April 20, 2016

Japan: patent law changes

As of April 1, 2016, Article 36bis of the Japan Patent Law was revised. Now applicant may file a Japanese patent application under Paris Convention in any foreign language, while earlier an application could be filed in English or Japanese only.

The term for submission of Japanese translation has also been changed. Currently it constitutes 16 months from the filing date or earliest priority date (before law amendments - one year and two months from the date of filing of the patent application). However, if patent application is based on a divisional, converted, or utility model application, the applicant must submit the translation within 2 months from the filing date of that application.

If the translation is not submitted within the above-mentioned periods, a notice of failure to file the translation will be issued by the Japan Patent Office. The applicant must submit the translation within two months from the date of said notice.

Furthermore, now it is possible to amend the Japanese translation for the purpose of correction of mistranslation (earlier it was unacceptable), stating the reasons for correcting mistranslation.

To get an actual quote for IP protection in Japan please visit our quotation system. You are also welcome to review our brief applicant’s guide for registration of the IP rights in Japan:

Author: Lynda Miller