course

English

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.

タグ:

PCT  EPO  application  or  be  patent  USPTO  Japan  an  Patent  Japanese  not  with  filed  claim  Office  EP  at  one  art  claims  any  has  grant  applications  request  above  file  only  been  case  within  such  use  other  into  IP  Statement  phase  will  European  we  more  documents  should  under  specification  than  mentioned  related  all  but  right  problem  having  non  services  We  also  inter  through  third  there  registered  based  go  patents  translations  applicant  so  excellent  ex  about  high  rights  practice  foreign  technical  required  scope  reasonable  even  re  fee  granted  years  each  end  without  Inoue  legal  party  business  English  national  Further  form  prepared  cases  etc  long  general  out  shown  including  international  skill  two  first  need  quality  properties  example  because  many  skilled  during  prosecution  provide  amount  their  least  do  year  Associates  very  clients  substantial  usually  respect  firm  given  translation  some  experience  ep  Intellectual  those  protection  clear  carried  obtain  original  Problem  make  matter  Property  side  efficiency  reason  knowledge  well  had  infringement  who  document  Solution  staff  construction  cost  limit  course  therein  Such  country  basis  production  they  outside  various  her  specifications  found  firms  per  applicants  see  good  am  poor  work  always  website  whether  product  attorneys  property  entry  intellectual  drafted  his  herein  expectation  limited  often  nor  members  disclosed  could  submitted  thus  understand  valid  web  vice  what  instruction  require  reading  ratio  ability  become  number  actually  act  place  closed  located  There  part  particular  care  specific  surely  far  fees  field  start  every  draft  how  highly  service  aspect  fields  desired  complicated  entire  concerned  change  capable  exam  done  Invalidation  Consequently  Trademark  Trade  advantage  able  acquire  actual  Services  valuable  late  requested  unexpected  instructions  short  show  serious  up  involved  isa  own  professionals  professional  problems  procedure  practically  minute  protecting  now  most  skills  immediately  texts  fully  handling  handled  submit  help  translator  solid  never  oa  State  abilities  man  advantageous  acquiring  logical  mm  Watanabe  manner  rather  read  Hirai  Hidefumi  red  professor  procedures  protective  price  Nobuatsu  fr  full  depends  generally  constantly  higher  hard  great  experienced  efficiently  establish  entities  everything  esteemed  ed  domestic  ip  avoided  attorney  Dr  Each  suit  try  trusted  Even  Every  rich  surprising  An  site  works  signed  way  while  utmost  trained  reputation 

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 

《会社案内》

(和英)

原文:

現在は、長年蓄積した経験と高度な技術によって広く全国のお客さまからパートナーに選ばれ、「信頼できる分析サービス会社」という声価をかち得ています。・・・・・価値ある有用な情報を創造し、ご提供する我が社は、進化するお客様のニーズにお答えするためさらにパートナーとして信頼される努力を続けてまいります。

英訳文:

Due to our long and extensive experience and high-level expertise, we have been chosen as a partner by customers throughout Japan, and won a reputation as a “reliable analytical services company”.・・・・・We are committed to create and provide valuable and useful information,and will continue every effort to satisfy the changing customers’ needs and remain to be trusted as a their partner.

原文:

つねに最新鋭の機器と優れた人材・技術をいかし「迅速に・正確に・確実に」業務を実行すると共に、機密の保持に万全の注意を払っていることは申すまでもありません。

 英訳文:

We, as a matter of course, always take advantage of the state-of-the-art instruments and the excellent human resources and techniques in carrying out given tasks “quickly, precisely and surely” and that with extreme care to secure confidentiality of information.

宣誓供述書の書き方について(4):専門家の供述書(鑑定書)

審査段階においては、発明者を宣誓者とした宣誓供述書を採用することが多いですが、係争などの当事者系の手続においては専門家の宣誓供述書が必要になることが屡々あります。

勿論、専門家に案件を最初から検討してもらった上で鑑定書を作成してもらうことが望ましいのですが、時間や費用的な制約により、それが難しいこともあると思います。そのような場合、例えば、発明者の方による実験の妥当性についての考察を専門家に行ってもらい、実験結果に関する信頼性を高めるという方法をとることがあります。以下に、その書式の1例を示します。(欧州特許に関する係争手続き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、固有名詞などは適宜変更してあります。)

Declaration of Professor Shigeo MARUKAWA

(Opinion on the experiments performed by Mr. Ichiro SUZUKI)

I, Shigeo MARUKAWA, a Japanese citizen, residing at xxxx, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo Japan, do hereby declare and state as follows:

I am a professor of Graduate School of Engineering, VWXYZ University (xxx, xxx, Kanagawa-ken 333-4444
Japan; Phone: +81-xx-xxx-xxxx / FAX: +81-xx-xxx-xxxx).

