issuance

Notice of Rejection

Q1. How long is the response period for Notice of Rejection?  Is any extension available?

A1.  The response period for the Notice of Rejection is 60 days (for Applicants residing in Japan) or 3 months (for Applicants residing outside Japan).  Applicants residing in Japan can obtain 1-month extension, and Applicant residing outside Japan can obtain extension of up to 3 months upon filing of a Request for Extension and payment of official fee (which is 2,100 yen per month).

Q2. We received a final Notice of Rejection from the Japan Patent Office.  What are the differences between the Notice of Rejection and the Final Notice of Rejection?

A2.  In principle, Final Notice of Rejection is issued when a new ground of rejection is necessitated by the Applicant’s amendment of the claims filed in response to the previous Notice of Rejection.  When the Applicant fails to overcome the reason for rejection of the Final Notice of Rejection, next Office Action will be Decision for Rejection.

In addition, after the issuance of the Final Notice of Rejection, there is a restriction to the scope of permissible claim amendments.  Please see section “Restriction to Permissible Claim Amendments after Final Rejection” for more details.

Restriction to Permissible Claim Amendments after Final Rejection

Q. We understand that permissible claim amendments are restricted after the issuance of a final rejection.  Please explain about the restriction.

A.  Permissible claim amendments are restricted after the issuance of not only the Final Notice of Rejection, but also after the Decision for Rejection.  Further, this restriction applies to a divisional application filed from a parent application filed on or after April 1, 2007 and containing claims which can be rejected on the same ground as the parent application. 

The permissible amendments are (i) deletion of a claim(s), (ii) amendment for limiting the scope of the invention without increasing the number of claims, (iii) amendments for removing clerical errors, and (iv) amendments for clarifying an unclear expression.  Other claim amendments are not permissible at this stage.  For example, the following amendments are not permissible even when the claims are fully supported by the specification as filed:

   (a) Addition of a new claim directed to a subject matter not described in the claims;

   (b)  Addition of a new subclaim for limiting the scope of an independent claim; and

   (c)  Amendment for changing the category of a claim (such as, changing a product-by-process claim into a process claim).

Addition of a new subclaim is permissible when the amendment is made for clarifying an unclear expression.  For example, when there is a claim reading “A composition containing X, preferably Y”, amending this claim to “A composition containing X” and adding a subclaim reading “Composition according to claim N, wherein said X is Y” will be permissible.

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.

タグ:

application  or  be  patent  Japan  an  Patent  Japanese  not  filing  with  filed  Final  claim  Action  period  Office  date  at  final  present  after  claims  any  Appeal  Notice  new  grant  request  examination  Rejection  file  only  case  within  such  use  divisional  issue  may  Statement  we  more  should  under  specification  than  between  made  all  but  Act  same  amendment  Decision  was  A2  A1  against  so  amendments  ex  possible  Grant  time  required  even  re  parent  granted  month  end  rejection  without  After  Q2  Q1  cannot  Applicant  April  before  Further  issued  etc  long  out  including  simultaneously  first  whole  because  double  during  prosecution  Yes  differences  do  permissible  year  Q3  A3  days  response  ep  those  later  drawings  Please  issuance  Claim  reason  reasons  who  Q4  details  difference  Reg  A4  Restriction  decision  patenting  rejected  her  per  pending  see  am  item  acceptable  drafted  Permissible  his  result  March  Divisional  submitted  require  ratio  amended  act  less  specific  Amendments  draft  how  day  ended  exam  Division  1st  Amendment  able  Written  actual  amend  late  restricted  requested  until  up  over  reject  support  sufficient  submit  ground  then  note  State  Re  list  red  periods  permitted  fr  depends  ed  find  earlier  explaining  explanatory  drawing 

Grant Procedure

Q1. Decision to Grant has been issued.  When will the granted patent become public? 

A1.  The granted patent will become public in about 3 to 4 months after the payment of the issue fee.  The issue fee must be paid within 30 days from the issuance of the Decision to Grant.

Q2. Could a third party file an opposition against a granted patent?

