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Patent in Japan

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  • Patent fees

Fees associated with filing patent applications in Japan, as well as other patent fees, are available in the fee calculator.

  • Term for filing patent application in Japan

The term for filing a conventional patent application in Japan is 12 months from the date of priority. Restoration of the said term is possible in case of non-intentional delay.

  • Filing requirements in Japan

A Japanese patent application under Paris Convention may be filed in any foreign language. The Japanese translation thereof should be provided within 16 months from the filing date or earliest priority date. However, if a patent application is based on a divisional, converted, or utility model application, the applicant must submit a translation within two months from the filing date of such an application. If the translation is not submitted within the above-mentioned periods, a notice of failure to file a translation will be issued by the Japan Patent Office. The applicant must provide a translation within two months from the date of said notice. Restoration of the mentioned term is possible in case of non-intentional delay.

To obtain the filing date, it is necessary to provide the Japan Patent Office with:
- a request to grant a patent in Japan;
- a description of the invention;
- applicant's and inventor's details.

To confirm the priority right, an applicant must submit a certified copy of the Priority Document within 16 months from the priority date. A translation of the front page into Japanese is required. Some countries' priority is admitted without a certified copy if DAS code is provided or there is a mutual agreement.

The Power of Attorney is not required for patent registration in Japan. It is necessary to provide the POA for some special proceedings such as assignment and appeal filings only.

  • Examination of a Japanese patent application

Patent applications in Japan are examined as to compliance with formal and substantive requirements. A request for substantive examination must be filed within three years from the date of filing of the patent application in Japan. Restoration of the said term is possible in case of non-intentional delay. It is also possible to request accelerated examination under PPH.

  • Opposition period

An opposition against a patent registration in Japan may be filed by an interested party within 6 months from the date of its publication on condition of payment of the corresponding fee.

  • Novelty grace period

Any form of disclosure (including sales) by the inventor within twelve months prior to the filing date of a patent application in Japan does not disprove the novelty of an invention.

  • Grant, validity term and maintenance fees

The official grant fee for a patent in Japan should be paid within 30 days from the date of receipt of the Notice of Allowance. The annuities for the first three years should be paid simultaneously with the grant fee. The maintenance fees for the fourth and subsequent years must be paid annually before the anniversary of the original grant date. Late payment is possible within 6 months with a 100% surcharge. Restoration of the said term is possible in case of non-intentional delay. The annual maintenance fee depends on the number of claims. It is possible to pay the annuities in an accumulated manner. 

  • Duration of registration procedure

Approximate time from filing a request for examination up to grant is one year.

  • Utility Model

In Japan, inventions may be protected as utility models. In order to be registrable as a utility model, the invention must be 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. Utility models in Japan are subject to formal examination only. The validity term of a utility model in Japan is 10 years from the filing date.

  • Representation by a patent attorney

For foreign applicants, it is necessary to perform patent prosecution in Japan through a registered Japanese patent attorney.

  •  Note

Online Search Database for Japanese Patents and Utility Models.

Brief summary is based on the information provided by YuNeed International Patent Office on 05.02.2024
Please contact us if the above information is not in conformity with Japanese IP Laws