In Japan, a patent application will not be examined unless a request for examination is filed within three (3) years of the filing date.
One of the most frequently asked questions from non-Japanese clients is about when to file this request for examination. In general, Japanese companies decide whether or not the request for examination should be filed mainly from the product commercialization viewpoint, by the examination request filing due date. Because the publication has the effect of indirectly holding the competitor’s movements, in many cases, the request for examination is not filed in order to save the prosecution cost unless the invention is realized.
In case of the applications based on those filed in the United States, it will not be too late to file a request for examination even after the U.S. application is granted.
The examination is conducted in the order of the request filing. An office action often takes up to one year to be issued. However, there is also the option of taking advantage of accelerated examination, which enables the applicant to obtain the result within three to four months from the request date
* The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.