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Welcome to the website of Inoue & Associates

Introductory Statement

Inoue & Associates (located within 1 minute walk from the Japan Patent Office) is an intellectual property (IP) firm having more than 35 years of experience in international IP business.

We are a modest-sized IP firm composed of members each having profound knowledge about the legal aspect of IP and the technologies involved therein as well as excellent skill in actual IP practice, such that high quality services can be offered constantly at a reasonable price.  Each one of our staff members is so trained as to be able to always provide high quality IP-related services including production of documents having a clear and logical construction whether they are in English or Japanese and irrespective of urgency or technical difficulties involved in particular cases.

Over the years, we have built up a solid reputation for our ability to efficiently acquire and protect IP rights in Japan.

We are confident that we can provide higher quality IP services than any other IP firms in Japan.


Features of Inoue & Associates

For acquiring and protecting patent rights, everything starts from the claims and specification of a patent application or a granted patent.  Whether a patent application can be granted with a desired protective scope or a granted patent can survive the challenge from a third party depends utterly on how good the claims and specification have been drafted in the first place.

Invalidation of patents, unexpectedly narrow scope of protection, defeat in infringement suit … all such undesired outcome could have been avoided only if the patent application had been better drafted. 

In the case of Japanese patent applications filed by non-Japanese entities, the claims and specification are usually translations from the non-Japanese texts of the first filed foreign applications or PCT applications. 

From this perspective, the translation of the patent claims and specification is actually more than just a translation and is practically tantamount to the preparation of a legal document which serves as a basis for seeking patent protection.  For this reason, the translation should be done with utmost care by IP professionals such as experienced patent attorneys or paralegals

And that is what we do and is not done by most of the IP firms in Japan

 

Problems related to traditional way of handling patent applications from outside Japan

In typical Japanese IP firms, applications from foreign clients are handled by a team of an IP professional (a patent attorney or a paralegal) and a translator. For example, the translation of a PCT specification for the Japan national phase entry is often carried out by one who is the least experienced in the IP firm or even by an outside translator.

The IP professions work on legal matters based on the translations prepared by translators which are not always so good or of a rather poor quality in many cases. This manner of handling patents is disadvantageous not only from the aspect of efficiency but also from the aspect of cost because poor translations of course make the entire procedure unnecessarily complicated and high translation fees are required even if the translations are not so good. Such inefficient and problematic practice as mentioned above has become customary because many Japanese IP professionals are not good at writing in English or even reading English documents, and the English-to-Japanese translations are generally assigned to beginners.

Consequently, many Japanese IP professionals have to rely on poor translations in their works, thus falling into a vicious cycle. It is not surprising even if patent applications from foreign clients are handled by those who do not fully understand what is disclosed in the original specification nor the clients’ instructions given in English during the prosecution of the application. For years, this has been a serious problem as far as the patent applications from outside Japan are concerned.

Our Solution

Such problems as mentioned above will never happen in the case of Inoue & Associates. Every one of our staff members has gone through very hard training and long actual experience to acquire ability to handle the IP cases alone from drafting patent specifications whether they are in Japanese or English to dealing with various procedures relating to patent applications or registered patents. We do not need and actually do not use any translator. Even in the case of foreign patent applications (in US, EP etc.) filed by Japanese applicants through our firm, the US or European patent attorneys often use our draft documents without any substantial change. That is, the documents drafted by Inoue & Associates as such are often submitted to the USPTO or the EPO.

There is no magic formula for acquiring good IP rights. This can be achieved only by hard work and skill obtainable through long and rich experience as always required in any fields for realizing high quality services.

Inoue & Associates is one of the very limited number of Japanese IP firms capable of constantly offering high quality IP services at a reasonable price. There has been and will be no compromise in the quality of services we provide to our clients and, for this very reason, we have been trusted by many foreign clients as well as domestic clients.

Our skill in IP business is highly esteemed by our clients including two famous Japanese professors emeriti, Dr. Nobuatsu Watanabe and Dr. Hidefumi Hirai, whose recommendations are shown in this web site. Further, if requested, we will be able to show you copies of some letters from various US and EP attorneys praising our abilities.

Our highly-skilled staff members will surely be of great help to your establishment of strong and valuable intellectual property portfolio while reducing cost.

