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Decisions

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) provides professional English translations of trial/appeal decisions, decisions on oppositions, and Hantei (advisory opinions on the scope of industrial property rights) categorized by type, field, or other attributes of a case that help in the understanding of the law and its operation, for the purpose of improving and enhancing the international reach and quality of information provided on industrial property rights applicable in Japan.

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Table of Contents

Last Updated documents (September 2021)

1. Patents and Utility Models

Types JPO Docket Numbers Decisions
(JP)
Decisions
(EN)
Topics Abstracts
Appeal 2018-016652 Japanese(PDF) English(PDF) Novelty, Inventive Step A case of decision that denied novelty and inventive step, regarding the invention of automatic gesture recognition for a sensor system, for a technical ground for specifying that "the maximum frequency of sensor signals to be removed should be 15 Hz to 20 Hz", on the basis of well-known arts, by comprehending technical significance on the technical ground from the description in the specification.
Appeal 2019-004557 Japanese(PDF) English(PDF) Inventive Step A case in which, regarding an invention related to a draft chamber, Cited Document 2 that has a technical field and a problem to be solved common to Cited Document 1 was discovered by patent document search at the appeal stage, and inventive step was denied on the ground that it could have been conceived of by a person skilled in the art with ease to adopt the technical matter of Cited Document 2 to Cited Invention of Cited Document 1.
Appeal 2020-002822 Japanese(PDF) English(PDF) Inventive Step A case in which, regarding a different feature related to a direction-changing rotation driver in an invention related to a three-dimensional surface potential distribution measurement system for measuring a surface potential distribution of a measurement target, the inventive step of the invention of the case is acknowledged on the ground that there is no motivation to apply the technology described in Cited Document 2 or Cited Document 3 to the invention described in Cited Document 1.
Appeal 2020-004838 Japanese(PDF) English(PDF) Inventive Step A case of decision that denied an inventive step, regarding an invention relating to methods and apparatuses for controlling timing of feedback transmissions, for the reason that a person skilled in the art could have easily conceived of combining a sub-reference, in consideration of underlying common general technical knowledge, with documents disclosed in a standard-related workshop as a main reference.
Appeal 2020-004894 Japanese(PDF) English(PDF) Inventive Step A case of decision that denied an inventive step, regarding the invention relating to a "money management system", for the reason that it is a technically common practice that set values for change required in a bill change dispenser and information on the current amount of money in the bill change dispenser are required for obtaining shortfall in change.
Invalidation 2018-800122 Japanese(PDF) English(PDF) Novelty, Inventive Step, Requirements for Claims/Description A case where the inventive step of the Invention is approved on the ground that regarding the judgment of the priority date, the reference date for judging novelty and inventive step was set as the priority date because it is judged that only "soybean hypocotyl" was explicitly stated as "a fermenting material" in the priority document, but it is stated in the priority document that equol is produced using a "daidzein compound" as a fermenting material.
Invalidation 2019-800016 Japanese(PDF) English(PDF) Novelty, Inventive Step Concerning the invention relating to an object to be processed cutting method, although in the trial decision, Invention A-4 was approved only for a sapphire substrate, in the judgment of the Intellectual Property High Court (2020 (Gyo-Ke) 10018), Invention A-4 was considered to be related to a substrate not limited to sapphire.  However, the conclusion of the trial decision that approves inventive step was maintained, and the request was dismissed.
Invalidation 2019-700170 Japanese(PDF) English(PDF) Requirements for Claims A case where it is determined that the invention for an optical adhesive layer and an adhesive layer-attached optical film does not meet the requirements of clarity, because it is not specified at what point in time the content of iodine, etc. is within the range specified, and an unexpected disadvantage will be caused to a person who has recognized that the adhesive layer-attached polarizing film produced by himself/herself does not fall under the invention, and to a person to whom the adhesive layer-attached polarizing film is transferred after some time has passed from the production.

2. Designs

Types JPO Docket Numbers Decisions
(JP)
Decisions
(EN)
Abstracts
Appeal2020-003523Japanese(PDF) English(PDF)In a case of a screen design relating to an electronic computer with a camera function, it was judged that the amendment after the appeal does not change the gist, and since the articles of the Cited Designs do not have the usages and functions relating to the article in the application, it cannot be said that it could have been easily created, and thus it was judged that it meets the requirements of creative difficulty.

