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YANAGIDA & ASSOCIATES
YANAGIDA & ASSOCIATES
NEWS & TOPICS
NEWS & TOPICS

Revision of the Japanese Patent Law, Utility Model Law, Design Law and Trademark Law

The Act on the Partial Revision of the Patent Law and Other Laws (Act No. 36 of May 14, 2014) was promulgated on May 14, 2014. The Revision will be put in force within one year of the promulgated date, which is to be decided by a government ordinance.

 

The items of revision which may be especially important on a practical level are as follows:

 

(Patent Law)

u  Restore Post-grant Opposition for patent rights

The Post-grant Opposition, which the Japanese patent system used to have but was abolished by the revision of the Patent Law in 2003, is restored by the revision of the Patent Law this time.  There will be two tracks for nullifying a registered patent after the revision is put in force, i.e., the Post-grant Opposition and an Invalidation Trial.  The following table shows major differences between the Post-grant Opposition and the Invalidation Trial.

 

 

Post-grant Opposition

Invalidation Trial

Who to file

Any party

Interested parties only

Anonymous filing

Filing on a pure anonymous basis is not allowed, but may be filed in the name of attorney.

Not allowed.

When to file

Within six months after issuance of a Patent Gazette

Anytime even after lapse of patent

How to proceed

Documentary proceedings only

Oral and/or documentary proceedings

 

(Design Law)

u  Stipulate provisions for simultaneously filing a design application in multiple Countries

The Japanese Government is now preparing to accede to the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs.  As a part of the preparation, the Design Law is revised to allow an applicant to simultaneously file a design application to multiple countries via the Japan Patent Office.

 

(Trademark Law)

u  Add "color trademarks" and "sound trademarks" to the trademarks to be registered and protected under the Trademark Law

 

(Patent Law, Utility Model Law, Design Law and Trademark Law)

u  Enhance relief measures

-          The Patent Law, Utility Model Law, Design Law and Trademark Law are revised to enhance relief measures as to term expiration for some procedures, in the case where a "ground which is not attributable to a person who should perform the procedure" (such as disasters) arises or a "justifiable ground" exists.

-          The Patent Law and Utility Model Law*1 are revised to allow an applicant to submit a document claiming priority not necessarily at the same time as filing of a patent or utility model application but within a certain period (not decided; waiting for a ministerial ordinance) of the filing of the patent or utility model application.

*1: This item of revision is not applied to the Design Law and Trademark Law.

 

The Revision will be put in force within one year of the promulgated date (May 14, 2014), which is to be decided by a government ordinance.

 

For more details, please refer to the JPO website:

http://www.jpo.go.jp/torikumi_e/hiroba_e/hourei_e/patent260514.htm

or feel free to contact us (office@yanagidapat.com). 



YANAGIDA & ASSOCIATES
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YANAGIDA & ASSOCIATES

YANAGIDA & ASSOCIATES