If you are not sure, try us and we promise that we will never fall short of your expectations. You will immediately realize that we are dedicated to efficient acquisition and protection of your valuable intellectual properties and have skills to achieve this goal.

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宣誓供述書の書き方について(2):米国(Part 2)

[例2] この例においては、[例1]のように宣誓供述書の供述内容を別紙のExhibit(甲号証又は乙号証)とはしていません。また、発明者以外によって署名された例です。

内容としては、医療装置(変形爪の矯正装置)に関する二次的考慮事項(商業的成功など)に関して提出したものです。(米国出願の中間処理において弊所が実際に提出したものに基づいていますが、固有名詞・用語・数値などは適宜変更してあります。)

(商業的成功に関する宣誓供述書の書式の1例)

IN THE U.S. PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

Applicant:Taro YAMADA
Serial No.:XX/XXX,XXX
Filed:XXXX, 20XX
For:APPARATUS FOR CORRECTING AN INGROWN NAIL
Art Unit:3772
Examiner:Dan HICKS

 



DECLARATION UNDER 37 C.F.R. 1.132

 

    I, Goro Kimura, a Japanese citizen residing at XXXX, Tokyo, Japan, declare and say: 
    I was graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, XXX University in March 2005.
    In April 2005, I entered XYZ Clinic where I have been practicing the treatment of hallux valgus and ingrown nails.
    I am well familiar with the present case.
    I read and understood the Office Action dated XXXX, 2011 and references cited therein. I have carried out treatments of ingrown nails with the apparatus disclosed in claim 1 of the present application at XYZ Clinic following the instructions given by Mr. Taro Yamada who is the director of the clinic and is the inventor of the present application. Some of the results of the treatments are as reported in the website of XYZ Clinic at http://www.adcdefg-hijk.com.
    In the website, three cases of treatments are reported.  The treatments were performed using an apparatus as shown in Fig. A attached hereto.  As can be seen from Fig. A, the apparatus falls within the scope of claim 1 of the present application.
    As to the three cases (cases 1 to 3), the nails before and after the treatments are shown in Figs. B, C and D attached hereto, which are also shown at the above-mentioned website of XYZ Clinic.  In each of the tree treatments, the apparatus as shown in Fig. A was used as mentioned above.  Further, the reagents and operations in cases 1 to 3 were substantially the same as recited in Example 1 of the present application (paragraphs [00XX] to [00XX] of the specification of the present application) except that the inclination angle A of the lifting members, the lifting intervals and the nail correcting force were slightly varied depending on the characteristics of the ingrown nails of the patients.  As reported in the website of XYZ Clinic, the details of cases 1 to 3 are as follows.

Case 1:
Patient's gender and age:
    A female in her 30's.

Patient's background: 
    The patient wished to avoid a painful treatment because she had heard her acquaintance's report about having received a very painful operation for correcting an ingrown nail at another hospital which seemed to have been carried out without anesthesia.  The patient came to XYZ Clinic because she was attracted by the painless treatment of this clinic.

Results:
    The ingrown nail was corrected as shown in Fig. B by a single treatment which took about only 30 minutes.  The patient was satisfied with the results of the treatment because the ingrown nail had been corrected without feeling any pain during and after the treatment.

Case 2:
Patient's gender and age:
 
    A female in her 40's.

Patient's background: 
    The patient had a previous experience of nail-correction using a wire device which is to be hooked to the edges of the ingrown sides of the nail and is designed to lift the ingrown sides by pulling the hooked portions of the wire toward the center of the nail.
    However, she needed to go to the hospital so frequently that it became troublesome to her. As a result, the patient stopped going to the hospital before the completion of the nail correction.
    The patient also had a previous experience of nail-correction using a correction plate which is to be adhered on the surface of an ingrown nail and lifts the ingrown sides of the nail by the spring force of the plate, but the plate came off from the nail soon.

Results: 
    The ingrown nail was corrected as shown in Fig. C by performing twice an approx. 30-minute treatment, and the patient was pleased with the result.

Case 3:
Patient's gender and age: 
    A female in her 50's.

Patient's background: 
    Previously, the patient had her ingrown nail corrected by treatment using a wire device similar to that used by the patient of case 2, which treatment lasted about 18 months. However, the ingrown nail recurred after the termination of the treatment.

Results: 
    The ingrown nail was corrected as shown in Fig. D by a single approx. 30-minute treatment.  During and after the treatment, the patient did not feel any pain nor uncomfortable feeling.

