amended

Divisional Application

Q1. Is it possible to file a divisional application from a pending Japanese patent application?

A1.  A divisional application can be filed from a pending Japanese patent application, but periods for filing a divisional application depends on the filing date of the parent application.

 Divisional application from a parent application filed on or before March 31, 2007 can be filed: 

  (1) any time until the 1st Office Action is issued by the Patent Office,

  (2) within a period for filing a response to an Office Action, and

  (3) simultaneously with the filing of a Notice of Appeal.

 Divisional application from a parent application filed on or after April 1, 2007 can be filed: 

  (1) any time until the 1st Office Action is issued by the Patent Office,

  (2) within a period for filing a response to an Office Action,

  (3) within a period when a Notice of Appeal can be filed against the Decision for Rejection (*note that a divisional application can be filed within this period even without the actual filing of a Notice of Appeal or even after the filing of the Notice of Appeal), and

  (4) within 30 days from the issuance of a Decision to Grant.

Q2. Our patent application in Japan was granted as a result of an Appeal against the Decision for Rejection.  Is it possible to file a new divisional application from the granted patent application?

A2.  No.  Regardless of the filing date of the parent application, when an Appeal is filed, a divisional application cannot be filed any longer after the final decision.

Q3. Is the filing of only claims sufficient for filing a divisional application?

A3.  Not only claims, but the whole specification including drawings and sequence listing (if any) is required.  Further, filing of an explanatory Written Statement on the divisional application for explaining (1) supports for the claims, and (2) differences between the parent application and the present divisional application is required by the Japan Patent Office. 

Q4. Is it acceptable to first file a divisional application with the same claims as the patent application and then later amend the claims? 

A4.  Yes, it is acceptable as long as the claims are to be amended later during the prosecution of the divisional so as not to overlap with those of the parent because no double patenting is permitted. 

The Applicant is requested to file a Written Statement for explaining how the divisional differs from the parent, etc.   The Statement should be filed earlier than or simultaneously with the filing of a request for examination.

Further, in the case of a divisional application from a parent application filed on or after April 1, 2007, the claims of such a divisional application (which may be submitted as amendment after filing of the divisional) should be drafted so as to remove all of the reasons for rejection issued against the parent.  When the examiner finds that the claims of the divisional can be rejected on the same ground as the parent, the first Notice of Rejection is made final, and permissible claim amendments are restricted as in the case of the "amendment after final Rejection".  Please see item “Restriction to Permissible Claim Amendments After Final Rejection” for more details.

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Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Program

Q1. Is a prosecution under the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program*1 available in Japan?

A1.  Yes.  The PPH programs have been implemented between the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Patent Offices of the following countries (as of August 2012):  Austria, Canada, China, Denmark, EPO, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Israel, Korea, Mexico, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Singapore, Spain, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. 

The JPO also implements the PPH MOTTAINAI pilot program*2 with the following countries (as of August 2012):  Australia, Canada, EPO, Finland, Russia, Spain, United Kingdom, and United States.

*1 The PPH program is a framework in which a patent application with claims determined to be patentable by the Office of First Filing is eligible to go through an accelerated examination in the Office(s) of Second Filing, upon the applicant’s request.

*2 The PPH MOTTAINAI pilot program is a PPH program which enables an applicant to make PPH requests at the Office of Later Examination (OLE) by relying on the examination results of the Office of Earlier Examination (OEE), provided that the OEE and OLE have a PPH MOTTAINAI agreement.  In this program, OEE may not be the Office of First Filing, and accelerated examination can be filed based on the examination results of the Office(s) of Second Filing.

Q2. What are the documents necessary for filing a request for an accelerated examination under the PPH program in Japan?

