Eligibility of Design
(Conclusion) The applied image is not a graphic image allowed in the OLD Japanese Design Act. (Design right owner lost.)
A “graphic image … for use in the operation of the article” (limited to the operations carried out in order to enable the article to perform its functions) refers to a graphic image in which a figure, etc. used for the operation of the article is displayed so that it can be selected or designated.
*NOTE:Under the revised Design Law in 2020, this design may be able to be registered as a “a graphic image displayed on another article”.
Design Act (Revised in 2020)
Article 2 (1) “Design” in this Act shall mean the shape, patterns or colors, or any combination thereof, of an article (including a part of an article, the same shall apply hereinafter except in Article 8), which creates an aesthetic impression through the eye.
(2) The shape, patterns or colors, or any combination thereof, of a part of an article as used in the preceding paragraph shall include those in a graphic image on a screen that is provided for use in the operation of the article (limited to the operations carried out in order to enable the article to perform its functions) and is displayed on the article itself or another article that is used with the article in an integrated manner.
Examination Guidelines for Design | Japan Patent Office
<Writer: Hideki Takaishi (Attorney-at-law licensed in Japan and California)>