Revisions to Japanese Patent Law (Effective from April 1, 2007)
Revisions to Japanese Patent Law in 2006 became effective April 1, 2007.
1. The time periods in which a divisional application may be filed
For applications filed on or after April 1, 2007, the following is also permitted:
- within 30 days from the date of a Notice of Allowance.
(A Decision of Appeal Examination has not been entered in the case); and
- within 90 days from the date of the decision of Refusal (without filing an appeal).
2. Restrictions on Amendments in Divisional Applications
If reasons for rejection issued for the original application have not been resolved in a divisional application, the JPO will issue an official notification, together with the first office action, stating that the application is refused for the same reasons as in the prior office action for the parent application. That is, there are limitations when you file claim amendments. The amendments are restricted to
- deleting claims,
- narrowing the claim scope
- correcting errors, and
- explaining ambiguous description
3. Restrictions on Claim Amendments and Restrictions in Examination Procedures
After issuance of the Notification of Reasons for Refusal, an amendment to change a claim to a different invention that has a different technical feature is no longer accepted.
For more detailed information concerning the above examination procedure, please use the contact form on our website.
4. The time period for filing a Japanese translation for an English language application based on the Paris Convention
As of April 1, 2007, a Japanese translation must be filed within 14 months from the priority date.
Prior to this revision of patent law, a Japanese translation must have been filed within two months from the filing date of an English language application in Japan. However, the time period was extended to be within 14 months from the priority date.