A2.  Documents necessary for filing a request for an accelerated examination under the PPH program in Japan include:

(1)  Request for Accelerated Prosecution under PPH Program;

(2)  Amendment for bringing the Japanese claims in conformity with the claims allowed by the participating patent office other than the JPO (if necessary);

(3)  Table showing the relationship between the (amended) claims of the Japanese application and the allowed claims mentioned in (2);

(4)  All Office Actions issued by the participating patent office (omissible if available via an online file inspection sysmtem provided by the patent office);

(5)  Non-patent documents cited in the Office Action issued by the participating patent office (filing of patent documents is not required);

(6)  Copy of the allowed claims (omissible if available via an online file inspection system provided by the patent office); and

(7)  Japanese or English translations of documents (4) and (6) above when these documents are not in English.

Documents (1) to (3) must be prepared in Japanese.  Although some or all of the information included in items (4), (5) and (6) may be omitted, we usually request the applicant to provide us with such information since it is generally useful for preparing the Japanese language documents (1) to (3).

Q3. Is it possible to request an accelerated examination based on the PCT international work products?

A3.  The JPO has commenced the PPH programs based on the PCT international work products (PCT-PPH) on pilot basis.  According to current schedule (as of August 2012), this program will continue until January 28, 2014.  Participating in PCT-PPH (as of August 2012) are the following 14 countries and organizations: China, Denmark, the EPO, Finland, Iceland, Korea, Mexico, the Nordic Patent Institute, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United States.

Under the PCT-PPH programs, an accelerated examination can be requested in Japan using search and examination results (namely, written opinion or international preliminary examination report (IPER)) established by the International Searching Authorities (WO/ISA) or International Preliminary Examining Authorities (WO/IPEA) of the above-mentioned countries or organizations when any one of the examination results indicate that at least one of the claims has novelty, inventive step and industrial applicability.

Detailed requirements for filing a request for PCT-PPH may vary depending on which country's ISA or IPEA has carried out search.  Therefore, please let us know if you are interested in PCT-PPH and need more information.

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Trademarks

Q1. If a trademark application is to be filed in Japan claiming Convention Priority based on a non-Japanese application, is the priority period one year as in patent applications? 

A1.  No. For filing a trademark application in Japan claiming Convention priority, the priority period is six (6) months, instead of one year, from the filing of the priority application. 

Q2. Are there any specific points to be noted for registering a trademark in Japan?

A2.  Some of the points to be noted for registering a trademark in Japan are as follows.

(1)  Goods and services acceptable in Japan:  In the case of trademark registration in Japan via Madrid protocol, the JPO may object to the indications of goods/services in the International Register as being too vague even if they should be acceptable under the NICE Agreement.  This is because the JPO relies on its own list of goods and services as prescribed in the examination standards.  For example, “Apparatus for locomotion by land, air or water” found in the NICE Classifications is not found acceptable by the JPO, and it should be amended to “Aircraft; automobiles; bicycles; motorcycles; rolling stock for railways; ships”.  The amendment of indications is possible as long as it is within the scope of the original Madrid protocol application. 

(2)  Requirement for use of trademark:  A registrable trademark in Japan is a trademark which is being used or which is intended to be used in the near future.  When the range of the goods and services listed in one class is too broad, the trademark will be rejected because the veracity of use or intention of use of the trademark becomes doubtful.

(3)  Registrable subject matter:  Currently, sounds, smells, colors, textures, tastes and movements are not registerable as trademarks in Japan.  (However, the JPO is planning to submit a bill to revise the trademark law to the Japanese Diet in 2013.  So, registration of the mentioned subjects as trademarks may become possible in the near future.)

Q3. Are there any means to accelerate examination of a trademark application in Japan?

A3. Yes.  A request for accelerated examination can be filed anytime after the filing of your trademark application, and the request should be granted as long as the following condition 1 or 2 is met .

Condition 1 : Actual use of trademark and need for quick registration 

You or your licensee is already using your trademark for the goods or services designated in your application, or are preparing to use the trademark, AND

The trademark rights need to be granted urgently due to any one or more of the following reasons:

   1) A third party is using a trademark which is the same or similar to your trademark without authorization from you or your licensee, in connection with designated goods or services that are the same or similar to the goods and services for which you or your licensee has been using the trademark, or for which you or your licensee has prepared to a considerable degree to use the trademark.

