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Cabinet Decision on the Bill for the Act for the Partial Revision of the Patent Act and Other Acts

On March 13, 2015, the Cabinet decided to approve the Bill for the Act for the Partial Revision of the Patent Act. The bill will be submitted to the 189th ordinary session of the Diet.

The bill aims to improve the system under which intellectual property rights will be appropriately protected and utilized, thereby promoting Japan’s innovation.

1. Purpose of the revision

For the purpose of promoting Japan’s innovation through appropriate protection and utilization of intellectual property rights, the bill aims to review the existing employee invention system so as to encourage inventions and to revise the patent and other fee schedules. Moreover, it also aims to improve the provisions for implementing the Patent Law Treaty (PLT) and the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks (STLT), for the purpose of achieving certain goals, including harmonization of global systems concerning intellectual property rights.

2. Outline of the revision

1) Reviewing the employee invention system [Patent Act]

  1. The revised act is to stipulate the provision that an invention by an employee belongs to the employer, etc. when the right becomes effective, if any provision in any agreement, employment regulation or any other contract stipulates in advance that the right to obtain a patent for any invention made by the employee will be vested in the employer, etc., aiming to eliminate the instability in the ownership of a patent right.
  2. The revised act is to stipulate the provision that an employee, etc. has the right to receive reasonable remuneration or other economic profits, if the employee, etc. causes the employer, etc. to acquire the right to obtain a patent.
  3. The revised act is to stipulate the provision that the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry will define guidelines for procedures to determine the details of the reasonable remuneration or other economic profits, through the examination procedures of the Industrial Structure Council, aiming to encourage inventions.

2) Revising the patent and other fee schedules [Patent Act, Trademark Act, Act on International Applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty]

  1. Patent fees will be decreased by about 10 % concerning each year after the registration for establishing a patent right.
  2. Trademark registration fees will be decreased by about 25% and trademark renewal fees will be decreased by about 20%.
  3. Concerning fees for international applications filed under the PCT such as search fees and preliminary examination fees, the upper limits of the fees will be stipulated, depending on the situations where the description and the scope of claims are written in Japanese or other languages.

3) Improving the provisions for implementing the PLT and STLT [Patent Act, Trademark Act]

The revised act is to improve the necessary provisions under the domestic acts, aiming at the accession to the PLT and STLT, about which member countries are advancing harmonization and streamlining of a variety of domestic application procedures.

  1. Regarding the Patent Act, the revised act is to improve the provisions for implementing the PLT, including the provisions that when an applicant fails to submit a translation of a foreign language written application and other documents within a predetermined period of time, the JPO Commissioner will send a notice to the applicant, and that the applicant is allowed to submit the translation, even after the expiration of the period of time, only if he/she submits it within another predetermined period of time.
  2. Regarding the Trademark Act, the revised act is to improve the provisions for implementing the STLT, including the provisions that when an applicant fails to submit a document certifying the applicant’s eligibility for the special provisions concerning the time of filing the application within a predetermined period of time, he/she is allowed to submit the document, even after the expiration of the period of time, only if he/she submits it within another predetermined period of time.

Release date

March 13, 2015

Divisions in charge

Legislative Affairs Office, General Coordination Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, Japan Patent Office

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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