Prior use right (Japanese Design Act, Article 29)
(Conclusion) Prior use right was admitted. (Design right owner lost.)
The defendants had started making preparations for the production of its products before the plaintiff’s filling of an application for registration of the design, and by concluding that the defendants had a non-exclusive license based on prior use.
As evidence to prove a prior use right, in this case, digital camera shots and photographs stored in the computer were also adopted.
<Writer: Hideki Takaishi (Attorney-at-law licensed in Japan and California)>