Whether in the east or in the west, no explanation may be necessary on the importance of good designs. The subject of the design law are industrial designs, and the term “industrial” may be construed as meaning mass productivity. Therefore, almost any articles we see in our day-to-day lives can be the subject of design, unless they are such works of art that are limited in number. Designs are actually quite familiar to us.
As designs may be understood intuitively by their appearance, it is often the case they are not ranked high in intellectual property businesses. As is evident from the reading of the design law, however, the design right is as powerful as the other intellectual property rights. In recent years, designs are examined very expeditiously, and a strategy of filing for a patent while trying to establish immediate protection by a design may be effective, in cases where usability or function is discernible externally. We can, of course, expect copyright protection for original creations, but it may be valuable to consider design protection for all creations, since strong rights may be secured quickly.