   2) A third party has given a warning with respect to the use of your trademark.

   3) A third party is demanding an agreement to their use of your trademark.

   4) You have also applied for the trademark registration at a Patent Office other than the Japan Patent Office (JPO), or to an intergovernmental organization.

Condition 2:  Use of trademark only for designated goods or services

Your application designates only the goods and services for which you or your licensee is already using the trademark or you or your licensee is preparing to use the trademark.

Q4. What are the documents necessary for filing a request for accelerated examination for a trademark application in Japan? 

A4.  A document entitled "Explanation of the Circumstances Concerning Accelerated Examination” should be filed together with evidence(s) showing that the above-mentioned Condition 1 or 2 is fulfilled by the trademark application. 

Q5. What are the specifics of the individual fee system for a trademark registration via Madrid Protocol designating Japan. 

A5.  The JPO has adopted an individual fee consisting of two parts in accordance with Rule 34(3)(a) of the Common Regulations under the Madrid Protocol.

First part of the individual fee:  This corresponds to an application fee, and is paid at the time of international registration or the subsequent designation. 

Second part of the individual fee:  This corresponds to a registration fee, and is paid within the prescribed period mentioned in the notification issued with the Notice of Grant.  Failure of payment results in cancellation of the designation of Japan in the international registration.

Both fees are to be paid directly to the International Bureau of the WIPO.

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《合併契約書》

合併契約書(和英)

原文:

合 併 契 約 書

会社A(以下、「甲」という。)と会社B(以下、「乙」という。)とは、両社の合併に際して次の契約を締結する。 

第1条       甲と乙は、甲を吸収合併存続会社、乙を吸収合併消滅会社として合併(以下、「本合併」という。)し、甲は乙の権利義務の全部を承継する。

  2 本合併に係る吸収合併存続会社及び吸収合併消滅会社の商号及び本店は、以下のとおりとする。

(1)吸収合併存続会社
    商号 会社A
    本店 東京都港区・・・・・

(2)吸収合併消滅会社
    商号 会社B
    本店 東京都中央区・・・・・

第2条       甲と乙は完全兄弟会社であるから、甲は本合併に際し、甲の株式その他の金銭を乙の親会社に対して割当交付しない。

第3条       本合併により甲の資本金、資本準備金、その他資本剰余金の額、利益準備金、その他利益剰余金は増加しない。

第4条       効力発生日は、平成26年9月1日とする。ただし、この前日までに合併に関し必要な手続が遂行できないときは、甲及び乙が協議の上、会社法の規定に従い、これを変更することができる。

第5条       乙は、平成25年12月31日現在の貸借対照表その他同日現在の計算書類を基礎とし、これに効力発生日前日までの増減を加除した一切の資産、負債及び権利義務を効力発生日において甲に引き継ぐ。

  2 乙は、平成25年12月31日以降、効力発生日前日に至るまでの間に生じたその資産又は負債の変動については、別に計算書類を添付して、その内容を甲に明示しなければならない。

第6条       甲及び乙は、本契約締結後、効力発生日前日に至るまで、善良なる管理者の注意をもって各業務を遂行し、かつ、一切の財産の管理を行う。

第7条       甲は、効力発生日において、乙の従業員を甲の従業員として雇用する。

  2 勤続年数は、乙の計算方式による年数を通算するものとし、その他の細目については甲及び乙が協議して決定する。

甲と乙は、本契約につき承認を得るため、平成26年8月31日までに、それぞれの株主総会の承認を得る。

第8条       本契約締結の日から効力発生日までの間において、天災地変その他の事由により、甲若しくは乙の資産状態若しくは経営状態に重大な変動が生じた場合又は隠れたる重大な瑕疵が発見された場合には、甲及び乙が協議の上、本契約を変更し、又は解除することができる。

