Novelty (related to Prior designs)
Easiness to create the design
(Conclusion) Novelty should be found. The registered design is not easy to create based on Prior designs. (Design right owner won.)
“Similarity” of novelty should be judged from the standpoint of general consumers.
In order to refuse on grounds of lack of novelty, the design is integral with the article and (1) the article of the applied design must be identical or similar to prior designs and (2) the design itself (= the article + shape, etc.) also must be identical or similar to prior designs.
“Easiness to create” is not restricted the same or similar articles but judged based on a motif widely known in society from the standpoint of a person skilled in the art.
<Writer: Hideki Takaishi (Attorney-at-law licensed in Japan and California)>