Japanese Patent FAQs
Before You ApplyUpdate 2020.6.4
Q.A filing deadline of a PCT application has passed. Is any patent protection available in Japan?
When a deadline for entering the Japanese national phase has already passed, there is no way to file the case with a claim for priority.
Q.The present invention was published in printed matter three months ago. Is it possible to file a patent application in Japan?
Yes. However, an application must be filed within six months from the publication date to take advantage of provision under Section 30 (1) of the Japanese Patent Law (exceptions to lack of novelty of invention).
Further, it is necessary to submit a document proving that the invention claimed in the application is included in the invention presented in the printed publication. The document can be the original or a copy of the printed publication. If the printed publication was written in a foreign language, a Japanese translation must be attached. The publication and its translation must be submitted within 30 days from the filing of the application. No grace period is obtainable.
Q.The present invention was exhibited prior to filing an application in Japan. Is it still possible to file a patent application claiming this invention?
Under the Japanese Patent Law, once an invention is publicly exhibited in Japan or elsewhere prior to filing an application, the claimed invention is not considered novelty. However, if the invention was exhibited, it is possible to file an application in Japan within one year from the exhibition date under Section 30 (2) of the Law (exceptions to lack of novelty of invention).
To satisfy the requirements under Section 30(2), it is necessary to submit a document proving that the invention claimed in the application is included in the invention disclosed in the exhibition within 30 days from the filing of the application. You can obtain the details of the document to be submitted by accessing to the JPO’s home page (https://www.jpo.go.jp).
Q.Is it possible to file any foreign language applications before the Japanese Patent Office?
For an application based on the Paris Convention, it is possible to file the application in any language to secure a filing date. A Japanese translation must be filed within 16 months from the priority date.
Regarding PCT national entry, the national entry must be completed by the 30-months deadline and the filing of a Japanese translation may be postponed up to two months from the date of the national entry.
Q.How long does it take for a translation of one application?
Usually, it takes about two weeks. However, it is possible to delay filing of a Japanese translation of an application by two months from the date of national entry.