My personal history is as follows:

1987 Graduated from the doctor course (of applied chemistry and synthetic chemistry), Graduate School of Engineering, VWXYZ University

1987 Assistant at the Department of Engineering, VWXYZ University

1993 Lecturer at the Department of Engineering, VWXYZ University

1995 Lecturer at the Graduate School of Engineering, VWXYZ University

1997 Overseas Research Student (at OPQRS University, the U.S.A.), nominated by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Science and Culture

1999 Assistant Professor of the Graduate School of Engineering, VWXYZ University

2005 Professor of the Graduate School of Engineering, VWXYZ University

Memberships in academic societies:
    The Chemical Society of Japan,
    Catalysis Society of Japan, and
    The Society of Chemical Engineering of Japan.

Award:

1995 The Chemical Society of Japan Award for Encouragement of Research and Development

I hereby provide my opinions on the experiments performed by Mr. Ichiro SUZUKI.

上記の例からも分かるとおり、専門家に鑑定してもらう場合には、専門家が関連分野における権威であることを明らかにする為に、冒頭の経歴部分を比較的詳細に記載します。

Design Registration

Q1. If a design 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 design applications in Japan claiming Convention priority, the priority period is for six (6) months, instead of one year, from the filing of the priority application.  Even if you have a design "patent" application filed at the USPTO, the priority period is 6 months for filing a Japanese patent application with a valid priority claim based on the degisn "patent" application filed in the US.  

You also have to be careful when filing a patent application in Japan claiming priority from both a patent application and a design application.  That is, for example, if you filed in your country a patent application on May 1, 2012 and a design application on October 30, 2012 and are now considering filing a patent application on May 1, 2013 in Japan claiming priority from both of the above-mentioned patent application and design application filed in your country, this date “May 1, 2013” is within one-year priority period based on the patent application but is after the expiration of six-month priority period (October 30, 2012 + 6 months = April 40, 2013) based on the design application.  Therefore, the priority claim based on the design application is not valid.  

Q2. I am planning to file a design patent application in Japan claiming priority from a US design patent application.  What are the major differences in practice between the United States and Japan that require particular attention?

A2.  Firstly, unlike the “design patent” in the United States which is one type of patents and is basically dealt with under the patent law, Japan has a design law separate from a patent law. 

Therefore, in Japan, an application for registration of a design is referred to as “design application”, not “design patent application” as in the United States.  

More importantly, this difference in legal system leads to some significant differences in design registration practice between the US and Japan representative examples of which are enumerated below.

Difference 1)  “Single design per application” system in Japan

It is understood that the US system allows an applicant to pursue two or more designs (embodiments) of a single inventive concept in a single design patent application.  This, however, is not the case in Japan.  According to the Japanese practice, each design application may include only a single design of single shape.

Therefore, in Japan, when a single priority application includes multiple designs, it is necessary to either:

-  file separate design applications with respect to the different designs, or

-  file an application including different designs and later file a divisional application(s).

In this connection, however, it should be noted that it is not allowed to file a divisional application on a “partial” design from a “whole” design application and vice versa.  Concerning the “partial” and “whole” designs, explanations are made below.

Further, there is an exception to the "single design per application" system, and the Japan's Design Law provides "related design" system for covering a plurality of similar designs.

1-1) Exception to the “single design per application” rule

The Japan’s Design Law exceptionally allows for discrete objects to be claimed in a single application if common sense indicates that such discrete objects are usually sold as a “set”, as in the case of, for example, a 3-piece set including a knife, fork and spoon. 

1-2) Related design applications

In the case where the priority US application contains a plurality of different but similar designs (e.g., minor variations of a certain design), such similar designs may be covered by utilizing the related design system in Japan.  Specifically, the similar designs can be covered by filing a principal design application and filing a related design application(s) by one day prior to the publication of the principal design. 

