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.


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 


日本の特許審査基準には、進歩性の判断に関して以下のように記載されています(審査基準第II部 第2章 2.5、(3)参照)。
























上記(2)については、文献Zにおいて上記のようにいくつもの選択肢が同列に列挙されているということは、文献Zにおいてはそれが全て互いに「等価物」であると認識されているということです(なお、これを英語の意見書で述べるならば、たとえば「they are equated with each other」などと表現できます)。したがって、もしも、文献Zに列挙されている化合物群の中に文献Yにおいて使用できないものが含まれている場合、当業者は、文献Zに記載されている成分(b)を含む化合物群を直ちに文献Yに適用することは出来ないと考えるでしょうから、その点を「補助的阻害要因」として利用して、文献Yと文献Zを組み合わせることの困難性を主張することが出来ます。













- 進歩性欠如に基づく拒絶理由を受けた場合には、明確な阻害要因とまでは言えずとも、効果に関する主張などと組み合わせることにより、進歩性の立 証に役立つ事情ないし事由(上記のような「補助的阻害要因」)が存在することがあるため、引用文献の開示や関連の公知技術などを注意深く検討する。

- 将来の権利行使(禁反言)を念頭においた上で、拒絶の克服に有効な補正が可能か検討する(審査官の誤解が明らかであっても、許容範囲内での補正が可能であれば、補正を行った方が効率良く権利化することが可能になることが多い)。


参考までに、弊所で実際に提出した意見書において「補助的阻害要因」を述べた例を下記にご紹介します。下記の例では、「引用文献1」と「引用文献 2」が主引用例(primary references)として用いられ、「引用文献3」と「引用文献4」が副引用例(secondary references)として用いられて、引用例の組み合わせによる拒絶を受けたものです。

ご紹介するのは、まず各引用例について詳しく議論した後に、まとめを述べた部分です。意見書では、明細書の実施例と比較例のデータを用いて発明の優 れた効果を示し、それに加えて、引用例について下記の趣旨を議論したものです。この例においては、引用例の組み合わせに関する「補助的阻害要因」は特に主 張せず、本発明と各引用例との技術的関連性についての「補助的阻害要因」だけを主張する形になりました。この結果、一回の回答で特許査定を得ております。 主クレームの補正と、発明の優れた効果を示すデータと、各引用例についての詳しい議論との「合わせ技」により、「進歩性あり」との心証を審査官に与えるこ とができたという感触があります。


審査官殿は、「引用文献1、2には、カチオン化澱粉が本願請求項1に係る発明で規定する粘度及びカチオン化度の範囲を満足することの明記はない が、....」と述べられ、本願請求項1に記載されるカチオン化澱粉の「粘度及びカチオン化度の範囲」が、引用文献3や引用文献4に開示されている旨を述 べておられます。

しかし、上記のように、引用文献1ではジアルデヒド澱粉が必須成分です。ジアルデヒド澱粉は、パルプ繊維と共有結合を形成し得るものであり、本発明 で用いられるカチオン化澱粉とは、化学的特性が大きく異なります。そのような引用文献1の開示を、本発明と同列に論じることはできません。


上記のように、引用文献2においては、「カチオン性水溶性高分子化合物」としての「カチオン化澱粉」と、「水溶性高分子ポリヒドロキシ化合物」とし ての「澱粉」のいずれも、他の多くの化合物例と単に横並びに列挙されているものです。よって、引用文献2の開示から、「カチオン性水溶性高分子化合物」と しての「カチオン化澱粉」と「水溶性高分子ポリヒドロキシ化合物」としての「澱粉」とを選び出して特に注目する理由はありません。




また、上記のように、引用文献4においては、アルキルケテンダイマー(AKD)及び/又はアルケニル無水コハク酸(ASA)が必須成分であり、アル キルケテンダイマー(AKD)やアルケニル無水コハク酸(ASA)は、澱粉とは全く異なる種類のサイズ剤ですので、引用文献4は、本発明とはほとんど無関 係の技術です。そのような引用文献4の開示を、本発明と同列に論じることはできません。