    Finally, it should be added that almost all of the 900 patients having received this treatment so far were very satisfied with the results.

    From the above, it is apparent that the apparatus of the present invention surely enables the correction of an ingrown nail within a very short period of time, 1.e., within about 30 minutes to about 1 hour, with a very simple operation and without causing any pain nor uncomfortable feeling to the patent.
    Thus, the apparatus of the present invention has realized a surprisingly easy and effective treatment which is far more advantageous than the conventional surgical removal method which is complicated, cumbersome and is accompanied by pain during or after the surgery and risk of microbial infection, and the conventional treatments using various correction devices or apparatuses which are in many cases not so effective and require very long treatment periods.

    The undersigned petitioner declares that all statements made herein of his own knowledge are true and that all statements made on information and belief are believed to be true; and further that these statements were made with the knowledge that willful false statements and the like so made are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, under Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code and that such willful false statements may jeopardize the validity of the application or any patent issuing thereon.

Date:

(宣誓者の署名)
Goro Kimura

タグ:

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宣誓供述書の書き方について(1):米国(Part 1)

今回は、米国出願における37 C.F.R. § 1.132に基づくDeclaration又はAffidavit(以下、纏めて「宣誓供述書」と証す)の書式についてご説明します。(宣誓供述書で証明が可能な事項については、こちらで説明しております。)

1.形式的な要件

 宣誓供述書に記載する事項は、以下の通りです。

① 「IN THE U.S. PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE」と冒頭に記載する。
② 出願を特定する情報(出願人、出願日、出願番号、審査官の氏名など)。
③ 「DECLARATION UNDER 37 C.F.R. 1.132」という表題。
④ 宣誓者(declarant)の情報、具体的には、氏名、住所、最終学歴、職歴(職歴は、宣誓者として相応しいことを示すことができる限り、「~の研究や開発」という程度で構わない)。こちらでも説明しました通り、宣誓者としては、客観性の観点からは発明者以外が好ましいとされていますが、発明者でも支障はありません。
⑤ 宣誓者と本出願との関係。宣誓者が本出願の現状を理解していること。
⑥ 具体的な供述内容。
⑦ 供述内容に虚偽が無いことの宣誓。
⑧ 署名と日付。

2.供述内容

宣誓供述書を提出する状況として最も多いのは、自明性の拒絶を受けて、それに対して予想外の結果(unexpected results)を証明する場合であると思います。その場合の注意事項を以下に挙げます。

当然のことながら、回答の方針を念頭に入れて作成する必要があります。できれば、宣誓供述書を考慮させたただけで、自明性の拒絶理由が撤回されるような内容にすることが望ましいです。

これに関連して、実験報告書の原案を発明者の方が作成し、それを実質的にそのまま翻訳して提出してしまうということが実務上よく行われています。そして発明者の方は、技術の専門家ではありますが特許の専門家ではないために、必ずしも的確とは言えない内容の宣誓供述書になってしまっているというケースを目にすることがあります。その場合、いかに審査官が供述内容を真摯に検討しようとも、拒絶の撤回の根拠とはならないという状況に陥ってしまいます。従って、少なくとも発明と拒絶理由の内容を完全に理解した国内代理人に宣誓供述書の和文ドラフトを作成させて、それを翻訳させることが望ましいと考えます。(弊所では、必ず発明と拒絶の内容を理解した担当者本人が、英語で宣誓供述書を作成します。)

供述内容の決定手順の例を以下に挙げます。

① 現時点(補正後)のクレームの範囲を把握する。

② 先行技術との違いを特定する。

③ 上記の違いによって効果に差が生じるということが明確になるようなデータを取得する(実施例と比較例の結果の相違がこの特徴の違いに起因することが明確になるような条件設定とし、ここで行う比較実験が先行技術の再現実験として認められるような条件を採用しているかなどの点に留意する)。

④ 発明の特徴と効果の因果関係が明確になるようにデータの提示手段を工夫する。

⑤ データの量が不充分とみなされる可能性がある場合、既存のデータに基づいて、その結果がデータ不足分にも適用が可能であることを、合理的に説明する。場合によっては、公知文献に参照する。

⑥ 結論部(Conclusion)において、提示したデータが非自明の根拠として十分であることを簡潔に整理して説明する。

3.具体例

具体的な宣誓供述書の例を下記に示します。(米国出願の中間処理において弊所が実際に提出したものに基づいていますが、固有名詞・用語・数値などは適宜変更してあります。)

