June 22, 2018

Amendments to the Japanese intellectual property laws

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) has recently announced the modification of its patent, design and trademark laws, which entered into force on June 9, 2018. However, the corresponding examination guidelines have not yet been amended.

Firstly, the amendments concern the novelty grace period, which has been extended from 6 to 12 months for invention, utility model and design applications. The new term has been applied to both national and PCT applications.

With regards to the trademark law, the amendments relate to the procedure of establishment of the filing date for the divisional trademark applications. Namely, a divisional application will now have the same filing date as the parent one, if the applicant pays the filing fee for the parent application. Otherwise, the filing date of the divisional application will not be based on the filing date of the parent application.

In summary, with these minor amendments, the JPO is optimising the intellectual property protection system in the country, making the registration procedures more efficient.

Author: Lynda Miller