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Patent Application in Japan

Updated:2018-3-5 15:17:30    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:247

Procedures for Obtaining a Utility Model Right
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Patent application in Japan is based on the first-to-file principle. A person desiring to obtain a patent has to submit a request, specification, claims, any drawings necessary, and the abstract to the commissioner of the Japan Patent Office (Article 36). Japanese patent law provides that patent infringement is a crime. A person who has infringed a patent right must be engaged in penal servitude for at most ten years, and/or must pay a fine of at most ten million yen. In the exposition below, Tannet mainly brief on how to obtain a utility model patent in Japan.

Introduction to the utility model in Japan
The subject of protection of the Utility Model Act (Articles 2-3) is a device that is related to the shape or structure of an article or combination of articles, industrially applicable, and characterized by creative technological concepts based on natural laws and rules.

The period of a utility model right is 10 years from the date of filing of the utility model application. The period may not be extended.

Procedures for obtaining a utility model right
1. Application
Patent applications do not necessarily require the attachment of drawings; but in the case of utility model applications, their attachment is compulsory. In addition to the application fee, registration fee for the first three years must be paid at the time of filing.

2. Examination
In contrast to patent applications, there is no system of request for examination for applications for utility model registration. Having no substantive examination of whether the application is novel and involves an inventive step, the examination will check simply the basic requirements in addition to the conventional formality check.

Where the application does not meet either the formality requirements or the basic requirements, an invitation to amend will be issued. If there is no response to this invitation, the application will be dismissed.

3. Registration
For all applications which have passed the formality check as well as satisfying the basic requirements, the registration of the utility model right will be instituted without going through a substantive examination. However, as mentioned above, the registration fee for the first to third years must be paid at the time of filing.

4. Publication of Utility Model Gazette
When the utility model right has been registered, the JPO publishes the details of the claimed device in the official gazette to lay it open to the public as the first publication.

5. Request for Registrability Report
A registrability report, prepared by an examiner on the basis of a search of prior art documents, enables an objective judgment to be made about the validity of registered utility model right. It can be requested by any person at any time after the filing of the application.

Contact Us
If you have further inquires, please do not hesitate to contact Tannet at anytime, anywhere by simply visiting Tannet’s website, or calling Hong Kong hotline at 852-27826888 or China hotline at 86-755-82143422, or emailing to You are also welcome to visit our office situated in 16/F, Taiyangdao Bldg 2020, Dongmen Rd South, Luohu, Shenzhen, China.

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