[例1]この例は、新たな実験を行うのではなく、明細書の実施例のデータに基づく考察を行って、結論を述べているものです。

供述内容が長くなる場合や、実験証明書を別途添付したい場合には、下記の例のように詳細をExhibit No.(書証番号、日本での甲号証や乙号証に相当)を付した別紙に記載します。

この例では別紙のExhibit 1において実施例のデータに基づく考察を詳しく行い、上記「⑤ 具体的な供述内容」でその内容を要約して述べています。もちろん、新たな実験に基づく宣誓供述書の場合は、別紙のExhibitにおいてその新たな実験の詳細と結果を述べて、上記「⑤ 具体的な供述内容」でその内容を要約して述べます。

宣誓供述書で結論を含む概要を述べ、詳細は別紙のExhibitとすることのメリットとしては、特に供述内容が長かったり複雑である場合に、審査官に先ず宣誓供述書で供述内容の概要を把握させ、その後、別紙のExhibitに記載された詳細により供述内容の合理性を判断させることにより、供述内容を容易且つ確実に理解してもらえるということが挙げられます。

尚、宣誓者(署名する人)の人称ですが、以前は弊所の実務として"he"や"she"などの三人称を使用しておりましたが、米国の代理人より一人称の"I"を使用するようにとのアドバイスを受けて、現在はこれに従っています。

(明細書の実施例のデータに基づく宣誓供述書の書式の1例)

IN THE U.S. PATENT AND TRADEMARK OFFICE

Applicants: Ichiro SUZUKI et al.
Serial No.: XX/XXX,XXX
Filed: June 10 20XX
For: POLYETHYLENE TEREPHTHALATE RESIN
Art Unit: 4133
Examiner: Thomas More


DECLARATION UNDER 37 C.F.R. 1.132

I, the undersigned, Ichiro SUZUKI, a Japanese citizen, residing at xxxxx, Akasaka 1-Chome, Minatoku, Tokyo 107-0052 Japan, hereby declare and state that:
I took a master course at the Department of Applied Chemistry, School of Engineering, ABCDE University, and I was graduated therefrom in March 1990.[*博士号取得者の場合: I was graduated in 1985 from the Department of Applied Chemistry, Faculty of Engineering, ABCDE University, and took a doctor course in the Graduate School of Engineering, ABCDE University, majoring in applied chemistry, from which I was granted the degree of doctor in 1990.]
I entered FGHIJ Polymer Chemical Co., Ltd. in April 1990.
I have been engaged in the research and development of high performance polyester resins from April 1990 to date.
I am one of the applicants of the above-identified application and I am well familiar with the present case. I have read and understood the Office Action dated October 10, 2007 and the references cited therein.
I carried out Examples 1 to 25 and Comparative Examples 1 to 20 of the present application, and the results are as described on pages 160 to 220 of the specification of the present application.
I have made observations, with reference to Examples 1 and 2 and Comparative Examples 1, 4 and 9 of the present application, to show that both of the side reaction index (C) requirement (i.e., less than 0.055) of step (1) and the "molten state" requirement of step (2) of the method of claim 4 of the present application must be satisfied for producing the polyethylene terephthalate resin of the present invention which possesses all excellent properties recited in claim 1 of the present application. (Hereinafter, the former requirement is simply referrred to as "side reaction index (C) requirement", and the latter requirement is simply referred to as "molten state requirement".)  The method and results are as described in a paper attached hereto and marked "Exhibit 1".

From the results of Exhibit 1, it can be fairly concluded:
that, as shown in Table A in Exhibit 1, the process employed in each of Examples 1 and 2 satisfies all requirements of claim 4 of the present application, whereas:

each of Comparative Examples 1 and 4 employs a crude PET resin having a C value of 0.082 and, hence, do not satisfy the side reaction index (C) requirement, and 