特許  米国  出願  クレーム  発明  日本  補正  記載  提出  必要  進歩性  明細書  上記  以下  審査  効果  拒絶  or  先行技術  判断  可能  弊所  請求項  英語  手続  出願人  特許出願  比較  利用  審査官  主張  開示  適用  データ  実施例  対象  方法  an  範囲  説明  可能性  成分  請求  メリット  出来  検討  特許庁  選択  本発明  規定  with  変更  情報  考慮  理由  具体的  存在  特徴  明確  実際  拒絶理由  使用  特許審査  阻害要因  同一  特定  公知  先行技術文献  文献  at  意見書  技術  第三者  追加  容易  引用  当業者  拒絶理由通知  非常  基準  特許査定  事件  注意  重要  10  実験  実施  十分  レベル  引用文献  権利化  改正  証拠  内容  審査基準  一般的  非自明性  有効  結果  デメリット  権利  観点  現在  通知  状況  化合物  製造  詳細  根拠  判例  表現  複数  関連  実質的  否定  向上  www  課題  種類  決定  参照  権利行使  目的  以上  平成  other  参考  侵害  自明性  判断基準  所謂  要素  証明  以外  基本的  自明  手段  pdf  under  達成  指摘  顕著  維持  議論  主題  事項  充分  知財  構成  見解  解決  相違  評価  見込  誤解  医薬  組成物  類似  示唆  困難  段階  趣旨  ルール  19  go  部分  回答  範囲内  具体例  原因  比較例  確率  医薬品  審査段階  欠如  jpo  ex  明記  両方  有利  必須  発見  認識  認定  下記  re  each  販売  置換  一般  教示  禁反言  予想外  公知技術  意見  到達  困難性  htm  カチオン  想到  除外  克服  撤回  列挙  参酌  周知  注目  事情  補助的阻害要因  要因  予測  進歩性欠如  許容  secondary  引用例  同列  エストッペル  相違点  00  見出  澱粉  将来  慎重  共通  硬化剤  念頭  手順  資料  分析  inoue  化学  引用発明  効率的  22  確立  予想  一見  数多  比較実験  reference  格別  技術的課題  発揮  用途  全体  進歩性判断  選択肢  中心  肯定的  事由  特性  意識  方向  they  均等物  行使  references  動機  化澱粉  her  重複  進歩  html  促進  徹底的  把握  接着剤  支持  支障  解説  関連性  想定  阻害事由  構築  極端  ku  権利侵害  非自明  出願手続  範囲外  事実  紹介  本願請求項  仮定  併用  論理  有用  アルケニル  二液性接着剤  主剤  審査基準第  容易性  効率  単一  単独  単純  prima  適宜選択  方策  阻害  相乗効果  直面  100  ratio  補助的  設計  設計的事項  意外  意外性  形成  後者  27  技術水準  技術的  総合的  低下  組成  下線  不充分  AKD  ASA  50wt  コハク  薬品  スムーズ  テクニカル  許容範囲内  論理付  各引用例  技術的特徴  権利主張  査定  機能  樹脂  原理  有用性  特許出願手続  役立  注意深  必須成分  常識  分子  無水  徹底  利用可能  心証  改正後  II  意識的  性能  性水溶性高分子化合物  排除  技術思想的  技術常識  鵜呑  101  水溶性高分子  化合物群  化合物例  化度  粘度及  粘度  克服出来  特筆  先行  理想的  出発  特許審査基準  満足  例示  明細  解決方法  要点  最適  ジアルデヒド  誤認  説得  設計変更  アルキルケテンダイマー  塗料組成物  一例  架橋  一回  格段  号事件  肯定  ポリヒドロキシ  Re  ml  ed  shiryou  10wt 


Patent Attorney

Name:  Junzo WATANABE

Registration No.:  11683 (registered in 2000)


  Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kumamoto University

  Department of Law, Faculty of Law, Chuo University


■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.


The following is a list of some examples of US patents obtained through our firm.

We suppose that it might be rather difficult for most of the non-Japanese clients to evaluate the quality of our works done for Japanese IP rights.

