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Japan Patent Office JPO Officials' Use of Original Surnames is Expanded A step forward for the development of a working environment friendly to both male and female officials

Since the first female Commissioner took office, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) has issued official documents using the Commissioner’s original surname. From September 1 onward, the JPO will permit the use of original surnames in statutory documents to be issued externally.

Ministries and agencies have not permitted officials to use their original surnames in statutory documents for administrative measures, etc. from the perspective of ensuring the identity of officials who prepare such documents (married surnames had been required).

However, the identity of officials who prepare such documents can be ensured sufficiently by properly ascertaining and managing officials' original surnames within the JPO, and it would be more reasonable and convenient for officials who are already using their original surnames in the office to also use them in documents to be issued externally. Additionally, admitting the use of original surnames is expected to enhance the motivation of female staff as most of those using original surnames are female. For these reasons, the JPO decided to expand its officials' ability to use original surnames for official documents ahead of other ministries and agencies.

Specifically, JPO officials will be permitted to use their original surnames at their request in documents used for examinations and judgments on industrial property rights.

The JPO will take measures for disseminating this operational change to related parties and arranging internal regulations for commencing the new rule in September.

Release date

July 28, 2017

Division in Charge

 Personnel 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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