Comparative Example 9 employs a solid-phase polymerization process and, hence, does not satisfy the molten state requirement

that the results of Examples 1 and 2 (i.e. the properties of the PET resins obtained) are excellent; specifically, the obtained PET resins possess all of the target properties recited in claim 1 of the present application (Table B in Exhibit 1);

that the results of Comparative Examples 1 and 4 are poor in that the PET resins obtained in Comparative Examples 1 and 4, respectively, exhibit cyclic polymer contents (% by weight) of 3.45 and 3.34, which exceed the upper limit (not greater than 3 % by weight) recited in claim 1 of the present application (Table B in Exhibit 1);

that the results of Comparative Example 9 are poor in that the obtained PET resin not only exhibits a molecular weight distribution (Mw/Mn) of 3, which exceeds the upper limit (from 2 to 2.7) recited in claim 1 of the present application, but also exhibits disadvantageously high crystallinity of 55 (which causes high brittleness)  (Table B in Exhibit 1);

that, thus, through a comparison between Examples 1 and 2 and Comparative Examples 1 and 4, it is clear that the polyethylene terephthalate resin of the present invention cannot be obtained when the crude PET resin used does not satisfy the side reaction index (C) requirement; in other words, the side reaction index (C) requirement is critical for producing the polyethylene terephthalate resin of the present invention which possesses all excellent properties recited in claim 1 of the present application;

that, further, through a comparison between Examples 1 and 2 and Comparative Example 9, it is clear that the polyethylene terephthalate resin of the present invention cannot be obtained by a solid-phase polymerization process that is a representative conventional process; in other words, the molten state requirement is also critical for producing the excellent polyethylene terephthalate resin of the present invention;

that Comparative Example 9 also shows that, even in the case where the requirements of step (1) of the method of claim 4 (including the side reaction index (C) requirement) are satisfied, the excellent PET resin of the present invention cannot be obtained when the molten state requirement is not satisfied;

that thus, it is apparent that the polyethylene terephthalate resin of the present invention which possesses all excellent properties recited in claim 1 of the present application can be obtained only when the process employed satisfies both of the side reaction index (C) requirement and the molten state requirement.

The undersigned petitioner declares that all statements made herein of his own knowledge are true and that all statements made on information and belief are believed to be true; and further that these statements were made with the knowledge that willful false statements and the like so made are punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both, under Section 1001 of Title 18 of the United States Code and that such willful false statements may jeopardize the validity of the application or any patent issuing thereon.

Date:

(宣誓者の署名) Ichiro SUZUKI

タグ:

特許  米国  出願  クレーム  発明  日本  補正  記載  提出  必要  明細書  上記  以下  application  翻訳  審査  効果  拒絶  or  be  patent  先行技術  判断  可能  弊所  英語  宣誓供述書  出願人  比較  審査官  適用  データ  作成  Japan  実施例  an  範囲  説明  可能性  要件  メリット  Japanese  検討  not  with  変更  情報  考慮  理由  具体的  特徴  claim  明確  実際  拒絶理由  使用  Action  米国出願  Office  特定  発明者  公知  action  EP  文献  date  at  技術  容易  one  art  採用  出願日  invention  注意  実験  present  実施  十分  after  any  以前  内容  理解  has  grant  search  結果  観点  概要  現在  状況  above  詳細  根拠  形式  関連  実質的  only  been  www  case  決定  参照  代理人  書式  such  use  other  自明性  pace  may  条件  取得  証明  phase  will  以外  ケース  自明  手段  we  method  under  当然  specification  合理的  than  between  made  事項  results  提示  充分  all  but  right  相違  相当  中間処理  having  処理  Act  must  国内  also  through  information  process  resin  was  there  用語  専門家  Art  requirement  程度  applicant  回答  実務  step  具体例  比較例  both  so  excellent  ex  high  University  Engineering  時点  下記  even  re  parent  granted  each  residing  確実  今回  Declaration  供述内容  署名  中間  Applicant  April  完全  予想外  担当  identified  obtained  Exhibit  Examples  form  Applicants  関係  現時点  注意事項  statements  公知文献  further  撤回  SUZUKI  out  XX  shown  including  state  producing  Tokyo  数値  properties  United  reaction  Ex  Examiner  有名  日付  Comparative  Ichiro  used  宣誓  do  PATENT  referred  does  were  States  宣誓者  Affidavit  simply  index  念頭  添付  手順  requirements  respect  XXX  補正後  where  inoue  実験証明書  ep  複雑  実務上  考察  予想  School  clear  carried  obtain  side  Chemical  knowledge  Department  recited  well  本人  本出願  比較実験  true  reference  like  PET  結論  起因  番号  applied  供述書  cited  和文  terephthalate  limit  polyethylene  Graduate  declare  簡潔  molten  course  therein  these  willful  開発  satisfied  petition  references  her  別紙  per  applicants  Date  Table  現状  am  客観性  sea  its  把握  Title  poor  バイ  resins  支障  ku  非自明  his  herein  出願番号  result  March  工夫  statement  OFFICE  最終  Example  形式的  アドバイス  EC  citizen  convention  住所  described  代理  dated  thus  thereon  understood  valid  undersigned  冒頭  再現  固有名詞  weight  xxx  words  宣誓供述  issuing  degree  的確  require  ratio  既存  act  chemistry  petitioner  part  less  specific  hence  DECLARATION  留意  she  false  exhibits  hereby  how  satisfy  Faculty  believed  apparent  職歴  attached  familiar  development  現実  conventional  不充分  doctor  発明者以外  ABCDE  20XX  UNDER  要約  TRADEMARK  advantage  虚偽  ドラフト  able  October  適宜変更  late  representative  担当者  unexpected  show  氏名  up  isa  報告  own  possesses  方針  polymer  perform  実験証明  実験報告書  xxxx  now  took  graduated  therefrom  hereto  solid  研究  真摯  不足  乙号証  原案  先行  再現実験  別途  明細  設定  Section  Serial  State  major  man  advantageous  master  Unit  read  punishable  Hereinafter  red  polymerization  Polymer  More  Minatoku  Minato  fr  declares  former  content  contents  critical  crude  great  greater  employed  exhibit  employs  entered  ed  fine  invent  jeopardize  belief  believe  imprisonment  comparison  inform  causes  validity  satisfies  uses  Akasaka  upper  respectively  try  FGHIJ  xx  xxxxx  Chemistry  Code  Chome  Applied  shows  signed  DE  whereas  Filed 