The design registered as the related design can be enforced independently of the registered principal design and other registered related design(s).  That is, a related design right can cover even a design similar to that related design, which, however, is not similar to the principal design. 

For covering such similar designs under the related design regime, it is possible to either:

-  file a principal design application and also file a related design application(s) simultaneously with the principal application or later (by one day prior to the publication of the principal design at the latest), or

-  file general design applications on the similar designs, and later amend the general applications into a principal design application and a related design application(s).

The JPO may find that the designs are not similar enough to be eligible for registration under the related design regime but there is no need to be so nervous about this point.  If the JPO denies the similarity, the JPO will issue an office action requesting the applicant to stop relying on the related design system and change the applications to normal applications.

 

Finally, the right of a registered related design is independent from the right of a registered principal design but there are the following exceptions.

1.   Synchronized protection term: 

The protection term for both of a registered principal design and a registered related design is 20 years from the registration date of the principal design.  This point, however, is substantially immaterial in the present case because the two applications will probably be registered almost simultaneously.  Further, the registered related design can be maintained even if the principal design is allowed to lapse due to non-payment of maintenance fee, and vice versa.   

 2.   Restriction of transfer of rights and licensing: 

The right of a registered related design cannot be transferred or licensed independently from the registered principal design.  That is, for transfer of design rights to a third party by assignment etc., the principal and related designs must be simultaneously transferred together to the same entity.  Further, also for licensing, the principal and related designs must be licensed simultaneously to the same entity.

 

Difference 2)  Partial Design System

The Japan’s Design Law has a “partial design system” which allows registration of parts of shapes or forms with distinct characteristics.  

The US system also provides a similar practice where dotted lines can be used to indicate non-claimed parts.  There is, however, one important difference.  That is, the Japan’s system requires that a partial design application should be filed with a clear indication that the application claims a partial design.  In the absence of such indication, the application will be recognized as claiming a whole design. 

Once filed with the indication of a partial design application, it is in principle not allowed to amend the application into a whole design application and vice versa.  Similarly, a divisional application on a partial design cannot be filed from a whole design application and vice versa. 

Therefore, if it is important to cover both of whole and partial designs, it is recommended to file both a whole design application and a partial design application.

 

Of course, there are many other differences between US and Japanese practices; however, the above differences are believed to be the main differences which require particular attention when filing a design application in Japan claiminig priority from a US design patent application.

タグ:

application  or  be  patent  USPTO  Japan  an  JPO  Japanese  not  filing  with  design  filed  Final  claim  period  action  date  at  one  art  rce  present  after  claims  any  has  prior  applications  office  request  above  file  entity  only  case  within  such  use  other  into  divisional  issue  pace  may  months  will  system  priority  we  more  should  under  between  made  mentioned  related  all  but  right  non  law  must  necessary  also  same  third  there  registered  based  A2  A1  patents  applicant  Prior  type  both  so  designs  ex  about  possible  rights  practice  following  What  registration  principal  even  re  fee  month  publication  similar  years  each  end  Q2  Q1  single  legal  party  Design  cannot  April  Further  form  principle  etc  Therefore  claiming  claimed  general  out  including  rule  simultaneously  two  need  Law  whole  United  public  example  because  Ex  many  covered  either  provide  used  allowed  differences  Part  do  year  referred  test  States  partial  substantial  plurality  usually  respect  some  where  ep  protection  clear  later  side  set  independent  main  include  material  who  like  expiration  distinct  difference  Restriction  different  considering  course  country  basic  below  important  her  per  however  am  parts  inventive  term  his  nor  noted  payment  cover  together  understood  valid  vice  versa  indicates  require  ratio  attention  allow  act  place  There  part  particular  lines  care  six  Convention  substantially  due  how  First  believed  connection  day  ended  certain  change  exam  May  According  Concerning  allows  Specifically  October  amend  late  variations  representative  maintenance  requires  instead  shape  separate  over  minor  now  most  indication  objects  note  State  Re  Priority  maintained  major  absence  man  licensed  licensing  low  mm  Unit  provides  regime  recognized  red  planning  point  practices  More  fr  force  covering  eligible  except  examples  ed  discrete  find  ip  invent  assignment  believe  almost  independently  indicate  characteristics  utilizing  try  Even  sold  Difference  transferred  transfer  requesting  Finally  Firstly  relying 


お問い合わせ

Share | rss
ホームページ制作