of each country, self-disclosure may make it impossible to obtain a design registration in that country.Please be careful. ”
(From the Japan Patent Office website. Underlining added by us)

Announcement of the results of public comments on the Agency for Cultural Affairs' "Thoughts on AI and Copyright (Draft)"

 The Agency for Cultural Affairs conducted a solicitation of opinions (public comments) on the "Considerations on AI and Copyright (Draft)" (hereinafter referred to as the "Considerations") from January 23rd to February 12th, but on February 29th, On Sunday, it was announced that a total of 24,938 public comments had been received from individuals as well as 73 corporations and organizations.

 This idea shows how the copyright law is applied in relation to generative AI, and the interpretation of the current copyright law.Among the opinions received, regarding the legal interpretation, , is reflected in this idea from the perspective of clarifying the purpose.

 On the other hand, many of the opinions received were not limited to matters related to legal interpretation, but also to the interests of creators and other rights holders involved in the current generation AI, as well as related parties such as AI developers, AI service providers, and AI users. Based on this, the Agency for Cultural Affairs, through its consultation services, will actively collect specific cases of copyright infringement caused by the development and use of AI, as well as cases where this is suspected. At the same time, we will work together with related ministries and agencies to achieve appropriate communication between the parties involved.

 A new draft based on public comments was released on February 29th.

Reference URL:https://www.bunka.go.jp/seisaku/bunkashingikai/chosakuken/hoseido/r05_07/

Overview of trademark accelerated examination/accelerated trial

 On March 1, XNUMX, the Japan Patent Office announced that it will implement the "Push Support for Startups" (PASS) program*XNUMX to support startups in obtaining rights smoothly and effectively.
 The Japan Patent Office has provided various support measures to startups in the past, but most of them were implemented in response to requests from the applicants. The "Push Support for Startups" (PASS), scheduled to be implemented from April 2024, will provide startups and their agents who have applied for patents with the following:From the patent office sideIn addition to proactively contacting them by phone and email, introducing various support measures and promoting their use, we also use early screening for startup-friendly interviews*2 to provide a written explanation of the circumstances. It will be possible to receive an accelerated examination through simple procedures without submitting the application.

 The above-mentioned support measures relate to patent applications. Regarding trademarks, the following system exists.

<<Trademark accelerated examination/accelerated trial system>>
The trademark accelerated examination/accelerated trial system is subject to certain requirements.from the applicantThis is a system in which examinations and hearings are carried out faster than usual in response to applications, and by applying, it is possible to obtain examination and hearing results quickly. However, the basic condition is that the applied trademark has already been used (or preparations for its use have progressed to a considerable extent).

 Cases that fall under any of the following (1) to (3) are eligible for accelerated examination.
(1)partThe applied trademark is used for designated goods and services, and for any of the goods and services,Urgency regarding rights acquisitionIf there are circumstances that require
(2)All ofWhen an applied trademark is used for designated goods or services
(3)partThe applied trademark is used for designated goods and services, andOnly products and services listed in "Similar Products and Services Examination Standards" etc.If you specify

*1 PASS: Abbreviation for “Push-type Assistance Service for Startups.” The name also conveys the meaning of providing support to startups to help them smoothly pass the rights acquisition process.
*2 Early examination using interviews for startups: A measure that leads to the strategic acquisition of patent rights through interviews conducted before notification of the results of the first examination. Furthermore, by responding to examinations at a faster speed than usual, it is possible to obtain high-quality patent rights at an early stage.

[Reference 1]
https://www.meti.go.jp/press/2023/03/20240308003/20240308003.html
[Reference 2]
https://www.jpo.go.jp/system/trademark/shinsa/soki/shkouhou.html

 

 

 

Newsletter translated into English

Relaxation of Procedures for Exception to Lack of Novelty –
JPO Releases Video clips on its YouTube Channel

In an explanatory video series on the JPO's YouTube channel, the JPO has released videos on the revised law regarding the “Procedures for Applying for Exceptions to Lack of Novelty in Designs”, which we have reported in our newsletters.

In addition, a “Collection of Q&As on Regulations Regarding Exceptions to the Rules for Lack of Novelty in Designs” is available on the JPO website. The collection of Q&As has been revised in response to the revised Design Law and is a very informative reference material , with detailed explanations of individual cases.

In addition, the following note was posted on the JPO website on March 5th. In particular, it should be noted that it is difficult to apply the exception to lack of novelty in Chinese applications.