Attorney/Recommendations

Patent Attorney

Name:  Junzo WATANABE

Registration No.:  11683 (registered in 2000)

Education:   

  Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kumamoto University

  Department of Law, Faculty of Law, Chuo University

Recommendations

■1) Nobuatsu Watanabe [Title: Professor Emeritus of Kyoto University, Doctor of Engineering; Award: The Chemical Society Japan Award (1980), Purple Ribbon Medal (Shijuhosho) (1987), etc.]

Mr. Inoue, the Senior Partner, is my former student. He has both excellent linguistic ability and excellent expertise. The staff of Inoue & Associates are well-trained by Mr. Inoue, and the high quality services provided by Mr. Inoue and his staff are self-explanatory from the documents made by them. From my experience, I firmly believe that they will help you to promptly and surely acquire intellectual property rights, based on adequate judgment made by fully utilizing their professional skills in combination with their rich experience in pursuit of patent rights in many countries for many years.

■2) Hidefumi Hirai [Title: Professor Emeritus of The University of Tokyo, Doctor of Engineering; Award: The Chemical Society Japan Award (1984), etc.]

Mr. Inoue, the Senior Partner, and his staff are familiar with foreign patent laws and patent practices. Further, the quality of their services based on accurate understanding of technical background and excellent linguistic ability is prominent in this business. In addition, Mr. Inoue already has his appropriate successor and I, therefore, trust Inoue & Associates for their excellent procedures of filing patent applications through reliable prosecutions for grant of patents.

米国での審査における実施可能性、新規性、非自明性の判断基準について

米国での審査通知への回答書において米国代理人が米国審査基準(MPEP)に参照して実施可能性・新規性・非自明性の法律的基準について述べた説明で、原則的な部分を理解する上で参考になるものがありましたので、多少補足を加えた上で、以下に紹介します。参考までに、英語と日本語訳文の両方を併記します。

Legal Standard for Enablement(実施可能性の法律的基準について)

The Federal Circuit has repeatedly held that "the specification must teach those skilled in the art how to make and use the full scope of the claimed invention without 'undue experimentation'." In re Wright, 999 F.2d 1557, 1561, 27 USPQ2d 1510, 1513 (Fed. Cir. 1993).(連邦巡回裁判所はたびたび、以下の趣旨の判断を示してきた:「明細書は、当業者が『過度な実験』を行なうことなく本発明の全範囲を実現して使用するための方法を教示しなければならない」)

