Intellectual Property

April 3, 2017

How are employee inventions handled in Japan?

An employee invention is an invention that is within the business scope of the employee’s company and made by the employee as part of the duties of his or her job.  Under Article 35 of the Patent Act, employers are granted a non-exclusive license to the employee invention.  The reasoning behind this is that the employee was working on behalf of the employer when the invention was created and being compensated for that work by the employer, so the employer should also be able to enjoy the benefits of the patent on the invention.
March 13, 2017

Does an invention have to be “highly advanced” in order to be granted a patent?

The Patent Act requires that an invention be novel, inventive and “highly advanced” in order to receive a patent.  While “highly advanced” may sound like a very high bar for inventions to meet, generally it is considered as less important than the novelty and inventiveness requirements.
February 21, 2017

What is a Priority Certificate?

A priority certificate provides official proof of a patent application in Japan.  This request can be made by filling out and submitting a form, along with a small fee.  The form needs to be submitted in Japanese.
January 30, 2017

Is an American trademark guaranteed protection in Japan?

While the US and Japanese trademark system share many similarities, they are separate systems, designed to be enforced and regulated separately.  While having an American trademark may help in the application process for a Japanese trademark, it is not a guarantee that a Japanese trademark will be granted.