Japan Patent Law, Just Amended

At Widerman Malek, we pride ourselves on being a resource for our clients and referral sources especially when it relates to intellectual property matters.  We work closely with other intellectual property professionals across the country and the world which allows us to best service our clients.

We recently received an update regarding patent law procedure before the Japanese Patent Office located in Tokyo, Japan from our fellow intellectual property attorney, Aki Ryuka from the Ryuka IP Law Firm.  Here is what you need to know:

Grace period is extended to 12 months (Art. 30)
Grace periods for the exceptions to the loss of novelty has been extended from 6 to 12 months. This applies to patents, designs and utility models and was enacted on June 6, 2018. Japanese or PCT applications, but not priority applications, must be filed within one year from the first disclosure date or priority date. If a grace period is used in a foreign country, the due date for filing a utility patent application in Japan should be docketed as one year from the loss of novelty, i.e., one year from the date of first public disclosure.

In-camera procedures at courts will be improved (Art. 105)
In patent litigation in Japan, the court will be able to order the parties to submit documents for in-camera procedures where limited persons will have the ability to review the documents and determine whether the documents are necessary for proving infringement and/or damages. If such documents are found to be necessary, the court can order the submission of such documents. This change is likely to be enacted on April 1, 2019 and will reinforce Japanese patents.

If you have any questions, please contact your Widerman Malek attorney or the Ryuka IP Law Firm for more information.

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