For such non-Japanese clients, the US patents listed may be useful for evaluating our abilities. We always dedicate tremendous efforts to draft English claims and specifications properly. For example, in the case of PCT applications, we draft Japanese specifications for PCT based on Japanese patent applications which had often been prepared and filed through other Japanese IP firms or by Japanese applicants themselves.

We usually make considerable modifications to the original Japanese specifications and claims for filing PCT applications. Especially in the case where the basic Japanese application has not been filed through our firm, we thoroughly check the application and usually redraft the claims into a form which has more clear and logical construction and can cover a desired protective scope, and also redraft the specification by supplementing information necessary to enable the invention or information which might be useful in the later prosecution stage for overcoming possible rejections.

Therefore, it can be said that, in many cases, the US patents are our translations of the Japanese language PCT specifications drafted by our firm.

We sometimes ask US patent attorneys to check our drafts of English specifications, but they usually find that no substantial change is necessary.

In addition, during the prosecutions of the foreign patent applications, our draft responses (amendments and arguments) are usually submitted to the patent offices without any substantial changes or with only minor changes.

Consequently, we believe that the US patents listed here would be of great help for you to evaluate our skills in IP business.

The documents which we prepare have been highly esteemed by the foreign patent attorneys.


PCT  application  or  be  patent  Japan  an  Japanese  not  filing  with  filed  claim  at  one  invention  claims  any  has  applications  office  file  only  been  case  such  use  other  into  IP  may  we  more  documents  specification  all  but  right  non  We  necessary  also  amendment  through  information  based  patents  translations  applicant  would  so  amendments  ex  possible  high  rights  foreign  following  time  said  scope  re  end  rejection  without  business  English  obtained  form  prepared  cases  Therefore  out  skill  quality  example  many  during  prosecution  do  clients  substantial  stage  usually  firm  response  translation  some  where  ep  clear  obtain  original  later  make  side  had  document  construction  basic  they  her  specifications  firms  per  applicants  am  work  always  addition  arguments  attorneys  drafted  often  nor  cover  submitted  times  useful  listed  There  specific  draft  highly  desired  change  exam  done  Consequently  able  amend  language  late  up  over  reject  minor  most  skills  submit  help  special  offices  abilities  man  list  low  logical  might  rather  red  redraft  prosecutions  protective  considerable  great  examples  evaluating  esteemed  evaluate  ed  find  invent  attorney  believe  inform  check  changes  suppose  Especially  works  way 


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.


application  or  be  patent  Japan  an  JPO  Patent  Japanese  not  filing  with  design  filed  claim  period  Office  Examination  at  one  art  after  any  Notice  has  grant  prior  applications  request  above  examination  file  only  been  case  within  Inter  trademark  use  other  issue  IP  may  months  will  system  priority  we  more  documents  should  under  than  mentioned  results  right  non  law  Act  services  necessary  also  same  amendment  inter  third  there  based  A2  go  A1  consisting  Prior  Rule  agreement  so  ex  Cir  possible  rights  following  What  Grant  time  registration  scope  even  re  fee  granted  month  similar  end  without  However  Q2  Q1  party  national  accelerated  prepared  using  issued  International  long  claiming  out  international  two  need  subject  state  example  because  Ex  Accelerated  Yes  used  WIPO  their  do  year  Q3  A3  water  respect  follows  given  goods  ep  original  matter  side  reason  reasons  Q4  designated  applied  document  directly  Reg  condition  being  A4  licensee  warning  becomes  they  rejected  her  found  per  see  good  am  parts  its  acceptable  evidence  his  rolling  result  gov  noted  notification  payment  paid  designating  together  via  vice  preparing  degree  individual  Madrid  ratio  amended  accordance  become  Second  place  listed  part  six  specific  entitled  Convention  showing  fees  due  how  First  service  connection  ended  exam  How  Condition  Concerning  already  able  amend  instead  show  means  own  over  reject  near  trademarks  submit  indication  oa  note  Some  Re  Priority  Protocol  Q5  Regulations  man  list  low  mm  Use  range  quick  read  protocol  registering  red  planning  point  points  NICE  prescribed  fr  fulfilled  future  considerable  corresponds  ed  designation  doubt  ip  automobiles  automobile  broad  indications  Agreement  Failure  A5  Classification  way 


Share | rss