April 17, 2019

Amendments to the Japanese patent examination fees

The intellectual property office of Japan has announced significant amendments to their patent examination fees. The amended fees entered into force as of April 1, 2019.

The previous fee for the examination of a non-PCT patent application constituted ¥118,000; however, the revised fee is now ¥138,000, giving rise to an approximate 17% increase. The additional fee of ¥4000 per each claim remains the same. Furthermore, a 17% raise from ¥106,000 to ¥124,000 for PCT applications occurred for an examination request where the international search report has been established by an International Searching Authority other than the JPO. Similarly, the additional rate of ¥3,600 per claim remains unchanged. For examination requests where the international search report was issued by the JPO, the fee has increased by 17% from ¥71,000 plus ¥2,400 to ¥83,000 plus ¥2,400 per claim.

The JPO has strategically developed the fee schedule encouraging applicants to exercise a higher level of rigour when designing their patent portfolios. The reduction of claims subsequently decreases the costs under the new scheme, allowing applicants to submit more precise applications at a reduced rate. If the schedule of fees proves to encourage the applicant facilitation of their own patent prosecution process, the JPO, in their turn, will benefit from the curtailed workload, which may accelerate the process of examination and grant.


Author: Danielle Carvey