3. Trademarks

Types JPO Docket Numbers Decisions
(JP)
Decisions
(EN)
Abstracts
Appeal 2019-006526 Japanese(PDF) English(PDF) A case where it was determined that a trademark consisting of the standard characters "ステーキしょうゆ(suteki shoyu; steak soy sauce)" does not meet the requirements of Article 3(2) because the trademark falls under Article 3(1)(iii) and it is difficult to acknowledge that the used trademark is identical with the trademark in the Application even in consideration of evidence (use records or the like).

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Updated documents (August 2021)

1. Patents and Utility Models

Types JPO Docket Numbers Decisions
(JP)
Decisions
(EN)
Topics Abstracts
Appeal 2018-009319 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Inventive Step A case in which inventive step is denied on the ground that, even though the main difference is the specifically combined compounds, such as sex steroid precursors, when compared to the Cited Invention, a person skilled in the art could easily conceive of specific combinations of compounds from the descriptions in citation examples including the mechanism of action and common general technical knowledge.
Appeal 2019-006706 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Inventive Step, Requirements for Claims/Description A case of an invention related to lithography, etc., in which it was judged as violation of the support requirement and the enablement requirement since the principle for solving the problem to be solved by the invention with the means for solving the problem cannot be understood in the light of descriptions in the specification, etc. and common technical knowledge and there is no concrete example such as working examples.
Appeal 2019-007937 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Novelty, Patent Eligibility A case in which, regarding an invention related to a grip aid operation method, it is judged that it does not fall under "industrially applicable inventions" of the Patent Act on the ground that an operation to press a mound part to accelerate a ball batting operation is not recognized as having objectivity that can be transferred to a third party as knowledge.
Appeal 2019-010332 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Patent Eligibility A case of a decision that the invention regarding a data structure is not considered an artificial agreement and falls under the "invention" utilizing the laws of nature for the reason that the invention is configured to include "weight information", is equivalent to a program to be executed by the learning device, and does not only specify the contents of a data element to be provided to the learning device.
Appeal 2019-011786 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Inventive Step Regarding the invention related to a cosmetic applicator having fibers, the interpretation of "ribs" became a problem; since a general technical level relating to ribs that are not provided with a free end was indicated and it is not specified that the ribs have a free end in the description of claims of the present application, inventive step was denied.
Appeal 2019-012497 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Novelty, Amendment A case of decision that dismissed an amendment and denied novelty, regarding an invention relating to a charge system, or the like, using NFC, for the reason that there is no description or indication in the Originally attached specification about protective means, which is added by the amendment at the appeal, configured to protect an IC card from destruction when a second NFC antenna induces electromagnetic induction in a first NFC antenna, and it is determined as an addition of new matter.
Appeal 2019-013882 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Inventive Step Regarding the invention relating to a module product that is a part of a three-dimensional shaping apparatus by laminating, in response to the Appellant's allegation that there is no motivation to change position detection means of Cited Document 1 to leveling means, the allegation was denied from the description of Cited Document 1; furthermore, it is judged that it can be easily conceived to perform modularization from the description of Cited Document 1, and thus inventive step was denied.
Invalidation 2020-700820 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Requirements for Claims/Description A case in which, regarding an invention related to a method of manufacturing a high strength steel sheet, it is judged that the patent cannot be revoked on the ground that: regarding the requirements for support, referring to the descriptions of the description, a person skilled in the art can understand that solution of the problem to be solved of the invention is not prevented; and, regarding the enablement requirement, from the common general technical knowledge and the descriptions of the description, it is not recognized that excessive trial and errors and the like are needed.

2. Designs

Types JPO Docket Numbers Decisions
(JP)
Decisions
(EN)
Abstracts
Appeal 2020-001100 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) The design in the application relates to a part of the article "Projector," and since the usage and function of the design in the application and the Cited Design do not have a decisive influence on the determination of similarity between the two designs and the effects of the different features in the form on the determination of similarity between the two parts are large, it was judged that the design in the application is not similar to the Cited Design.

3. Trademarks

Types JPO Docket Numbers Decisions
(JP)
Decisions
(EN)
Abstracts
Hantei 2019-600030 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) A case where, because Mark A displays Chinese characters of "日向夏(Hyuganatsu; Citrus tamurana)" in a common way, "日向夏 (Hyuganatsu; Citrus tamurana)" is a common name of a citrus fruit and is used as ingredients of the products "confectionery and bread and buns", it is determined that Mark A falls under Article 26(1)(ii) of the Trademark Act and does not belong to the range of the effect of the trademark right of the Trademark.

