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Recent IP activities of Japanese companies

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JPO Annual Report

Japan Patent Office (JPO) published an annual report on July 12 2019. According to the report, 313,567 patent applications were filed in Japan in 2018. And, 253,000 patent applications among them were filed by domestic applicants. It slightly decreased than last year. As you may know, Japanese companies have been reducing investment in Japanese patents. However, […]

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JPO’s SEP advisory opinion service updated

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Negotiation on SEP

JPO’s SEP advisory opinion service has been updated for cases received on or after July 1 2019. This service started from April 2018, to provide a JPO’s non-binding opinion on whether a particular patent is a standard essential patent (SEP). We covered this service in the previous article here. The changes in the user’s guide include the […]

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Foreign language patent system to be considered in Japan

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Foreign language patent

Do you think Japanese patents are difficult to use? I visited Chinese IT companies early this month. A person in charge of licensing said Japanese patents are difficult to use, as well as Korean patents. Because the specification, claims and other documents for Japanese patents are written in Japanese language, he is not sure if […]

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Slowly changing Japan’s IP dispute resolution system

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We Japanese often say “お変わりありませんか?(okawari-arimasenka?)” that means, in English, “Nothing has happened (or everything remains unchanged)?” to someone whom we meet after a long interval. No change is a good thing in Japanese culture. I’m just wondering if we can change such a greeting to something by which we can expect or accelerate change. JPO […]

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How are trademarks showing era name handled in Japan?

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Happy New Year! In 2019, there is a big event in Japan. The current crown prince ascends to the throne on May 1. In conjunction with that, Japan’s era name is also changed. Reportedly, the new name will be announced on April 1, one month prior to the enthronement, to ease the transition including necessary […]

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JPO presents a positive view of Legal Tech

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As most people know, Japan’s market is controlled by the heavy hand of government. To make it easier for companies to start new businesses, the government prepared the ”Gray Area Resolution System” in 2014. This system allows business operators to make inquiries about whether or not some regulation is applied to a new business they […]

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JPO commissioner mentions the review of damage calculation method

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IPBC Japan 2018 began with a keynote speech by Naoko Munakata, commissioner of the Japan Patent Office (JPO), in Tokyo on September 13. Munakata introduced the recent measures taken by the JPO, such as; SEP licensing negotiation guide Startup support system (Fast track examination, Dispatch of experts for IP advice, financing, and business) Collection of […]

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What to expect when JPO improves its machine translation system

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The machine translation system of the Japan Patent Office (JPO) will be upgraded in May 2019. Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation (TDS), which was split off from Toshiba Corporation in July 2017, won a contract with the JPO for the  development of the system. According to the announcement on July 10 2018, in order to improve […]