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Japan Patent OfficeAccession to the Patent Law Treaty and the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks

On March 11, 2016, the government of Japan submitted instruments of accession to the Patent Law Treaty (PLT) and the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks (STLT) to the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). These Treaties will come into force for Japan on June 11, 2016.

1. Outline of the PLT and the STLT

The Patent Law Treaty (hereinafter referred to as the PLT) and the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks (hereinafter referred to as the STLT) aim for harmonizing and streamlining formal procedures with respect to national and regional patent/trademark applications and patents/trademark rights, which vary between countries, to improve user-friendliness and mitigate applicants’ burden.

2. Background to and effects of accession

In recent years, while the globalization of intellectual property activities has been advancing rapidly, it has become increasingly important to internationally harmonize the systems related to the patent/trademark application procedures between countries. The PLT and the STLT aim to remedy the incompletion in the procedures for applicants etc., improve user-friendliness for them, and mitigate their burden. In light of current circumstances, in which the international harmonization of procedures has rapidly advanced, such as the progressive accession of countries in Europe and the U.S. in recent years, the government of Japan has also decided to accede to these Treaties.

Among the emerging countries whose markets Japanese companies are trying to enter, accession to these Treaties has not progressed. Through Japan’s accession to these Treaties, the government of Japan will lead other countries toward accession to these Treaties and improve convenience for applicants in Japan.

3. Future actions

On June 11, 2016, the PLT and the STLT will come into force in Japan. Before the entry into force of the Treaties, the Act for the Partial Revision of the Patent Act and Other Acts (Act No. 55 of 2015), including relevant provisions to implement new procedures introduced along with Japan’s accession to the Treaties, related cabinet orders, and related ministerial ordinances will come into force on April 1, 2016. The enforcement of the Act and related ordinances and orders will enable applicants in Japan to utilize relief systems which conform to the provisions of both Treaties after April 1, 2016.

Reference

  • PLT:
    The Treaty was adopted in 2000 and came into force in 2005. As of February 2016, 36 countries including the U.S., the UK, France, and Australia are the Contracting Parties for which the Treaty came into force.
  • STLT:
    The Treaty was adopted in 2006 and came into force in 2009. As of February 2016, 39 countries including the U.S., the UK, France, and Australia and two intergovernmental organizations are the Contracting Parties for which the Treaty came into force.
  • Act for the Partial Revision of the Patent Act and Other Acts (Act No. 55 of 2015):
    https://www.jpo.go.jp/torikumi/kaisei/kaisei2/tokkyohoutou_kaiei_270710.htm External Site Link(in Japanese)

Release date

March 14, 2016

Division in Charge

  • Customer Relations Policy Division, Trademark and Customer Relations Department, Japan Patent Office
  • Legislative Affairs Office, General Coordination Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, Japan Patent Office
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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