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Updated documents (June 2021)

1. Patents and Utility Models

Types JPO Docket Numbers Decisions
(JP)
Decisions
(EN)
Topics Abstracts
Appeal 2019-000691 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Novelty, Inventive Step, Requirements for Claims/Description The case of an invention related to a barrier coating in which a wide numerical range was judged not to comply with the support requirement even if description in the specification and well-known art are taken into consideration, and claims specified with functions and characteristics were judged not to comply with the enablement requirement because claims cannot be deemed to be workable in any case other than working examples.
Appeal 2019-005292 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Inventive Step, Requirements for Claims Regarding an invention relating to a wearable device, since the invention according to Claim 1 could have been easily made from the Cited Documents, and the invention according to Claim 3 is unclear, it was determined that the invention does not satisfy the requirements for inventive step and clarity.
Appeal 2019-009561 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Inventive Step A case that denied an inventive step by considering the operation implemented by specific allocation in the Cited Invention, regarding an invention relating to a channel measurement method, or the like, for allocating reference signals in a radio communication system having eight or more antenna ports.
Appeal 2019-010589 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Inventive Step, Amendment A case of an invention related to a snowfall system of crystal snow, in which, for the reason that the technological content as an invention is unclear, the amendment was dismissed by, while judging that it is not one for the purpose of restriction of the scope of claims or the like, and, further, that it constitutes addition of new matters, judging that, even if it is one for the purpose of restriction of the scope of claims, it still violates requirements for independent patentability because the requirement of inventive step is not satisfied.
Appeal 2019-013111 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Inventive Step, Amendment Concerning an invention relating to a lighting device, it was judged that an amendment as of the request for appeal is not within the scope of the matter described in the Original description etc., and even if it is not one that adds new matters, the invention after the Amendment does not meet the requirements for inventive step, so that it was judged that it did not meet independent requirements for patentability, and thus the request was rejected after the Amendment was dismissed.
Appeal 2020-004398 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Secret Prior Art A case in which, regarding an invention related to a slot machine, it is judged that the Invention is identical with the Prior Invention on the ground that it is a well-known art to make an area of a display means be within the range of a numerical value limitation of the Invention, and, in addition, how to stipulate the lower limit value is nothing but a design matter that can be determined arbitrarily by a person skilled in the art, and, therefore, the Different Feature is not a substantive different feature.
Invalidation 2019-800012 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Claimant Eligibility Case related to an invention of an antiviral sanitary mask in which standing as the demandant for a trial for invalidation of a patent was denied and the demand for the trial for invalidation was dismissed based on a judgment as a result of examination including examination of witnesses that assignment of the right to receive a patent has not sufficiently been proved and that the Demandant cannot be deemed to be a person who owns the right to receive a patent for the invention of the case.
Trials for correction 2020-390032 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) Correction A case that approved a correction, regarding the invention of a mount apparatus and accessory, for the reason that the purpose of the correction is judged as correction of errors because incorrectness of the description before the correction and correctness of the description after the correction are obvious from the description of the specification, etc. and common general technical knowledge, or the like, and a person skilled in the art may naturally notice the fact and express understanding to the object after the correction.

2. Designs

Types JPO Docket Numbers Decisions
(JP)
Decisions
(EN)
Abstracts
Appeal 2020-000361 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) The design in the application relates to an image design displayed in a front display portion of an article "Digital Pathology Apparatus". The image was certified in consideration of an article property and the overall shape of an article (expressed by broken lines), and it was judged that it satisfied the requirements of creative difficulty, since it cannot be said that the form of the image part in the application could have been easily created.

3. Trademarks

Types JPO Docket Numbers Decisions
(JP)
Decisions
(EN)
Abstracts
Appeal 2017-002496 Japanese (PDF) English (PDF) A case where, because the trademark in the Application is a color trademark using "orange" for the designated goods "oil hydraulic shovel", is only recognized by consumers or the like as a trademark representing a usually used color, and is not recognized by consumers or the like as a trademark displaying the source of the goods or the like, it is determined that the trademark in the Application falls under Article 3(1)(iii) of the Trademark Act and does not meet the requirement in Article 3(2) even if the evidences are comprehensively examined.

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Note

[Last updated 3 September 2021]

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