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Home > Public Comments Invitation > Previous Comments > Interim Revised Examination Guidelines for Requirement for Unity of Invention

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Interim Revised Examination Guidelines for Requirement for Unity of Invention

October, 2003
Examination Standards Office
Japan Patent Office

In response to Intellectual Property Policy Outline established in July, 2002, and to the result of discussion in the Intellectual Property Policy Committee of Industrial Structure Council, the Committee published the Interim Report proposing a revision of requirement for unity of invention in order to lessen burden of applicants and to promote international patent obtainments.

Responding to the Report, we are revising the Examination Guidelines for requirement for unity of invention, which is defined in Section 37 of the Patent Law, Section 6 of the Utility Model Law, Section 25 (8) of Regulations of the Patent Law and Section 7 (2) of Regulations of the Utility Model Law. These laws and regulations had been revised and are supposed to be enacted from January 1st, 2004.

To accord with these revisions of the laws and regulations, we have drafted an Interim Examination Guideline for Requirement for Unity of Invention. (Hereinafter called as "Draft")

The important points of the Draft are followings:

  • (1)Basic Policy
    Since the purpose of these revisions is especially for harmonization with the Patent Corporate Treaty (PCT), this Draft was made for complying with the requirement for unity of invention defined by the PCT Guidelines.
  • (2)Points in detail of the Draft
    • (i)With regard to the examination for unity of invention based on the comprehensive provisions defined by the revised laws and regulations, we explained a "basic approach for examining for unity of invention" in Section 2 of the Draft.
    • (ii)To simplify the above "basic approach for examining for unity of invention,"
    • (iii)we placed typical examples concerning unity of invention, and added explanations on our judgements for these examples based on the above basic approach. Moreover, by categorizing the examples based on the categorization of the current Examination Guidelines, a relation between the current Examination Guideline and the Draft was clarified.
    • (iv)We explicated that we would examine unity of invention by comparing the first claim with other claims in Section 4 (1) of the Draft.
    • (v)Where claims are in a relation having a dependent linkage in series connection, it is often reasonable to examine the claims all together. We decided to examine all the claims in this case, regardless of where the requirement for unity of invention is satisfied or not.
  • (3)Scope of application of the Daft
    Since the laws and regulations are supposed to be effective from January 1st, 2004, the Draft will apply to applications filed after that day.

We would like to invite your comments on the Draft regarding INTERIM REVISED EXAMINATION GUIDELINES FOR REQUIREMENT FOR UNITY OF INVENTION as following.

Interim Revised Examination Guidelines for Requirement for Unity of Invention(PDF:45KB)

1.Period of Invitation

Your comments must be received on or before October 31 (Friday), 2003.







3-4-3 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo 100-8915, Japan
Examination Standards Office, Japan Patent Office

  • Commnets should be sent via E-mail with the subject of "comments on draft examination guideline (unity)."
  • Comments should be sent via Fax or Mail with your name and address.

3.Supplemental Information

  • You may submit comments in any form.
  • Received comments may be open to the public, with the exception of any personal information (your address, phone number, etc.)

[Last updated 14 October 2003]

Contact Us

Examination Standards Office, Japan Patent Office
3-4-3 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-8915, Japan



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