There are no legal conditions under which textile designs are protected. The conditions concerning textile designs, in particular those concerning cost, examination and publication, are, as described below, identical to, or slightly more advantageous than, those concerning other goods (see Articles 2(1) and 3).
Cost: The official fee structure for obtaining rights for textile designs is identical to the one for designs in other fields.
Examination: The Japanese Patent Office has been making efforts to expedite the examination process in every design field and has set a goal to the effect that by the year 2000 the first action is to be communicated within 12 months. As to textile designs, in particular, this action plan is better facilitated by staffing experts to assist in accelerated examination. In addition, when the design in an application is likely to be imitated, that application can be put to accelerated examination at the request of the applicant and, in such a case, that application will be processed in approximately four months from the request to final decision.
Publication: Under the Design Law, any designs shown in applications are published in the official gazette only after they are registered. In addition, the publication can be deferred for a prescribed time period at the request of an applicant. These matters also apply to textile designs (see Article 14).