A patent is a set of rights granted by a government to an inventor for a limited period of time in exchange for detailed public disclosure of an invention.
The purpose of patent system is, through promoting the protection and the utilization of inventions, to encourage inventions, and thereby to contribute to the development of industry (Article 1 of the Japan Patent Act). Where, an "invention" means the highly advanced creation of technical ideas utilizing the laws of nature according to the Act.
Please refer to outline of the Japanese Patent System below and if you have any questions and/or requests please let us know by email.
Our schedule of fees is provided for your review and consideration.
Japanese Patent System
A patent right shall become effective upon registration of its establishment. A patentee has the exclusive right to work the patented invention as a business and to prevent or stop others from commercially exploiting the patented invention. Patent protection means that the invention cannot be commercially made, used, distributed, imported or sold by others without the patent owner's consent.
The protection period is 20 years from the filing date of the patent application.
Applicant needs to submit to the Japan Patent Office("JPO") an application to which the description, scope of claims, drawings (where required), and abstract are attached. The official fee for an application is 15,000 Japanese yen("JPY").
The scope of claims shall state a claim or claims and state for each claim all matters used necessary to specify the invention for which the applicant requests the grant of a patent. In such case, an invention specified by a statement in one claim may be the same invention specified by a statement in another claim. The statement of the scope of claims shall comply with (i) the invention for which a patent is sought is stated in the detailed explanation of the invention, (ii) the invention for which a patent is sought is clear, (iii) the statement for each claim is concise and (iv) the statement is composed in accordance with Ordinance of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. (Article 36 of the Act)
Effect of Application: The most important effect is effect of exclusion of the subsequent application. Where two or more patent applications claiming identical inventions have been filed on different dates, only the applicant who filed the patent application on the earliest date shall be entitled to obtain a patent for the invention claimed.
Where a patent application is filed, any person may, within 3 years from the filing date thereof, file with the JPO a request for the examination of the said application, after which substantive examination of the said application shall be initiated by the examiner directed by the Commissioner of the JPO.
Aggressive Registration Requirement
1. Industrial Applicability
"Industrial" means all kinds of industries. This is needed to be utilized or implemented in the industrial activities and inventions which are used only for academic or experimental purpose.
The invention for which a patent is sought shall be new and the following inventios are not patentable:
(i) inventions that were publicly known in Japan or a foreign country prior to the filing of the patent application;
(ii) inventions that were publicly worked in Japan or a foreign country prior to the filing of the patent application; or
(iii) inventions that were described in a distributed publication, or inventions that were made publicly available through an electric telecommunication line in Japan or a foreign country prior to the filing of the patent application.3. Exceptions to Lack of Novelty of Invention
In the case of an invention which has lost novelty against the will of, or as a result of an act of, the person having the right to obtain a patent, such invention shall be deemed not to have lost novelty for the invention claimed in a patent application which has been filed by the said person within six months from the date on which the invention first lost novelty.4. Unobviousness(Inventive Step)
Where, prior to the filing of the patent application, a person ordinarily skilled in the art of the invention would have been able to easily make the invention based on an invention which has lost novelty, a patent shall not be granted for such an invention notwithstanding it is new.
Passive Registration Requirement
Any invention that is liable to injure public order, morality or public health shall not be patented.
Before 1975 amendment, foods, medicines and so on are excepted for patent protection in Japan, but they are patentable now. Patent right is limited in order not to limit doctor's operation. In other words, a patent right for the invention of a medicine to be manufactured by mixing two or more medicines or for the invention of a process to manufacture a medicine by mixing two or more medicines shall not be effective against the act of preparation of a medicine as is written in a prescription from a physician or a dentist and the medicine prepared as is written in a prescription from a physician or a dentist(Article 69-3 of the Act).
Appeal against Examiner's Decision of Refusal
A person, or a successor thereof, who has received an examiner's decision to the effect that an application is to be refused and is dissatisfied may file an appeal against the examiner's decision of refusal within three months from the received date thereof. Any procedure taken during the examination procedure is also effective in appeal against an examiner's decision of refusal.
Reconsideration by Examiner before Appeal
When the specification or the drawings of the patent application for which the appeal is demanded is amended within 30 days from the day of demand of the appeal, an examination is carried out by an examiner in the same procedure as a usual examination to judge whether or not the decision of rejection shall be annulled and the decision to grant a patent shall be done.When the result of such examination is disadvantageous to the demandant for the appeal, the examiner doesn't make a final decision and entrusts the appeal case to the appeal examination by an appeal examiner.The purpose of this system is to reduce the burden on the appeal examiner by letting the examiner who made a decision of refusal of the patent application reexamine it, thereby promoting the referee.
A patent right shall become effective upon registration of its establishment, which shall be registered where patent fees for each year during the period from the first year to the third year have been paid.
Where the registration has been effected, the patented matters shall be published in the patent gazette.
A patent right shall expire after a period of 20 years from the filing date of the patent application.
Opposition to a Granted Patent "Deleted"
Before the 2002 revision of the Patent Act, any person might file to the JPO an opposition to a granted patent. In the revised Act, a system of the opposition to a granted patent an opposition to a granted was deleted. Scince then, the function has been included in the invalidation trial system.