第10条 本契約に規定のない事項又は本契約の解釈に疑義が生じた事項については、甲及び乙が誠意をもって協議の上、解決する。

第11条 本契約は、甲乙各々の株主総会の承認を得ることができない場合には、その効力を失うものとする。

本契約の締結を承認するため本書2通を作成し、甲乙各1通を保有する。

 

平成26年  月  日

(甲) 
東京都港区・・・・・
会社A
代表取締役 山田太郎  印 

(乙)
東京都中央区・・・・・
会社B
代表取締役 山本二郎  印

 

英訳文:

Merger Agreement

              Company A (hereinafter referred to as “Party A”) and Company B (hereinafter referred to as “Party B”) make an agreement for their merger as follows: 

Article 1
(1)          Parties A and B shall be merged by an absorption-type merger (hereinafter referred to as “this merger”).  In this merger, Party A shall be the surviving company, Party B shall be the dissolving company, and Party A shall succeed to all the rights and obligations of Party B.

(2)          The trade name and head office address of each of the surviving and dissolving companies are as follows.

(i)           The surviving company
              Trade name: Company A
              Head office address: ….., ….., Minato-ku, Tokyo

(ii)          The dissolving company
              Trade name: Company B
              Head office address: ….., ….., Chuo-ku, Tokyo 

Article 2
Parties A and B are wholly-owned sister companies and, in this merger, Party A does not allot any share or money of Party A to the parent company of Party B.

Article 3
This merger does not increase the amount of the stated capital, legal capital surplus, other capital surplus, retained earnings reserve, or other earned surplus of Party A.

Article 4
The date on which this merger agreement becomes effective shall be September 1, 2014.  However, when the procedure necessary for this merger is not completed by the date before the effective date, the effective date can be changed upon mutual consultation between Parties A and B in accordance with the provisions of the Company Law.

Article 5
(1)         On the date on which this merger agreement becomes effective, Party B shall render to Party A all of its assets, liabilities, rights and obligations, which are assessed on the basis of the balance sheet and other calculation documents of Party B as of December 31, 2013, taking into consideration all the increases/decreases occurring during the period of from the date after December 31, 2013 to the date before the effective date.

(2)          Party B shall also present to Party A a separate calculation document showing all the increases/decreases occurring in its assets and liabilities during the period of from the date after December 31, 2013 to the date before the effective date.

Article 6
Parties A and B shall perform their task and administrate all their properties with the due care of a prudent manager during the period of from the date of making this merger agreement to the date before the date on which this merger agreement becomes effective.

Article 7
(1)          Party A shall employ the employees of Party B as the employees of Party A on the date on which this merger agreement becomes effective.

(2)          The period of service at Party B, which is calculated in accordance with the method of Party B, shall be added to the period of service at Party A.  The other details shall be determined upon mutual consultation between Parties A and B.

Article 8
Each of Parties A and B shall obtain the approval of this merger agreement by its general shareholders’ meeting by August 31, 2014.

Article 9
In case a serious fluctuation occurs or a serious defect is revealed in the financial status or business situation of Party A or B on account of natural disasters or the like during the period of from the date of making this merger agreement to the date on which this merger agreement becomes effective, this merger agreement can be amended or cancelled upon mutual consultation between Parties A and B.

Article 10
Any matter not stipulated in this merger agreement or any doubt arising as to the interpretation of the provisions of this merger agreement shall be resolved upon mutual consultation between Parties A and B conducted in good faith.

Article 11
This merger agreement shall not take effect when it is not approved by the general shareholders’ meetings of both Parties A and B.

The agreement document is prepared in duplicate for the approval of this merger agreement.  One copy of the document shall be possessed by Party A and the other by Party B.


(Month)      (Day)        , 2014

(Party A)
….., ….., Minato-ku, Tokyo
Company A
President     Taro YAMADA   (sealed) 

(Party B)
….., ….., Chuo-ku, Tokyo
Company B
President     Jiro YAMAMOTO   (sealed)

タグ:

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