meetings

Exceptions to Lack of Novelty of Invention

Q1. We understand that Japan has a grace period for avoiding certain public disclosures from constituting prior art against a Japanese application.  How long is this grace period?

A1.  The grace period defined under Article 30 of the Japanese patent law (Exceptions to Lack of Novelty of Invention) is 6 months from the date of public disclosure.

Q2. What type of disclosures is capable of taking advantage of the Exceptions to Lack of Novelty of Invention in Japan?

A2.  According to current Article 30 of the Japanese patent law (effective as of April 1, 2012), virtually any disclosure, including “inventions made public at meetings and seminars, which are not academic conference designated by the Commissioner of the Patent Office, inventions made public on TV and radio, and inventions made public through sales”, are covered by the Exceptions to Lack of Novelty of Invention.  However, a patent publication is not a non-prejudicial disclosure.

Q3. Is the grace period applicable to scientific articles published on the web? 

A3.  The 6-month grace period is also applicable to electronic publications of scientific articles.  When a scientific article is published in the form of an electronic publication in advance to the publication in print, the 6-month grace period will start from the date of the electronic publication.  This rule applies not only to a free electronic publication, but also to an electronic publication which requires registered membership and/or purchase of the publication for accessing the electronic publication.

Q4. An invention has been published as a scientific article and a basic patent application has been filed in the US within 6 months from the publication of the scientific article.  Already 10 months have passed from the publication of the scientific article, but is it still possible to enjoy the benefit of the Japanese 6-month grace period by filing a Japanese patent application claiming the Paris convention priority from the basic US application filed within 6 months from the publication date? 

A4.  No.  Claiming of the Paris convention priority does not allow the filing date in Japan to date back for the purpose of grace period.  In other words, when a basic application is filed in other country within 6 months from the date of public disclosure, and a Japanese patent application claiming the convention priority from the basic application is filed after the expiration of the 6-months grace period, the Japanese patent application cannot enjoy the benefit of the grace period.

For receiving the benefit of the 6-month grace period in Japan, the Applicant must file within the 6-month grace period either one of the following applications:

   (1) Japanese national patent application*, or

   (2) PCT application designating Japan as one of the designated states. 

* Either a Japanese patent application or a PCT application claiming the convention priority from this Japanese patent application can be filed after the expiration of the grace period and still enjoy the benefit of the grace period.

Q5. What are the steps necessary for obtaining the benefit of the Japanese 6-month grace period?  

A5.  Necessary steps are explained separately for Japanese national patent application and PCT application.

Japanese national patent application:

A patent application is filed simultaneously with a Request for Grace Period within 6 months from the date of public disclosure.  Alternatively, the Request may be omitted by stating such effect in the patent application.

Next, a Document Verifying the Request, which is signed by all applicants, is filed within 30 days from the filing date of the patent application.  Filing of a specific evidence material (such as a copy of the scientific article disclosing the invention) is not required, but it is most advisable to file the evidence material with the Document.

PCT application designating Japan:

When a PCT application designating Japan as one of the designated states is filed within the 6 month grace period, such a PCT application will obtain the benefit of the grace period even when the PCT application enters the Japanese national phase after the expiration of the grace period (i.e., within non-extensible 30 month deadline).  In this case, both the Request for Grace Period and the Document Verifying the Request are filed within 30 days from the entry into the Japanese national phase. 

[Filing of the Request for Grace Period can be omitted when “Declaration as to Non-Prejudicial Disclosures or Exceptions to Lack of Novelty” (PCT Rule 4.17(v), 26ter.1) is made at the international stage.]

The Document Verifying the Request can be prepared at our end and forwarded for execution by the applicant(s). 

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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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