Nevertheless, not everything necessary to practice the invention need be disclosed. In fact, what is well-known is best omitted. In re Buchner, 929 F.2d 660, 661, 18 USPQ2d 1331, 1332 (Fed. Cir. 1991).(しかし、発明の実施に必要な全てを開示する必要はない。実際、周知のものは省略しても構わない。)

All that is necessary is that one skilled in the art be able to practice the claimed invention, given the level of knowledge and skill in the art. Further the scope of enablement must only bear a "reasonable correlation" to the scope of the claims. See, e.g., In re Fisher, 427 F.2d 833, 839, 166 USPQ 18, 24 (CCPA 1970).(必要なことは、当業界の知識と技術の水準に鑑みて、クレームされた発明を当業者が実施できるように記載されていることだけである。)

As concerns the breadth of a claim relevant to enablement, the only relevant concern should be whether the scope of enablement provided to one skilled in the art by the disclosure is commensurate with the scope of protection sought by the claims. In re Moore, 439 F.2d 1232, 1236, 169 USPQ 236, 239 (CCPA 1971).(実施可能性との関連におけるクレームの広さについては、明細書の開示により当業者に提供された実施可能性と、クレームが要求する保護の範囲とが一致していさえすればよい。) How a teaching is set forth, by specific example or broad terminology, is not important. In re Marzocchi, 439 F.2d 220, 223-24 169 USPQ 367, 370 (CCPA 1971).(教示の記載の仕方については、どのように記載されていても構わず、具体的実施態様による記載でもよいし、広い用語による記載でもよい。)

Legal Standard for Determining Anticipation(新規性判断の法律的基準について)

"A claim is anticipated only if each and every element as set forth in the claim is found, either expressly or inherently described, in a single prior art reference." Verdegaal Bros. v. Union Oil Co. of California, 814 F.2d 628, 631, 2 USPQ2d 1051, 1053 (Fed. Cir. 1987).(クレームに記載される全ての要素が明示的または潜在的に単一の先行技術文献に記載されている場合にのみ、クレームの新規性が欠如する。)

"When a claim covers several structures or compositions, either generically or as alternatives, the claim is deemed anticipated if any of the structures or compositions within the scope of the claim is known in the prior art." Brown v. 3M, 265 F.3d 1349, 1351, 60 USPQ2d 1375, 1376 (Fed. Cir. 2001) (クレームが複数の構造や組成物を含む場合には、複数の構造または複数の組成物のいずれか1でも先行技術文献に記載されているならば、クレームの新規性が欠如する。)

"The identical invention must be shown in as complete detail as is contained in the ... claim." Richardson v. Suzuki Motor Co., 868 F.2d 1226, 1236, 9 USPQ2d 1913, 1920 (Fed. Cir. 1989).(クレームされるものと詳細まで完全に一致する発明が示されていることが必要である)

The elements must be arranged as required by the claim, but this is not an ipsissimis verbis test, i.e., identity of terminology is not required. In re Bond, 910 F.2d 831, 15 USPQ2d 1566 (Fed. Cir. 1990).(クレームが要求する通りに要素が配置されていることが必要であるが、用語が同一である必要はない。)

Legal Standard for Prima Facie Obviousness (一応の自明性の判断の法律的基準について)

MPEP § 2141 sets forth the guidelines in determining obviousness. First, the Examiner has to take into account the factual inquiries set forth in Graham v. John Deere Co., 383 U.S. 1, 17, 148 USPQ 459 (1966), which has provided the controlling framework for an obviousness analysis.(MPEP § 2141には、自明性を判断するガイドラインが示されている。審査官は、まず、グラハム事件で採用された事実認定基準(いわゆる、Grahamテスト)を考慮しなければならない。) The four Graham factors are(4つのGrahamテストは以下の通りである):

(a) determining the scope and contents of the prior art(先行技術の範囲と内容を決定すること);

(b) ascertaining the differences between the prior art and the claims in issue(先行技術と当該クレームとの差を明確にすること);

(c) resolving the level of ordinary skill in the pertinent art(当業者の技術水準を確定すること); and

(d) evaluating any evidence of secondary considerations(二次的考慮事項の証拠を評価すること). Graham v. John Deere Co., 383 U.S. 1, 17, 148 USPQ 459, 467 (1966).

