FAQ

December 14, 2016

Can an inventor appeal a patent application denial?

Plaintiffs who feel that their patent was denied improperly can appeal the rejection of a patent application through the Japan Patent Office rather than resort to the courts.  This appeal must be made within three months of the rejection.
November 21, 2016

What type of information goes into a Japanese patent application?

When drafting a patent application one of the most important points is the scope of the claims which describes the invention the patent will cover.  Drafting the claims too narrowly can lead to a patent that only protects a very specific invention, allowing others to make slight changes to the invention and avoid patent infringement.  However, drafting the scope too wide may result in the patent application being rejected or later overturned in court.  It is important to reach the right balance of these two approaches to provide the maximum protection for the invention.
November 2, 2016

How do you license a patent in Japan?

One of the most effective ways to successfully monetize a patent is to license it to another party.  In exchange for a royalty or set fee, a third party can make or sell products that include the patented invention.  There are two main types of licenses in Japan: Exclusive Licenses and Non-Exclusive Licenses.
October 13, 2016

Is it possible to patent an invention that is already known to others?

One of the main requirements to obtain a patent is that the invention not be known to the public.  This prevents people from patenting inventions that are not special and unique to the inventor.  Therefore, it is important to keep an invention secret until you’ve had a chance to discuss patenting it with an attorney.