A2.  There is no Opposition procedure in Japan.  However, any third party can file a Trial for Patent Invalidation against a granted patent at the Japan Patent Office.  This Trial can be filed any time, and there is substantially no time limit for filing the Trial.  (Under certain circumstances, the Trial for Patent Invalidation can be even filed after the expiration of the patent term.)

Third Party’s Statement

Q1. We would like to submit prior art information which may be used for rejecting a pending patent application.  What type of prior art materials is accepted at the Japan Patent Office? 

A1.  Only printed materials are to be accepted. 

Q2. After the filing of the Third Party’s Statement, do we get any feedback from the Patent Office or the Applicant of the contested patent application?

A2.  Upon request from the Party filing the Statement, the Japan Patent Office will inform the Party about the use or non-use of submitted materials in the Office Action issued against the contested patent application. 

However, the Party will not be informed about filing of any comments or arguments by the applicant of the contested patent application.  We can perform periodic file inspection of the contested patent application to watch for the filing of any comments or arguments against the Third Party’s Statement.

Q3. Is it possible to file a Third Party’s Statement anonymously?

A3.  Yes, but in this case, we cannot obtain any feedback from the Patent Office.  However, we can perform periodic file inspection of the contested patent application to watch for the issuance of the Office Action.

Q4. A Third Party’s Statement has been filed against our pending Japanese patent application.  Is it possible for an Applicant of the contested patent application to file an argument against the Third Party’s Statement?

A4.  Yes.  Any arguments and/or comments on a Third Party’s Statement can be filed in the form of a Written Statement at any time before the issuance of a final Decision (i.e., Decision to Grant or Decision for Rejection) by the Japan Patent Office.

 

 

 

米国:USPTOが、最終的なAIA施行規則の一部を公表(1)

において、2012年9月16日から施行される予定となっている第三者による発行前情報提供制度、及び包袋書類に含まれる特許権者の意見の引用に関して最終的な施行規則を公表しました。

第三者による情報提供

2012年7月17日、USPTOは、第三者による発行前情報提供制度(Preissuance Submissions by Third Parties)に関する最終的なAIA施行規則を公表しました。
http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/120707-preissuance_submission_fr.pdf 

このAIAによる情報提供制度においては、特許出願の審査期間中に特許公報及びその他の刊行物をUSPTOに提出することができます。

AIA以前にも第三者による情報提供制度は存在しましたが、非常に大きな制約がありました。今回のAIAにより、第三者が、USPTOに係属中の出願に関して先行技術文献などを提出して考慮させる機会が大幅に広がります。情報提供の際には、文献と共にその文献と出願との関連性を簡潔に説明することが要求されます。提出された文献が新たな規則37 CFR 1.290の規定に沿うものと判断されると、審査官に考慮されます。

この情報規則制度は、2012年9月16日から施行され、この日以前の出願にも適用されます。

再審査などの手続きにおいて包袋に含まれる特許権者の意見を引用可能とすることについて

2012年8月6日、USPTOは、再審査などの手続きにおける、包袋書類に含まれる特許権者の意見の引用に関する最終的なAIA施行規則を公表しました。
http://www.uspto.gov/aia_implementation/citation_of_prior_art_fr.pdf 

新たな規則は37 CFR 1.501(a) (2)に定められています。

出願包袋に含まれる書類の内、再審査などの手続きで引用できるのは、従来は、特許公報及び刊行物に限定されていましたが、AIAにより、特許権者が、クレームの範囲に関して連邦裁判所または特許商標庁に提出した意見も引用できることとなりました。

具体的には、査定系再審査(ex parte reexamination)、当事者系レビュー(inter partes review)及び付与後異議申立(post grant review proceedings)などにおいて引用することができる包袋書類に、特許権者が、クレームの範囲に関して連邦裁判所または特許商標庁に提出した意見も含まれることになりました。 

 

2012年9月16日から施行される、その他のAIA規定についての最終的な施行規則については、2012年8月14日に公表される予定です。

`+]

お問い合わせ

Share | rss
ホームページ制作