Second, the Examiner has to provide some rationale for determining obviousness.(次に審査官は、自明性を支持するための何らかの論理付けを提示することが必要である。) MPEP § 2143 sets forth some rationales that were established in the recent decision of KSR International Co. v Teleflex Inc., 82 USPQ2d 1385 (U.S. 2007)(MPEP § 2143には、KSR事件で確立された論理付けが示されている。). Exemplary rationales that may support a conclusion of obviousness include(自明性を支持するための典型的な論理付けは以下の通りである。):

(a) combining prior art elements according to known methods to yield predictable results(先行技術の要素を公知の方法で組み合わせて予想可能な結果を得ること);

(b) simple substitution of one known element for another to obtain predictable results(ある公知の要素を他の要素で単純に置換して予想可能な結果を得ること);

(c) use of known technique to improve similar devices (methods, or products) in the same way(公知技術を用いて類似の装置(方法や製品)を同様に改善すること);

(d) applying a known technique to a known device (method, or product) ready for improvement to yield predictable results(改善可能な状態にある公知の装置(方法や製品)に公知技術を適用して予想可能な結果を得ること);

(e) "obvious to try" - choosing from a finite number of identified, predictable solutions, with a reasonable expectation of success(「試みることが自明」-成功するという合理的な期待を持って、特定された予測可能な有限個の解決方法から選択すること);

(f) known work in one field of endeavor may prompt variations of it for use in either the same field or a different one based on design incentives or other market forces if the variations are predictable to one of ordinary skill in the art(ある技術分野において公知のものは、設計上の動機やその他の市場の力に基づいて、同じ技術分野や異なる技術分野で使用するためのバリエーションが当業者によって予測可能であれば、そのようなバリエーションを促すかもしれない。); and

(g) some teaching, suggestion, or motivation in the prior art that would have led one of ordinary skill to modify the prior art reference or to combine prior art reference teachings to arrive at the claimed invention.(先行技術文献を改変したり先行技術文献の教示を組み合わせてクレームされた発明に到達するように当業者を導いたであろう、先行技術における教示、示唆または動機。)

As the MPEP directs, all claim limitations must be considered in view of the cited prior art in order to establish a prima facie case of obviousness. See MPEP § 2143.03.(MPEPが示すように、一応の自明性を確立するためには、引用例に鑑みてクレームの全ての限定事項を考慮する必要がある。)

タグ:

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《判決文》

(和英)

原文:

そして前記アで説示したとおり、相互に非相溶の樹脂同士を溶融混練すれば、体積割合の多い 方の樹脂が構成する海(連続相)の中で、少ない方の樹脂相が島構造となる可能性が高いこと は、当業者であれば容易に予想することができること、もともと海相中に含まれる導電性物質 等の第3成分が島相に移行するためには、海相中を移動する島相が当該第3成分と接して、なお かつ海相-島相間の海面を拡散して島相中へ入り込む必要があり、拡散が通常は正逆方向に移 行可能な反応であること(移行の程度は異なっても、一旦島相に入り込んだ第3成分が再び海相 へ戻る可能性もある。)をも考え合わせると、当初は海相中にのみ含まれていた導電性物質等の 第3成分が、押出機等による比較的短い時間での溶融混練中に海相から島相へ一方的に大量に移 行し、過半を超えるような事態は当業者においておよそ想定しがたいものと認められるから、 「導電性物質の局在化が保たれる」との本件審決の認定に誤りはない。

 英訳文:

Further, as explained in item A above, those skilled in the art can readily anticipate that, when two types of resins which are incompatible with each other are melt-kneaded, a resin having a smaller volume ratio is very likely to form an island structure in the sea portion (continuous phase) formed by another resin having a larger volume ratio.   In addition, the migration of a third component (such as an electroconductive substance) which has originally been contained in a resin forming a sea phase into an island phase requires not only the contact between the island phase (moving through the sea phase) with the third component but also the diffusion of the third component at the sea phase-island phase interface into the island phase (further, it is possible that the third component which has once migrated into the island phase returns to the sea phase although the extent of the migration may vary).  In view of the above, it is recognized that those skilled in the art would hardly expect a migration of a large amount of a third component (such as an electroconductive substance) which has originally been contained only in a resin forming a sea phase into an island phase during the melt-kneading performed by an extruder or the like only for a relatively short time, which results in the presence of more than half amount of the third component in the island phase. Therefore, the Board of Appeal has not erred in recognizing that “localized dispersion of the electroconductive substance is maintained”.


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