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Home> Systems/Procedures> Designs> Examination> Outline of Accelerated Examination/Accelerated Appeal Examination System for Design Applications

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Outline of Accelerated Examination/Accelerated Appeal Examination System for Design Applications

Since its introduction on December 15, 1987, the accelerated examination/accelerated appeal examination system concerning applications for design registration has been operated to precisely cater for social needs for early protection of designs.

Guidelines for Accelerated Examination and Accelerated Appeal Examination for Applications for Design Registration (Japanese version only) (PDF: 342KB) (before March 31, 2020)

Guidelines for Accelerated Examination and Accelerated Appeal Examination for Applications for Design Registration (Japanese version only) (PDF: 381KB) (after April 1, 2020)

1. Accelerated examination system

The accelerated examination system is a system enabling an examination to be conducted more quickly than under the regular examination upon an appellants' request.

1-1 Applications eligible for accelerated examination

An application for design registration that meets the requirements in (1) or (2) below is eligible for accelerated examination.

Please note that applications containing new subject matters of design protection under the revised Design Act in 2019 (effective as from Apr. 1, 2020), namely, designs of buildings, graphic images and interiors are temporary not eligible for accelerated examination for the purpose of securing adequate examination quality.

(1) Working-related applications with urgent need for design registration

Where the applicant himself/herself or a licensee with the applicant’s consent to work the design in the application has already worked, or considerably advanced the preparation for working, the design, if any of the following cases are applicable(meaning that the design needs to be registered urgently), the application is eligible for accelerated examination.

  • i) It is clear that a third party has, without consent, worked, or considerably advanced the preparation for working, the design in the application or a design similar to the design in the application.
  • ii) The applicant or the licensee has received a warning from a third party regarding the working, or the preparation for working, of the design in the application.
  • iii) The applicant has received a request to give consent to work the design in the application by a third party.

(2) Internationally-filed applications

Where the applicant has also filed with foreign IP offices other than the JPO a design application which contains the same design as in a design application filed with the JPO, the application (filed with the JPO) is eligible for accelerated examination.

1-2 Requesting procedure for accelerated examination

A request for accelerated examination requires the submission of a “Written Explanation of the Needs for Accelerated Examination.”

  • (1) Submitted by: applicant*
  • (2) Timing of Submission: at any time on or after the date of filing an application for design registration
  • (3) Method of Submission: online or on paper
  • (4) Main items that should be described in a “Written Explanation of the Needs for Accelerated Examination”:
    • (a) When requesting accelerated examination on the ground of a working-related application with an urgent need for design registration
       ・Explanation of circumstances concerning the working
       ・Explanation of circumstances necessitating urgency
       ・Prior design search
    • (b) When requesting accelerated examination on the ground of an internationally-filed application
       ・Indication that the application was filed with foreign IP offices other than the JPO
       ・Prior design search
  • (5) Fee: not required

*Any applicant for the accelerated examination who has neither an address nor domicile in Japan is required to file a request through a representative who has either an address or domicile in Japan (e.g. Japanese patent attorney). In addition, the procedure for accelerated examination is required to be carried out in Japanese.

2. Accelerated appeal examination system

The accelerated appeal examination system is a system under which, upon an appellant’s request, an appeal examination is to be conducted more quickly than under the regular appeal examination.

2-1 Appeal cases eligible for accelerated appeal examination

An appeal case against an examiner’s decision of refusal that meets the requirements in (1) or (2) below is eligible for accelerated appeal examination. Please note that an appeal concerning an application containing new subject matters of design protection under the revised Design Act in 2019 (effective Apr. 1, 2020), namely, designs of buildings, graphic images and interiors are “not” eligible for accelerated appeal examination for the moment.

(1) Appeal cases concerning working-related applications with an urgent need for design registration

Where the appellant himself/herself or a licensee with the appellant’s consent to work the design in the application has already worked, or considerably advanced the preparation for working, the design, if either of the followings is the case (meaning that the design needs to be registered urgently), the appeal case concerning the application is eligible for accelerated appeal examination.

  • i) It is clear that a third party has, without consent, worked, or considerably advanced the preparation for working, the design in the application or a design similar to the design in the application.
  • ii) The appellant or the licensee has received a warning from a third party regarding the working, or the preparation for working, of the design in the application.
  • iii) The appellant has received a request to give consent to work the design in the application from a third party

(2) Appeal cases concerning internationally-filed applications

Where the appellant has also filed with foreign IP offices other than the JPO a design application which contains the same design as in a design application filed with the JPO, an appeal case concerning the application (filed with the JPO) is eligible for accelerated appeal examination.

*Even where an appellant already used the accelerated examination system, the appellant needs to file a request for accelerated appeal examination separately in order to use the accelerated appeal examination system for an appeal case against the examiner’s decision to refuse the application.

2-2 Procedure for filing a request for accelerated appeal examination

In order to file a request for accelerated appeal examination, it is necessary to submit a “Written Explanation of the Needs for Accelerated Appeal Examination.”

  • (1) Submitted by: appellant*
  • (2) Timing of Submission: on or after the date of filing a request for appeal examination
  • (3) Method of submission: online or in writing
  • (4) Main items that should be described in a “Written Explanation of the Needs for Accelerated Appeal Examination”:
    • (a) When filing a request for accelerated appeal examination on the ground that an appeal case is one concerning a working-related application with an urgent need for design registration
       ・Explanation of circumstances concerning the working
       ・Explanation of circumstances where the registration is urgent
    • (b) When filing a request for accelerated appeal examination on the ground that an appeal case is one concerning an internationally-filed application
       ・Indication that the application was filed with foreign IP offices other than the JPO
  • (5) Fee: not required

*Any appellant filing a request for the accelerated appeal examination who has neither residence nor domicile in Japan is required to file a request through a representative who has either residence or domicile in Japan (e.g. Japanese patent attorney). In addition, the procedure for accelerated appeal examination is required to be carried out in Japanese.

[Last updated 21 February 2020]

Contact

Policy Planning and Research Section,
Design Division,
Patent and Design Examination Department
TEL: +81-3-3581-1101 ex.2907
FAX: +81-3-5570-1588
E-mail: PA1530@jpo.go.jp

 

Trial and Appeal Policy Planning Office,
Trial and Appeal Division,
Trial and Appeal Department
TEL: +81-3-3581-1101 ext.3734, 5852
FAX: +81-3-3584-1987
E-mail: PA6B00@jpo.go.jp