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Collective Examinations for IP Portfolio Supporting Business Strategy (CEIP)

0. Key Points of Revision in July 2022

In July 2022, the JPO revised the guidelines by reviewing the operation of the Collective Examination for IP Portfolio Supporting Business Strategy (CEIP) to make it easier for users to utilize. The key points of the revisions are as follows:

  • (a) Presentation of a business project and an interview can be either face-to-face or online.
  • (b) At least one patent application is required to be included in a group of applications, though two or more patent applications used to be needed.
  • (c) An application AFTER the commencement of examination can be included in a group of applications.
  • (d) Requesting for accelerated examination of patent nor design application(s) is not necessary even if quick examination is desired.

1. Introduction

In recent years, along with globalization and the diversified business styles of enterprises' business activities, it is important for enterprises to amass Intellectual Properties and utilize them. Under these circumstances, for the Japan Patent Office (JPO) to support the business strategy of each company, it is becoming necessary to provide such services as follows:

  • 1) Collective examination of a group of various applications that are parts of a business project, covering any fields of patents, designs, and trademarks;
  • 2) Timely examination that supports the acquisition of rights in line with business development; and
  • 3) Quality examination based on understanding of the background of the applicant's business project and of the technical relevance among a group of various applications.

In April 2013, as part of efforts in supporting the comprehensive acquisition of IP rights for a business project, the JPO launched the Collective Examinations for IP Portfolio Supporting Business Strategy (hereinafter referred to as "CEIP"), for implementing examination and granting of rights along with the timing of cross-sectional business deployment targeting at a plurality of IP rights (for patents, designs, and trademarks) that are useful for the businesses in and outside the country.

In requesting a CEIP, there is no additional handling fee to the JPO.

2. Concept

  • CEIP targets a group of multiple applications related to technologies that constitute products/services necessary for a new businesses project or a global expansion plan. (*1)
  • The timing of granting rights for a group of multiple applications is tailored to the applicant's needs even if there are differences, for example, in the dates of filing applications, the dates of requesting examination, or the examination departments/offices in charge. (*2)
  • A team of examiners simultaneously conducts individual examination with understanding of the applicant's business project by having them present the outline of the project.

(*1) Applications for modified version of existing products or research results at universities are also eligible for this program.

(*2) Regarding the timing of examinations and granting of rights, the JPO will make every effort to meet the desired timing of the applicants, but please note that it is not guaranteed.

Cases for CEIP

Please refer to the following cases for CEIP.

3. A Group of Applications Qualified for CEIP

To qualify for CEIP, a group of applications must consist of multiple applications that constitute a product/ service related to a new business project or a global expansion plan, and that meet all the requirements shown in (1) and (2) below. Additionally, applications for designs and trademarks may be included in a group of applications.

(1) At least one of patent application(s) in a group should meet a requirement of either "Internationally-filed applications" or "Working-related applications."

Internationally-filed applications

Applications filed with both the JPO and at least one of foreign IP Offices or intergovernmental organization (PCT application included).

Working-related applications

Patent applications filed by an applicant or a licensee who has already commercialized the invention in Japan or who plans to commercialize the invention in Japan within two years from the date of requesting CEIP.

(2) A group of multiple applications should include one or more patent applications that are considered as part of a new business project or a global expansion plan.

4. Conducting CEIP

Once a request for CEIP is approved, the applicant and examiner team work together for pre-examination procedures, including describing the business project, conducting an interview (if necessary) and coordinating examination schedule.

(1) Presenting a Business Project(*3)

The applicant is going to present the outline of the project (outline of the new product/service), business strategy (implementation plan, international expansion plan), and positioning of the applications in the project to the examiner team.

(2) Conducting a Pre-examination Interview(*3)

In the pre-examination interview, the applicant may present technical explanation of the individual application, describe technical features in contrast to the prior art, and consider amendments.

(3) Conducting Examination

Based on the outcomes of the business project presentation, the pre-examination interview, and discussions among the examiner team, each examiner conducts an independent examination according to the coordinated schedule.

(*3) Either a face-to-face or online interview is available.

[Last updated 15 September 2022]

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