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Cabinet Decision on the Relevant Cabinet Orders for the Partial Enforcement of the Act of Partial Revision of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, etc.

December 28, 2018

On December 28, 2018, the Cabinet approved the relevant Cabinet Orders for the partial enforcement of the Act of Partial Revision of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, etc. (hereinafter referred to as the “Revised Act”), which was established at the 196th ordinary session of the Diet. The enforcement date for the provisions prescribed in Article 1 (4) of the Supplementary Provisions of the Act of Partial Revision of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, etc. is April 1, 2019.

1. Background

At its 196th ordinary session, the Diet established the Act of Partial Revision of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, etc. stipulating provisions that will expand the coverage of the measures for alleviating patent fees, fees for application examinations and fees for filing international applications (hereinafter collectively called “patent fees, etc.”) from the SMEs covered under the current measures to all SMEs.

References:

  1. Patent fees: Patent right holders are required to pay the fees to maintain their patent rights.
  2. Fees for application examinations: Applicants are required to pay the fees when they request an examination of their patent applications.
  3. Fees for filing international applications: Applicants are required to pay the fees in filing their international applications.

In response, on December 28, 2018, the Cabinet approved the relevant Cabinet Orders that stipulate the parties subject to the alleviation measures and alleviation rates, which are matters delegated to the relevant Cabinet Orders under the Revised Act, and to stipulate the enforcement date of the part of the Revised Act.

2. Summary of the Cabinet Orders

The major measures under the relevant Cabinet Orders are as follows:

(1) Cabinet Order for Stipulating the Enforcement Date of Part of the Revised Act

The Cabinet Order is to stipulate the enforcement date of the provisions prescribed in Article 1 (4) of the Supplementary Provisions of the Act of Partial Revision of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act, etc. as April 1, 2019.

(2) Cabinet Order for Developing Relevant Cabinet Orders Involving the Enforcement of Part of the Revised Act

A. The Cabinet Order is to stipulate parties subject to the measures for alleviating patent fees, etc. and the alleviation rates as below.
  1. SMEs, specified SMEs, research and development organizations, etc. (universities, businesses conducting technical transfers through universities, research and development incorporated administrative agencies, and other entities): Fees reduced by 1/2
  2. Small enterprises (with 20 employees or less), venture businesses (businesses operating for less than 10 years): Fees reduced by 2/3
  3. SMEs participating in projects under the Act on Special Measures for the Reconstruction and Revitalization of Fukushima: Fees reduced by 3/4
B. This expansion of the coverage of the alleviation measures is expected to cause the expenditures to constantly exceed the revenue of the Patent Special Account. To compensate for this loss, the basic fees for application examinations will increase by 20,000 yen. However, the new fees for application examinations will be applied to patent applications filed after the enforcement of the Cabinet Order.
Revised fees: 138,000 yen + the number of claims x 4,000 yen
 

Division in Charge

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