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Home > Laws and Regulations > Fee Information > Half Refund System on Examination Request Fees

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Half Refund System on Examination Request Fees

Aug. 2007
Japan Patent Office

(1) Outline of the Half Refund System on Examination Request Fees

With respect to applications for which an examination was originally requested but the need to obtain a patent is subsequently found to no longer exist or the lack of patentability has been concluded as a result of prior art searches, the half amount of the examination request fee shall be refunded to the applicants upon their request if they withdraw or abandon the application before the examination procedure have been commenced.

(2) Object application

A half refund of the examination request fee should be claimed with respect to applications which are subsequently withdrawn or abandoned.

Withdrawal or abandonment for refunds should be submitted before notice concerning any of the following first office actions is received by the applicant (i.e. before the examiner commences the examination procedure)

  • (i) Order of consultations concerning identical inventions which have been filed on the same date (Article 39(7) of the Patent Act);
  • (ii) Notification of the breach of duty to disclose prior art documents in the specification (Article 48-7 of the Patent Act);
  • (iii) Notification of reasons for refusal (Article 50 of the Patent Act);
  • (iv) Certified copy of the examiner's decision to the effect that a patent is to be granted (Article 52(2) of the Patent Act).

* With respect to applications filed before the 1993 Patent Act became effective, a certified copy of the examiner's decision to reject an amendment is also regarded as the first office action.

(3) Time limit for claiming refund

Refunds should be claimed within six months following the withdrawal or abandonment of the application. The time limit for claiming refunds shall be determined based on the date of submission of written withdrawal or abandonment.

(For instance, for an application withdrawn or abandoned on May 1, 2007, the final day for claiming a refund shall be November 1, 2007.)

(4) Amount of refund

The half amount of the examination request fee shall be refunded.

(5) Method of refund

Refunds can be made by means of a bank transfer or the deposit system. From the perspective of ensuring procedural efficiency and a prompt response, use of a deposit account to receive the refund would be greatly appreciated.

Refunds into a deposit account are available only for fees originally paid by using the deposit system. Also, where the applicant has more than one account, a refund will only be made into the account from which the corresponding payment was made.

[Last updated 9 August 2007]