Japanese Patent FAQs
Expedited ExaminationUpdate 2020.6.16
Q.Does the Japanese Patent Office have a practice by which an applicant can petition the Patent Office to expedite the prosecution of a patent application? If so, what are the circumstances that would allow an applicant to expedite the prosecution?
Yes. The following circumstances will allow an applicant to expedite prosecution:
1) If the application has been filed in a foreign country (any countries outside Japan).
2) If an applicant or licensee of the application is using or selling the invention in Japan.
To expedite examination, first, a request for examination must be filed. Then, it is necessary to file a petition for expedited examination with the JPO after the examination request is filed. We need a copy of examination reports issued by foreign Patent offices for corresponding foreign patents, i.e., office actions, to prepare such a petition. We also need a copy of all responses to these office actions. However, we will not submit the examination reports and the response to the JPO (we only need the documents for preparation). No official fee will be incurred.
If there are no examination results in foreign countries for the original application, it is necessary to search for the closest prior art pertaining to the application. The JPO requires an explanation of how and what kind of search was done and the results thereof.
Typically, you can expect to receive an office action within approximately three months from the date of filing a petition for accelerated examination.
Q.What are the differences among the five types of the accelerated examination?
The table below shows the differences between and basic features of the five types of accelerated examination.
JPO Statistics for the Year of 2018
|Number of Requests||Required Time
|1.8 (until the final results: 5.9)||Applicant
|Accelerated Examination (including Green Accelerated Examination)||
|2.3 (until the final results: 5.1)||Applicant||Not required||
|Patent Prosecution Highway*||2.3 (until the final results: 5.1)||Applicant||Not required||
|PCT-based Patent Prosecution Highway*||2.7 (until the final results: 3.8)||Applicant||Not required||
|Super Accelerated Examination||
|0.7 month (until the final results: 2.5)||Applicant||Not required||
* More information regarding the Patent Prosecution Highway :