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Japanese Patent FAQs

Divisional Application

1. When can an applicant file a divisional application in Japan?

A divisional patent application may be filed:

1
  • At any time before a first office action is issued.
2
  • Within three months from the date of the Notification of Reasons for Rejection.
    It is possible to extend the deadline for three months by filing Requests for Extension of Time.
3

Depending on the filing date of the application and other factors, further time periods for filing a divisional application might be available. See the table below:

 
Time period for filing a divisional application
Applications filed before April 1, 2007
Applications filed on or After April 1, 2007
Notice of Allowance (dated on or after April 1, 2009) A divisional application cannot be filed. Within 30-days from the date of a Notice of Allowance without paying the registration fee (a Decision of Appeal Examination has not been entered in the case). However, a divisional cannot be filed if an appeal has been filed.
It is possible to extend the deadline for 30-days by filing a Request for Extension of Time.
Decision of Rejection (dated on or after April 1, 2009) Without Appeal A divisional application cannot be filed. Within four months from the date of the Decision of Rejection
With Appeal Within four months from the date of the Decision of Rejection
An Appeal must be filed together with the divisional application.
Within four months from the date of the Decision of Rejection
An Appeal must be filed together with the divisional application.

 

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2. Is it necessary to file a request for examination for a divisional application even though a request for examination has been filed for the original application?

Yes. A request for examination for a divisional application must be filed for further prosecution. The deadline for filing a request for examination is three years form the filing date of the original application. If a divisional application is filed after the time period for filing a request for examination of the original application has elapsed, a request for examination must be filed within thirty days after filing the divisional application.

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3. Is it possible to file one or more divisional applications based on the original application?

Yes. More than one divisional application can be filed based on the original application.

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4. Can a second divisional application be filed from a first divisional application?

Yes. A divisional application can be filed based on the first divisional application. A second divisional application can also be filed but it is subject to many limitations. Accordingly, it is highly recommended to file the divisional application based on the original application.

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