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The JPO Quick Reads

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


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!


Overseas representatives in Düsseldorf (27 July 2021)

The JPO's first IP attaché was stationed in Düsseldorf, Germany.

We have been dispatching our IP attachés worldwide for nearly half a century. It was in 1974 when our first expatriate staff started his business at the Düsseldorf Office of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO). JETRO Düsseldorf serves as a JPO’s contact point for European IP offices and users. At the same time, it collects information on IP trends in Europe, taking advantage of its geographical strength, located in almost the center of continental Europe and within two-hour flight distance to any major cities in the region.

Here’s a message from Düsseldorf:
“Two ex-patent examiners are here to serve you! Do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to hear about JPO’s measures and policies including practices of examinations and Trials/Appeals!”

Mission, Vision and Values (20 July 2021)

The JPO has redefined its Mission, Vision and Values (MVV).

MVV is a profession of an organization’s aspirations, duties to be fulfilled, and course of actions.

We have recently revised our previous version after thorough and inclusive discussion, mindful of the rapidly, dynamically changing social landscape and the evolving IP environment, and with a view to administering IP policies going with the times.

The renewed Mission among others is described as follows:
- To achieve a society in which ideas are respected and each individual is encouraged to ignite creativity.

Our MVV serves internally as a banner toward a fully aligned office. It also acts as a vehicle to communicate our goals to all stakeholders involved in IP, soliciting partnerships to that end.

We are committed to making continued efforts to set our purpose in place. Just check it out from the link below, including the Statement, and tell your impressions!

The 14th IP5 Heads of Office Meeting (13 July 2021)

The JPO hosted the IP5 Heads of Office Meeting online late June.

At its 14th Meeting, the heads discussed, aside from the following issues, a key role intellectual property rights play in solving social challenges, which have been drawing global attention in recent years in the context of achieving SDGs.

They agreed on the roadmap for IP5 cooperation in the fields of New Emerging Technologies/Artificial Intelligence (NET/AI) and confirmed the launch of new projects designed to harmonize patent prosecution procedures and practices.

Also, they reaffirmed future cooperation among the Offices in the post-pandemic era.

The JPO will continue to join other IP5 members in leading the worldwide initiatives in the area of intellectual property!

International Symposium on IP and Green Technology (6 July 2021)

The JPO held the "International Symposium on Intellectual Property - Initiatives to Solve Environmental Issues through WIPO GREEN" online!

Last month, the JPO hosted the first international web-based conference on WIPO GREEN as it relates to the previous topic of this page (posted on 11 May 2021). This symposium aimed to contribute to solving environment matters through the effective use of intellectual property and was live-streamed in four languages (English, Japanese, Chinese and Korean).

In the panel discussion, under the theme of "Challenges and Future Development of WIPO GREEN," the panelists discussed the initiatives, current status, challenges, and future development of WIPO GREEN from various perspectives based on their concrete and practical experiences.

The JPO will continue to strive to improve the climate to help find solutions for social issues utilizing WIPO GREEN!

IP attaché (29 June 2021)

IP experts from the JPO are stationed around the world.

Quite a few JPO staff who are well versed in IP rights systems are seconded to a couple of government-affiliated organizations which work to promote mutual trade and investment between Japan and abroad, locating hubs in major economies. Our expatriate experts, as IP attachés, assist the overseas stakeholders to understand IP systems in Japan and also act as liaisons between the IP Offices in charge and the JPO. At the same time, they collect and research a wide range of relevant information on IP-related institutions or practices at the places of their assignment, retaining the services of local law firms.

Our IP attachés are more than happy to serve you!

The Step-by-step Guide (22 June 2021)

“The Step-by-step Guide” has been created to address user feedback indicating that the JPO website could be made friendlier for customers abroad to get to the information they want.

For the benefit of overseas users, we have added new web pages to organize helpful links to key procedural information on the prosecution with the JPO, broken down by the administrative jurisdictions (patent, utility model, design and trademark). It simply refers to the proceedings for obtaining industrial property rights in Japan, including filing, fees, examinations and registrations, outlined in time sequence.

Just feel free to suggest any items to add you'd consider useful on our site!

JPO Digital Pamphlet (15 June 2021)

We have released "JPO Digital Pamphlet," an animated introductory video featuring our strengths and history.

The video highlights the JPO’s three key advantages (speedy & quality examination, user-friendliness and global network) with numbers to illuminate them. It also covers the chronology of the intellectual property system in Japan since its inception (the enactment of the Trademark bylaws in 1884), showcasing some of the era’s iconic technologies of Japanese origin.

Just click the link and watch the five-minute video clip to learn more about the JPO!

The JPO Key Features (8 June 2021)

“The JPO Key Features” on our web page simply sheds a spotlight on the benefits of filing applications in Japan for the sake of overseas users.

It is designed to present the principal advantages of prosecuting applications with the JPO and also to familiarize applicants residing overseas with our well-regarded measures or initiatives. Its content is arranged by subject, for example, but not limited to:

  • Speedy & Quality Examinations
  • Global IP Portfolio
    (e.g. Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH))
  • IP rights in line with Business Strategy
    (e.g. Collective Examinations for IP Portfolio Supporting Business Strategy, Communication with Examiners)
  • Quick response to Business Circumstances
    (e.g. Examination Case Examples to AI and IoT related technologies)

Figure: Speedy & High Quality Examinations
Figure: Speedy & High Quality Examinations

We will continuously work to make our service more user-friendly and keep you updated with our progress.

Outsourcing Prior Art Searches (1 June 2021)

The JPO achieves efficient and quality patent examinations in collaboration with nine registered search organizations.

The registered search organizations (hereinafter, “the organizations”) are independent entities for outsourcing prior art searches, authorized by the JPO Commissioner, where a number of engineers or scientists with years of R&D experiences in industry or academia retrieve prior arts as searchers with regard to the patent applications filed under the Japanese Patent Law.

Each searcher completes a search report for an individual application through oral discussion with a relevant patent examiner. In other words, JPO patent examiners and searchers from the organizations jointly create prior art search results.

Such reports prepared by searchers , covering around two-thirds of the overall applications awaiting first actions (as of fiscal year 2020), help examiners significantly reduce their workloads in understanding complex technical contents of respective patent applications and, where necessary, supplementing prior art searches.

Outsourcing prior art searches continues to be a key measure to enhance productivity in our examinations even amid the COVID-19.

Patent Examination responding to the COVID-19 (25 May 2021)

Patent examination at the JPO has not been prolonged despite the COVID-19 crisis.

The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the operational environment of patent examination, for instance, enhancing the teleworking policy for examiners. The JPO maintains its examination speed even after the COVID-19 outbreak by upgrading its in-house developed support system for telecommuting patent examiners. Applications where PPH or accelerated/super-accelerated examinations are requested remain on the right track.

Also, the JPO started to deliver an improved service aiming at smoother communication, by allowing online interviews between applicants and examiners using a web application even while examiners are working from home.

The JPO will continue its every effort to maintain the prompt examinations even amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

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 38 countries
  • inviting over 1,800 of personnel as trainees from over 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 Chobe 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:


[Last updated 27 July 2021]

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Japan Patent Office
Fax: +81-3-3593-2397