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Introduction of the Japanese Utility Model System (2)

In a previous article, I touched on “the usefulness of the Japanese Utility Model System” in Japan. The utility model system is a strong ally when Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) try to protect “technical ideas” in Japan. Thus the usefulness of the utility model system will be more fully described below. The essential characteristic […]

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History of Patent Harmonization (3) Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) (2) PCT International Survey System (2)

The PCT has an “International Search System” (PCT Article 15). Regarding international search, various issues have been raised at WIPO’s PCT-related meetings, and I have faced some of these issues in our practice. Using the International Patent Search System requires skill and knowhow. The “International Search System” was, in short, an attempt to conduct a […]

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PCT International Survey System (1). Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) (2). The History of Patent Harmonization (3)

The Patent Cooperation Treaty’s “International Search System” is referred to as “IS”: PCT Article 15. Regarding International Search, various issues have been raised at WIPO’s PCT-related meetings, and I have faced several problems relating to IS personally. Before considering this issues, it is necessary to first consider “search in patent examination in general”. We must […]

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Understanding the Value of Paralegals and Legal Assistants

In most law firms and patent firms in every country, there are not only lawyers and patent attorneys, but also many non-certified people assisting them. These paralegals or legal assistants are essential to IP practice success. As a matter of course, it is impossible for a patent attorney alone to run the cases and operate […]

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Understanding Japan’s Unique Divisional Application System

The JPO (Japanese Patent Office) does not have an RCE (Request For Continued Examination) system as the means against a final such as exists at the USPTO and KIPO South Korea PTO. In fact, there is no Continuing Application system at the JPO like in the US. Therefore, when a decision of refusal issued, it […]

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Patent Appeals In Japan: The Unique Relationship With Examination in the Japanese Patent System

Each country’s patent system has an examination stage and an appeal stage. Patent appeals in Japan, however can play a vital role in strategy. The idea that the decision in an examination will be reconsidered in the appeal is common throughout the world. However, in terms of the actual process, specifically the Examination / Appeal […]

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Be Aware of the Utility Model System in Japan

In Japan, there is a Utility Model registration system in addition to the Patent system. The utility model registration system is a system that protects “small inventions.” The countries where the utility model registration system exists are limited, such as Japan, China, South Korea, Germany, Russia, Spain, and Australia. The system utilization rate is not […]

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Understanding the History of Patent Harmonization ・ Part 3

The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) 1) The Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) was enacted in 1970 with the aim of reducing the burden on “foreign” patent applicants, who cannot be covered by the “Paris Convention,” which aims to protect intellectual property internationally. This treaty has been discussed by representatives of each country since the time of […]

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COVID Vaccines and Patents. Should Patent Rights Be Waived?

According to news dated May 5, the US Government (USTR – The Office of the United States Trade Representative) has issued a statement that “We support the temporary waiver of patents on vaccines to increase the international supply of COVID-19 vaccines.” In response, the WHO praised the US decision, but the EU opposes the waiver […]

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Understanding The History of “Patent Harmonization”: Part 2 (Paris Convention)

Historically, the sprouting of “Patent Harmonization” started from the Paris Convention. This treaty was enacted in the early 20th century, and since then it has been a historic treaty having undergone many revision conferences. It still forms the basis of the international protection of intellectual property, and therefore the Paris Convention is a vitally important treaty.  […]

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Understanding The History Of “Patent Harmonization”: Part 1

Not only the patent systems, but also the intellectual property systems, and more specifically, the legal systems, differ from country to country. This is natural from the viewpoint of “territorial sovereignty” and “territorial principle”. Therefore, according to the “territorial principle”, if an inventor wants to obtain a patent in a foreign country, it is necessary […]

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What Is WIPO And What You Should Know About It?

What You Should Know About WIPO. WIPO is an abbreviation for “World Intellectual Property Organization” and was established in 1970.  It became a specialized agency of the United Nations, such as WHO, WHO, etc, in 1974 and Japan joined in 1975. WIPO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and has a variety of missions, but in […]

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Understanding The Differences Between The Trilateral Patent Offices In Determining Inventive Step

In the U.S., U.S. Patent Law 103 “stipulates the non-easiness of the invention” as the “Unobviousness”. The European Patent Office (EPO) stipulates it under EPC article 56 as “inventive step”. In Japan, Japanese Patent Law stipulates it in the same way as the EPO under Section 2 of Article 29 of the Patents Law as “inventive step”. […]

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Being Aware Of How Inventive Step Is Determined In Japan. Part 2

Various discussions have been offered by practitioners and scholars about the inventive step, but a key point is whether or not the difference from conventional patents or the prior art is large qualitatively or quantitatively. The way the patent examination practice of JPO studies and the determines the difference, is “Whether is it difficult to configure the […]

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Being Aware Of How Inventive Step Is Determined In Japan. Part 1

Inventive step is the most formidable hurdle among patent registration requirements. Many applicants struggle to overcome this hurdle, and it is the most common reason for rejecting patents by patent examiners in Patent Offices. This being among the main “reasons for refusal” generated by the PTO’s around the world, brings many patent attorneys to tears. […]

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Understanding Attorneys-at-Law and Patent Attorneys in Japan. How are Their Relationships and Roles Different Than in Other Countries?

The roles, and relationships between Attorneys-at-Law (Attorneys) and Patent Attorney differs from country to country. Therefore, when companies or individuals want to obtain appropriate intellectual property protection in Japan, or any “foreign” country, it is very important to first confirm the institutional and practical relationship between Attorneys and Patent Attorneys in that country. Doing so […]

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Are You Aware of Patent Claims Description Requirements in Japan?

This article addresses – by example of an actual utility model dispute case – the handling of “Claims Scope Description Requirements” in Japanese patent practices, for both plaintiff (challenger / demandant) and defendant (patent holder / demandee) regarding the “Requirements For Description” in Japan Patent Office (JPO) trials of invalidation of registration and in the […]

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Handling of “Trademark of Color (One Color) Only” in Japan. What is the Latest Progress of the Japan Patent Office Louboutin Shoe Case?

Since April 1, 2017, due to a revision of the law, a trademark consisting only of colors can be registered in Japan. As a result, a number of color trademark applications have been filed in the Japan Patent Office (JPO) as well as in Europe and the United States. As of 2020, the JPO has […]