Updated Versions of JPO Examination “Guidelines” and “Handbook” for Patents and Utility Models

The JPO has published the completely updated “Examination Guidelines for Patents and Utility Models” and “Examination Handbook for Patents and Utility Models” on September 16, 2015. (The “Guidelines” take effect only for examinations conducted from October 1, 2015.)

An important revision to note is the formal rejection of product-by-process claims. This takes as precedent the recent decision by Japan’s Supreme Court on June 5, 2015 to reject product-by-process claims. The new rules establish that it will be very difficult to gain patent rights in Japan for products where the applicant claims a specific method of production.

Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the updated examination “Guidelines” or “Handbook,” or would like to know how the JPO might view the patentability of your invention under the new policies.

Source: Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) article here, from which you can also view the English versions of the “Guidelines” and “Handbook.”

* The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.

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