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COUNTRY : JAPAN
CAPITAL : TOKYO
LANGUAGE : JAPANESE
Japnese Intellectual Property Office is known as the JPO- Japnese Patent Office.
INTERNATIONAL TREATIES TO WHICH JAPAN IS SIGNATORY
- Paris Convention for the protection of industrial property
- Patent Co-operation Treaty – PCT.
- Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights –TRIPS.
- Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification
- Budapest Treaty on the International Recognition of the Deposit of Micro-organisms for the Purposes of Patent Procedure
PATENT LEGISLATION IN JAPAN:
Japan follows Civil Law in its legal system with civil codes & statutes, and ‘first to file’ rule as regards patents.
Patents in Japan are governed by:
- Patent Act (Law No.121, 1959)
- Act to enforce the Patent Act (Law No.122, 1959)
- Patent Law Enforcement Order (Cabinet Order No.16, 1960)
- Patent Act Enforcement Regulation (MITI Ordinance No.10, 1960)
BASICS REGARDING PATENTABILITY OF INVENTIONS IN JAPAN:
Inventions may relate to products, processes or industrial applications. Patents are therefore granted to inventions that:
- Are New or Novel
- Involve an inventive step
- Have Utility For an Invention to be patentable, it should contain the following:
(i). Novelty: An invention is considered new or novel if it does not fall in the description of ‘the prior art’. Prior Art consists of the following:
- Inventions publicly known in Japan or elsewhere prior to the filing of the application.
- Inventions publicly worked in Japan or elsewhere prior to the filing of the application.
- Inventions described in a publication distributed or made available for use by the public through telecommunication network in Japan or elsewhere prior to the filing of the patent application.
(ii). Inventive Step: An invention is said to contain an inventive step if for ‘a man skilled in the art it does not yield results in an obvious way from the state of the art’.
(iii). Utility: of the invention would be ‘when the object of the invention may be utilised, produced, manufactured or used in any kind of industry including agriculture’
INVENTIONS NOT PATENTABLE IN JAPAN:
Inventions pertaining to the following:
- Inventions liable to injure public order, health, morality
- Simple discoveries of laws of nature and natural phenomena.
- Ideas that violate laws of nature.
- Artistic works.
- Pure algorithms, methods of conducting business, methods of playing games etc.
- Inventions involving arbitrary arrangements, mental activities, personal skills, aesthetic effects.
- Methods of medical treatment, operations, diagnoses.
- Inventions contrary to law, morals & public health.
PartityPatents through it’s associate Law Firms in Japan, is at hand to help you with patent registration and prosecution.
FILING REQUIREMENTS OF PATENTS IN JAPAN:
- Name &Address of the Applicant.
- Name &Address of the Inventor.
- A request that a patent may be granted.
- Title of the invention.
- Relevant filed of use
- Prior Art
- Description of the invention.
- Objective of the invention.
- Example of use of the invention.
- Effect of the invention
EXAMINATION OF THE PATENT APPLICATION IN JAPAN:
- Upon receipt of patent application, it is formally examined to assertion that it fulfils all necessary procedural and formalities requisites.
- Applicant to carry out corrections or amendments wherever necessary and required.
- Examined applications published in the official gazette upon expiry of 18 months from the date of filing.
- Applicant to file request for substantive examination within three years from the date of filing, else, application regarded as withdrawn and can not be patented thereafter.
- Upon Examination, any reasons for refusal found, applicant notified of the same to which applicant is to respond within a stipulated period of time.
- Based on the examination, examiner to make a decision regarding grant of patent.
RIGHTS OF THE PATENTEE IN JAPAN:
Patents with a term of 20 yrs.
Utility models with a term of 10 yrs.
- Patents confer to holders or successors exclusive rights to work the inventions.
- Patentee may authorise such uses of the patent through a contractual agreement with interested parties so as to import, rent out, deliver or sell such patents.
- Patentee may authorise the working of the patent either by a manufacturer or by an importer.
- Patentee may even assign, lease or license patents.
- Patentee is entitled to take legal action against infringers.
COMPULSORY LICENCES OF PATENTS IN JAPAN:
After a period of 3 yrs., but within 4 yrs. from the date of filing of the patent application, the Intellectual Property Office can issue compulsory licenses to interested parties in the event the patented invention has not been worked. Also, interested parties may request the patentee or the exclusive licensee to grant a non-exclusive license
ParityPatents through its specialist Patent Lawyers and Patent Attorneys in Japan can comprehensively assist you with Compulsory Licence matters.