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Home> Systems/Procedures> Laws and Policies> Laws and Guidelines> Examination Guidelines> Patent and Utility Models> Examination Guidelines for Patent and Utility Model in Japan> Applicable Periods and Applications of Examination Guidelines for Patent and Utility Model and Examination Handbook for Patent and Utility Model in Japan

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Applicable Periods and Applications of Examination Guidelines for Patent and Utility Model and Examination Handbook for Patent and Utility Model in Japan

The Examination Guidelines are described based on the latest laws and regulations at the time of revision of the Examination Guidelines.

The Examination Guidelines basically apply to applications filed on or after July 1, 1995. However, parts added or updated of the Examination Guidelines accompanying a change in the law, etc. in future may apply to limited applications.

(In this case, there is a statement to that effect in a part in the examination handbook corresponding to the relevant part of the Examination Guidelines.)

Each of the following parts applies to the applications described below.

Part I

Outline of Examination (Applications filed on or after January 1, 1994)

Part II

Chapter 1, Section 3, Requirements for Disclosure of Information on Prior Art Documents (Applications filed on or after September 1, 2004)

Chapter 3, Unity of Invention (Applications filed on or after January 1, 2004)

Part III

Chapter 2, Section 5, Exceptions to Loss of Novelty of Invention (Applications filed on or after June 9, 2018)

Part IV

Amendment of Description, Claims and Drawings (Applications filed on or after January 1, 1994)

Chapter 3 in Part IV, Amendment Changing Special Technical Feature of Invention (Applications filed on or after April 1, 2007)

Part VI

Chapter 1, Section 1, Requirements for Division of Application (Applications filed on or after January 1, 1994)

Chapter 1, Section 2, Notice under Article 50bis (Applications filed on or after April 1, 2007)

Chapter 3, Patent Application Based on Utility Model Registration (Applications filed on or after April 1, 2005)

Chapter 4, Reference filing (Applications filed on or after April 1, 2016)

Part IX

Extension of Patent Term (Applications for Registration of Patent Term Extension of Patent Applications filed on or after March 10, 2020)

Part X

Utility Model (Applications filed on or after January 1, 1994)

Annex B

Chapter 1, Computer Software-Related Inventions

  • 1.2 Description Requirements of Claims

    • parts regarding “program” claim (Applications filed after January 10, 2001)
    • parts regarding "storage medium" claim (Applications filed on or after April 1, 1997)
  • 2.1 Eligibility for Patent (Applications filed on or after April 1, 1997)

In addition, since the Examination Guidelines and the examination handbook include parts that clarify interpretation and operation of the previous laws and regulations, they are subjected to the reference for the applications filed before enforcement of the Act of 1994.

[Last updated 10 March 2020]

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Examination Standards Office,

Administrative Affairs Division,

Japan Patent Office

E-mail : PA2A10@jpo.go.jp