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The JPO Quick Reads

The JPO Quick Reads - Tips for making the most of JPO's initiatives!

Introduction

The JPO has been aiming to achieve the world’s fastest and utmost quality patent examinations, so that once applicants obtain patents in Japan, the associated examination results will be upheld overseas to facilitate the smooth acquisition of rights abroad. To this end, the JPO has been implementing various measures focusing on maintaining speed, granting high quality rights, and cooperating and collaborating with foreign IP offices.

In the JPO Quick Reads, TAKAHARA Shintaro, Director-General, Patent Examination Department, will simply introduce the JPO initiatives and information mainly about patent examinations!

Updates

Funds-in-Trust Japan Industrial Property Global (FIT Japan IP Global) (18 May 2021)

Japan, together with WIPO, supports the institutionalization of IP systems in developing countries.

The government of Japan (GOJ), through the JPO, has been making voluntary contributions to WIPO since 1987, creating a trust fund for cooperation in the field of Industrial Property (IP). When the supporting area was expanded in 2019, it was rearranged as “Funds-in-Trust Japan Industrial Property Global (FIT Japan IP Global)”. Over the past 34 years, GOJ has contributed a total amount of approximately 85 million CHF and provided assistance to more than 80 countries.

Human resources development and technical assistance activities under the FIT Japan include:

  • sending about 400 experts to over 40 countries
  • inviting over 1,800 of personnel as trainees from 60 countries
  • awarding scholarships to about 200 dedicated learners in the IP field
  • digitizing over 400 thousand items of paper documents for advancing IP information systems

In recent years, Japan has supported branding projects for traditional local products in Africa to achieve the sustainable development using IP. Cases of Taita basket in Kenya and Chome basket in Botswana are examples of good practice, where JPO and other relevant bodies helped local people acquire and leverage collective trademarks.

Japan will continue to render assistance to developing countries for the IP systems consolidation and capacity building in close liaison with WIPO.

WIPO GREEN (11 May 2021)

Do you know WIPO GREEN, an initiative designed for sustainable development?

WIPO GREEN is an online platform for green technology exchange launched in 2013 by WIPO, who intends to contribute to achieving the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a specialized agency of the UN. The platform is realized in response to a proposal by the Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA), a non-profit, non-governmental organization representing industries and IP system users in Japan. Through its online database and regional activities, WIPO GREEN connects environmentally friendly technology seekers and providers.

Over 120 organizations have joined the international network as partners, offering support and advice on its endeavors.

At present, a total of 29 partners from Japan, the largest number in the world, have participated WIPO GREEN. The JPO became its partner on February 19, 2020.

We will work together with WIPO, WIPO Japan Office and other partners to support activities of WIPO GREEN and continuously strive to facilitate the green technology diffusion across the globe.

* Numbers indicated above is as of April, 2021.

World IP Day (27 Apr. 2021)

April 26 is the World Intellectual Property (IP) Day.

On April 26, 1970, the Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) entered into force.
WIPO’s member states designated the day as World IP Day in 2000. The JPO has been enhancing its cooperative relationship with WIPO for over 45 years. The Funds-in-Trust Japan Industrial Property Global is one of such examples. Under the scheme, the JPO has provided assistance to more than 80 countries by welcoming trainees and sending its own experts. In addition, the JPO participates as a partner in WIPO GREEN to promote environmental technologies. Furthermore, the JPO, in collaboration with WIPO Japan Office, contributes to making the IP system more user-friendly across the world.

The JPO will continue to cooperate with WIPO to support your global business.

Invention Day in Japan (20 Apr. 2021)

On April 18, 136 years ago, the patent system was institutionalized in Japan.

On April 18, 1885, the Patent Monopoly Act (the predecessor of the current Patent Act) was enacted, and the patent system in Japan started. Commemorating this, in 1954, April 18 was marked with white stone as Invention Day to raise public awareness of industrial property right system. The past 136 years have witnessed a variety of technological innovations and inventions, making our lives more comfortable and prosperous. The JPO will continue to contribute to the development of industry by inspiring the creativity of inventors through proper granting of the industrial property rights.

On this occasion, take some time to learn about the industrial property right system exploring the future.

JPO Status Report 2021 (13 Apr. 2021)

The JPO Status Report 2021 carries information on the statistics and the achievements of the JPO’s various measures for the year 2020.

