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

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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.

Mostly, the “highly advanced” requirement contained in the Patent Act is used to separate inventions that are deserving of patents from devices that should be protected with utility models.  If a patent application fails for not being “highly advanced” it may be worthwhile investigating whether a utility model application might be more appropriate.

If you have questions about filing for a patent in Japan, please contact our office to set up a legal consultation.