Keisen Associates wins appeal at the Intellectual Property High Court against the JPO’s decision

TOKYO- In I-Tech Systems v. C.C.S., Inc., Taro Yaguchi, Senior Partner at Keisen Associates, representing the plaintiff, I-Tech Systems, won on appeal in a revocation action at the Tokyo IP High Court against the JPO’s decision to invalidate the plaintiff’s patent. According to Japanese patent law and rules, the JPO must identify objective evidence for the motivation in combining two or more prior art as being obvious. However, the High Court ruled that the scope of the JPO’s original decision for the motivation went beyond that of the prior art. The Court observed that Japan’s obviousness must be based on a strict interpretation of the prior art’s disclosure and cannot be generalized in the manner that it was by the JPO. In the end, the High Court found that the JPO’s decision to declare the patent invalid as unenforceable.
The above was one of the rare cases in which the original invalidation ruling was overturned in a retrial. According to a 2012 survey, the number of suits relating to the decision for invalidation totaled 106, of which 38 were against the decision to revoke the patent, as opposed to upholding the patent. Of those 38, there existed only 12 cases, or approximately 30 percent of the procedures, in which the patent right was successfully restored by a retrial.

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