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Interview Examination (On-site Interview, Online Interview)

The JPO conducts interview examinations to improve the quality of examination and to establish strong, broad, and useful patent rights. The JPO also promotes on-site and online interview examinations to support users in local regions.

Interview Examination

Interview examination is a system that allows applicant and representative to directly present the contents of the technology to examiner in a form of oral communication, thus enabling the examination to proceed efficiently and effectively. Direct oral communication with examiner could help applicant to respond to reasons for refusal in a more decisive manner. During the response period for the Notice of Reasons for Refusal, for example, by discussing the drafted amendments of the claims with examiner, applicant may ask for the examiner's opinion on patentability of such claims or on the scope of rights for the patentable claims. In principle, examiner is to conduct at least one interview examination in response to a request.

Types of interview Examinations

There are three types of interview examinations: (1) interview examination at the JPO building, (2) on-site interview examination, and (3) online interview examination.

(1) Interview examination at the JPO building

The interview examination is held at the JPO building in Tokyo.

(2) On-site interview examination

For on-site interview examination, examiner travels to the applicant's location to conduct an interview upon request. The JPO sets up a venue for the interview convenient for applicant. From the standpoint of fairness and transparency of procedure, on-site interview is not conducted in the building owned by applicant.

(3) Online interview examination

Online interview examination is conducted via Internet. There are no restrictions on the location of the participants. Applicant and representative can communicate with examiner from their own PCs or other devices connected to Internet.

Time Frame Available for Interview Examination

Interview examination may be conducted between the filing date of a request for examination and (1) the transmittal date of the examiner's decision to grant patent, or (2) the completion date of examiner's reconsideration before appeal proceedings. If the interview examination is conducted during the designated time period for requesting a trial against an examiner's decision of refusal, but before the filing of such request, the applicant is required to present specific reasons for the request and proposed amendments.

[Last updated 25 February 2021]

Contact Us

Regional Innovation Promotion Office
Administrative Affairs Division,
First Examination Department, JPO

TEL: +81-3-3581-1101 ex. 3104

E-mail: PA2160@jpo.go.jp