The JPO publishes its Status Report in March every year. It is designed to introduce its initiatives along with the latest statistical information on intellectual property (IP) in Japan and abroad. The report provides a comprehensive overview of the JPO measures and policies, including its efforts and outcomes as to the examination speed and quality, as well as its approach toward harmonizing the IP system or practices globally in cooperation with other offices.

You will get the picture of what we are today.

Search System for Patents using AI (6 Apr. 2021)

The JPO has developed a system for searching patent documents worldwide using AI.

With patent applications rising globally, about three million more patent publications are added annually to the documents subject to prior art search. The JPO has developed a system called “ADPAS” for patent documents retrieval with the aid of AI technologies (patent registered). Through this system, over 30 million patent documents from around the world have been classified by Japanese retrieval index (FI and F-term). Now JPO examiners can conduct a collective search of such abundant foreign documents across linguistic borders.

The JPO will continue to improve ADPAS and provide efficient and quality patent examination results.

The One Portal Dossier (OPD) (30 Mar. 2021)

Need to check respective prosecution histories of a family of patent applications?

Dossier is a collection of documents containing information on a patent application and its prosecution. The One Portal Dossier (OPD) offers a one-stop service for electronically accessing dossier information of entire family applications among the IP5 offices (CNIPA, EPO, JPO, KIPO and USPTO) and also PCT international applications. The JPO played a leading role in the establishment of the system. It helps streamline the examination process by enabling IP5 examiners to cross-reference dossier information. In order to benefit users, such information has been accessible to the public worldwide as well.

Go to the J-PlatPat website and try OPD retrieval!

Japan Platform for Patent Information (J-PlatPat) (23 Mar. 2021)

Japan Platform for Patent Information (J-PlatPat) makes available a one-stop search service for intellectual property publications.

National Center for Industrial Property Information and Training (INPIT), an independent administrative agency associated with JPO, provides a platform named “J-PlatPat” as a free online retrieval service for intellectual property information. On its website, you have access to publications from all administrative jurisdictions under the JPO (patents, utility models, designs, and trademarks) by a simple keyword/number search or a more advanced search. You can also check the prosecution history of individual applications, including trial/appeal proceedings. Such information is available in English through machine translation for the convenience of overseas users.

Visit the J-PlatPat and use the intellectual property information efficiently!

PPH Portal Site (16 Mar. 2021)

Have you had a chance to explore our PPH Portal site yet?

Under the PPH framework, an application determined to be patentable by the office of earlier examination is allowed to undergo accelerated examination at the office of later examination. The JPO operates the PPH Portal site providing statistical information such as average pendency and grant rate of PPH applications. The site also provides easy access to the PPH procedural guidelines of participating IP Offices. Through the portal, you can efficiently obtain information from more than 50 Offices worldwide.

If you're considering using PPH, make sure you check it out!

PPH Portal

  • Figure1: IP Offices Participating in the PPH (As of Jan. 2020)
    Figure1: IP Offices Participating in the PPH (As of Jan. 2020)
  • Figure2: Effect of the PPH
    Figure2: Effect of the PPH

Collective Examinations for IP Portfolio Supporting Business Strategy (09 Mar. 2021)

Your new product/service relates to a number of inventions, designs and trademarks, doesn’t it?

In normal examination process, respective applications are examined separably, making it difficult for you to be notified of examination results of multiple applications collectively. Under the “Collective Examinations for IP Portfolio Supporting Business Strategy (hereinafter referred to as Collective Examinations),” however, a team of JPO examiners handles a group of various applications pertaining to your inventions and also designs/trademarks as well, where indicated. Through close communication within the team, examinations will be conducted concurrently taking account of the input on your business strategy to be supported by the whole applications. The collective examination allows you to smoothly develop your business, ensuring timely acquisition of reliable rights.

Why not request the collective examination to build a strong IP portfolio?

Interviews with Examiners (02 Mar. 2021)

JPO examiners proactively conduct interviews to facilitate communication with applicants.

Interviews with examiners can be requested at any phase of the prosecution free of charge. In 2019, roughly a total of 4,000 interviews were performed.

To meet user needs, the video conferencing system is also available, allowing applicants and patent attorneys to participate using their own PCs from their homes/offices. Such online interviews are effectively utilized in response to the situation with the COVID-19 as well.

You can consult with our examiners from your office/home!

International Search Reports by the JPO under PCT (16 Feb. 2021)

The JPO is contributing to the PCT System as the third-largest issuer of International Search Reports (ISRs).

