General Practice

November 16, 2018

Is it necessary to file a request for an examination in addition to a patent application in Japan?

In Japan, the a patent application merely starts the process of obtaining a patent for your invention and inventors should be aware that there are additional steps to the process after the application is filed.  Specifically, one of the most important steps following the application is filing a request for examination of the patent. The Japan Patent Office will not examine a patent without being requested to do so and if the applicant does not submit a request within 3 years of filing his or her application the application will be considered withdrawn and no patent will be granted. For […]
November 16, 2018

What industries are common in the Kansai area?

The Kansai area, composed of the area surrounding Osaka, Kyoto, Kobe and Nara, has been a major hub of business and commerce since ancient times in Japan.  Kansai’s traditional role as a hub of industry continues to this day but modern enterprises have taken their place alongside more traditional crafts. Some of the major companies that have their headquarters in the Kansai area include, Sharp, Panasonic, Mitsubishi and Kyocera.  The Kansai area also is home to a majority of Japan’s high tech solar power and advanced battery industries.  On the other hand, traditional crafts and tourism related industries still thrive […]
November 14, 2018

Are there any mandatory provisions that must be included in a contract?

For the most part, parties have freedom of contract in Japan and are allowed to include, or not include, whatever they want in their contract.  However, there are exceptions to this generally lenient rule and the mandatory provisions included in the Japan Civil Code are one exception. Certain contracts are subject to special mandatory provisions that are automatically inserted into the contract by law.  One example is for contracts governing the lease of land for the purpose of owning a building.  The Land Lease and House Lease Act provides that these contracts shall have a minimum term of 30 years.  […]
August 2, 2018

Are there any limits on what can be contracted to in Japan?

Parties in Japan are free to contract regarding almost anything but contracts that are against public policy are considered void.  This makes sense and most people would agree that the concerns of public health and safety outweigh the parties’ right to enforce a contract for the sale of illegal drugs.  However, there is no specific line to determine which contracts will be considered as “against public policy,” and contracts that might infringe on public policy are dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Sometimes these public policy goals may not be as obvious as the above example where the contract in […]