Japanese Patent FAQs
Prior Art Submission by a Third Party
Q.Can a third party submit prior art in a pending application?
Yes, a third party can submit prior art documents for the examiner’s observation in Japan after the pending patent application has been published.
Q.What are the deadlines to submit prior art in a pending application?
There is no set time frame for submitting prior art. However, after completion of examination, submitted prior art will not be considered. Therefore, we recommend that you submit prior art as soon as possible if a request for examination has been filed.
Q.What documentation is required for submitting prior art?
When submitting prior art documents, it is necessary to explain the relevancy between the documents and the invention of the application. If the prior art document is written in a language other than Japanese, it is highly recommended to attach a Japanese translation. Otherwise the examiner will be reluctant to use this document. However, the examiner can determine at his own discretion whether to use the documents in the examination.