As a competent International Searching Authority and International Preliminary Examining Authority, we prepare and issue ISRs and IPERs either in Japanese or in English. We perform international search within the prescribed timeframe (deadline compliance rates 99.8%), at reasonable search fees (JPY 156,000 for English ISR as of January 2021), and also with very favorable quality evaluation.

International search at the JPO is beneficial for PCT users at home and residing overseas as well!

Figure: Number of PCT International Applications filed with the JPO as the receiving office
Figure: Number of PCT International Applications filed with the JPO as the receiving office

Launch of the Team for Supporting AI Examinations (09 Feb. 2021)

The JPO has formed the Team for Supporting AI Examinations ahead of other IP Offices!

In recent years, AI-related patent applications have expanded beyond AI core inventions, encompassing inventions which apply AI to a diverse range of technical fields. AI technology is rapidly advancing and is characterized by its abundant technical terms and extensive knowledge to be aware of. To address these circumstances, the JPO established the Team for Supporting AI Examinations by bringing together examiners from various technical fields. The team will accumulate latest AI-related examination case examples containing various results and also develop examination environment to provide consultations for examiners with little experience in AI-related cases. Consequently, it would contribute to improved predictability of patent examinations for the sake of applicants by maintaining examination consistency and providing efficient, quality examination results.

We drive innovation in AI-related technologies through patent examination.

Take a look:

English translations of decisions (02 Feb. 2021)

Have you ever wondered how the JPO’s Trial and Appeal Department (TAD) makes decisions?

The JPO publishes a manually-translated English edition of trial/appeal decisions that would be helpful and informative in understanding the interpretation and operation of the relevant laws in Japan. On TAD’s web pages, links to the English translations are provided in a concise list which also contains topics (e.g. novelty, inventive step, patent eligibility) and abstracts so that you can check TAD’s decisions according to your interests. You can gain an overview in a very simple manner.

Now, let’s visit TAD’s web pages and click a link!

Take a look:

TAD's reliable decisions (26 Jan. 2021)

The JPO’s Trial and Appeal Department (TAD) is committed to further improve reliability of its decisions!

TAD makes final judgement of the JPO regarding the validity of intellectual property (IP) rights, with the aim of ensuring that rights worth granting/protecting are treated as such. In recent years, the decisions of the TAD have been maintained by the IP High Court at a good rate. Those maintained cases account for:

  • -over 80% in revocation actions against the decisions of the appeal against the examiner's refusals (patent)
  • -about 70% in revocation actions against the trial decisions made in "Trial for invalidation"

TAD makes various efforts towards enhanced credibility. For example, the study group consisting of practitioners inside and outside the JPO deliberates annually upon trial/appeal and court decisions considered to be important on a practical level. TAD utilizes the deliverables for its subsequent proceedings.

Check out our “Handbook for Trial and Appeal System in Japan” to better understand TAD!

Take a look:

International Training Instructors (19 Jan. 2021)

The JPO is striving to contribute to IP Offices’ human resource development in emerging countries!

Our experienced patent examiners named International Training Instructors provide assistance on the practical aspects of patent examination to examiners in emerging countries, including ASEAN members. Under this initiative, we dispatch International Training Instructors and offer on-demand training on examination practices based on the needs of respective IP offices and on the level of experience of the trainees. Since the start of this scheme in 2012, we have provided training programs to a cumulative total over 2000 trainees at eleven IP Offices. This year, the trainings are conducted online, instead of dispatching instructors overseas.

Our initiative eventually serves to facilitate the prosecution of your patent applications globally.

Take a look:

(photo01) International Training Instructors (19 Jan. 2021)

(photo02) International Training Instructors (19 Jan. 2021)

Students’ Patent and Design Contest (12 Jan. 2021)

The JPO has been working to ensure that students acquire knowledge about the Intellectual Property.

We, jointly with related organizations, hold the Students’ Patent and Design Contest every year to award outstanding inventions and designs by promising students. The winners can seek patent/design rights before the JPO with technical and financial supports from the contest hosts. Consequently, granted patent and design rights from the contest generate collaborations between students and business enterprises.

We are convinced that our efforts nurture talent of creativity and then innovation!

Take a look:

Archive

[Last updated 18 May 2021]

Contact Us

General Affairs Division,
Japan Patent Office
Fax: +81-3-3593-2397
E-mail:PA0270@jpo.go.jp