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Search Functions for Patent Examiners to be Accessible to the Public Release of new functions of the Japan Platform for Patent Information (J-PlatPat)

The Japan Platform for Patent Information (J-PlatPat) is, a free-of-charge database through which IP users are able to search and refer to gazettes of and other information on patents, utility models, designs and trademarks. The Japan Patent Office (JPO) hereby announces that J-PlatPat will significantly enhance the database functions and harmonize its search functions with those of the existing patent examination systems, thereby permitting the public to access new search functions through J-PlatPat.

Through accessing these new functions, IP users will be able to accomplish more accurate and efficient prior art search, and this is expected to help them avoid any overlapping investment in research and development processes and to promote innovations. Moreover, these new functions will permit IP users to efficiently conduct prior art search for U.S., EU, and international applications in English across countries, thereby supporting such users in developing more appropriate strategies for filing applications overseas.

Outline of new functions

From March 12, 2018, the JPO will significantly enhance the J-PlatPat database functions and harmonize its search functions with those of the existing patent examination systems, thereby permitting the public to access new search functions through J-PlatPat.

Major additional and improved functions are as follows.

Additional functions

Function 1: Combination search by patent classifications and key words
Function 2: Proximity search
Function 3: Text search in English for patent gazettes overseas (U.S., EU, and international applications)

 Improved functions

Function 4: Expanded range of target periods for text search, e.g., domestic publications of patent applications
Function 5: Expanded upper limit on the number of indicated search results

For further details, see the Appendix attached to the Japanese language press release.


Through accessing these new functions, IP users will be able to accomplish more accurate and efficient prior art search, and this is expected to help them avoid any overlapping investment in research and development processes and to promote innovations.

These new functions will permit IP users to access text search in English for overseas gazettes, and this will help them efficiently conduct prior art search for U.S., EU, and international applications in English across fields, thereby supporting such users in developing more appropriate strategies for filing applications overseas.

Reference: Outline of the J-PlatPat database

In March 1999, the JPO started the Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL) database, a free-of-charge online service to provide patent information, as one of the efforts for developing a user-friendly environment involving a broader range of patent information. Following this, in March 2015, it renewed the service to meet the demand of IP users for more sophisticated and diversified patent information and started J-PlatPat. Since then, the smooth online provision of patent information to the public has been operated.

J-PlatPat provides accumulated data on approximately 130 million gazettes and other applications involving patents, utility models, designs and trademarks inside and outside Japan as well as data on the administrative status of applications involving examination, registration, and trials and appeals. As seen in over 100 million annual accesses by IP users to the database, J-PlatPat has already become popular as a free-of-charge service in which all IP users are able to search and refer to patent information free of charge in Japan.

Release date

March 9, 2018

Division in Charge

Patent Information Policy Planning 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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