“It should be noted that the exception to lack of novelty of a design is only an exception to the principle that a design published prior to the filing of an application for design registration is not eligible for design registration. Even if this provision is applied to a design that has been published prior to the filing of the application, if, for example, a third party has created the same design by themselves and filed a design application earlier or published the same design earlier, a design registration will not be granted. Therefore, it is crucial to file an application as soon as possible.
Also, if you are planning to file applications overseas, you should also pay attention to the regulations for exceptions to lack of novelty in each country. Please note that depending on the national laws of each country, the publication of one's own design may make it impossible to obtain a design registration for it in that country.
(From the JPO website, underlines added by our office)

Agency for Cultural Affairs Announces Results of Public Comments on “Approach to AI and Copyright (Draft)”

 The Agency for Cultural Affairs solicited opinions (public comments) from January 23 to February 12 on its “Approach to AI and Copyright (Draft)” (hereinafter referred to as “the Approach”) and announced on February 29, that it had received a total of 24,938 comments from 73 corporations and organizations in addition to individuals.

 The Approach presents an interpretation of the current Copyright Act in terms of how the Copyright Act is applied in relation to generative AI. Of the comments received, those related to legal interpretation are reflected in the Approach from the perspective of clarifying the purpose of the Act .

 On the other hand, many of the opinions received are not only related to the interpretation of the law, but also reflect the real voices of the parties concerned, such as creators and other right holders involved in the current generative AIs, AI developers, AI service providers, and AI users. Through its consultation service the Agency for Cultural Affairs will actively collect specific cases of copyright infringement caused by the development and use of AI, as well as cases where such infringement is suspected. Furthermore, the Agency for Cultural Affairs will work in cooperation with relevant ministries and agencies to realize appropriate communication among the parties concerned.

 A new draft based on the public comments is available as of February 29.

Reference URL:
https://www.bunka.go.jp/seisaku/bunkashingikai/chosakuken/hoseido/r05_07/

Outline of Accelerated Examinations and Accelerated Appeal Examinations for Trademarks

 On March 8, 2024, the JPO announced the implementation of “Push-type Assistance Service for Startups” (PASS)*1 to support startups in obtaining rights smoothly and effectively.
 The JPO has provided various support measures to startups in the past, but most of them were implemented in response to requests from applicants. Under the “Push-type Assistance Service for Startups” (PASS) to be implemented from April 2024, the JPO will proactively contact startups and their representatives who have applied for patents by phone or e-mail to introduce various support measures and promote their use. In addition, from its support measures the JPO will be utilizing “Accelerated Examination Using Interviews for Startups”*2, to make it possible to obtain an accelerated examination through a simplified procedure without submitting a written statement of circumstances.

 The above-mentioned support measures relate to patent applications. The following systems exist for trademarks.

<System of Accelerated Examinations and Accelerated Appeal Examinations for Trademarks>
The System of Accelerated Examinations and Accelerated Appeal Examinations for Trademarks is a system under which examination and trial examination are conducted faster than usual upon application from the applicant under certain conditions, and if applied for, examination and appeal examination results can be obtained faster. However , the basic condition is that the applicant must already be using (or preparing to use to a considerable extent) the applied-for trademark.

 An application is eligible for accelerated examination if it falls under any of the following (1) to (3)
(1) Where the applicant is using the applied-for trademark for some of the designated goods or services, and there is an urgent need to obtain a right for any of the goods or services.
(2) Where the applicant uses the applied-for trademark for All the designated goods or services.
(3) Where the applicant uses the applied-for trademark for some of the designated goods or services, and only goods or services listed in the “Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services” etc. are designated.

*1 PASS: Abbreviation for “Push-type Assistance Service for Startups. The name also includes the meaning of handing over (pass) support measures to startups, and supporting them so that they can smoothly go through (pass) the process of obtaining patent rights.
*2 Accelerated Examination Using Interviews for Startups: A measure that leads to the strategic acquisition of patent rights through interviews conducted prior to the notification of the first examination results. In addition, by accelerating the examination speed, it is possible to obtain high quality patent rights at an early stage.

[Reference 1].
https://www.meti.go.jp/press/2023/03/20240308003/20240308003.html
[Reference 2]
https://www.jpo.go.jp/system/trademark/shinsa/soki/shkouhou.html

 

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