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Home > Obtaining IP Rights > Patents > Applicants can obtain high quality search reports before publication

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Applicants can obtain high quality search reports before publication

The JPO outsources prior art searches to 10 Registered Search Organizations (RSOs). Three of these RSOs provide search reports not only for the JPO but also for patent applicants. As a result, we would like to inform you as applicants that you can make good use of RSOs and this search report system, for example, when making strategic decisions with regard to your patent applications.

1. What is this search-report system?

  • This search-report system enables applicants to use search organizations that are registered with the JPO (RSOs). Under the system, the RSOs are able to provide applicants search reports before their applications undergo examination.
  • The quality of these RSOs’ search reports is equal to that which JPO examiners use.

2. What do applicants have to do in order to use these search reports?

  • First, applicants must have filed their patent applications with the JPO.
  • And second, applicants must not have already requested examination.

3. What are the Registered Search Organizations (RSOs) that applicants can use?

There following are the three RSOs that applicants can use.

  • 1) Industrial Property Cooperation Center
    (e-mail: zigyo-suishin@ipcc.or.jp)
  • 2) Technology Transfer Service Corporation
  • 3) Pasona Group
    (e-mail: knowledgebank@pasonagroup.co.jp)

4. How much do they cost?

  • The costs depend on the organization, so applicants need to contact them directly.

5. What are the advantages?

  • Since the JPO outsources these RSOs to conduct prior art searches, that means the quality of these search reports is equal to that which JPO examiners use.
  • Applicants can choose to have their inventions either patented or left confidential, by using the search reports before publication. As a result, applicants can make strategic decisions about their inventions without others knowing about them.
  • Applicants can obtain patent rights faster by requesting examinations after filing amended claims based on the search reports. In addition, they can request accelerated examination by using the search reports.
  • The JPO reduces the examination fee by 20% when applicants use search reports issued by these RSOs.

(image01) Registered Search Organization (RSO)

[Last updated 19 January 2017]

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