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Release of the Results of the FY2018 User Satisfaction Surveys on Examination Quality

April 16, 2019

Aiming to reflect IP users’ opinions in its policies for quality control, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) has been conducting User Satisfaction Surveys on Examination Quality every fiscal year and releasing the analysis results of the surveys.

The FY2018 survey results uncovered that the ratio of respondents who positively evaluated the overall quality of patent examinations in all respondents was 62.2%, up by 3.9% from the previous year. As for the overall quality of international search and international preliminary examination on applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the ratio thereof was 57.8%, up by 3.6% from the previous year.

The overall quality of design examinations in all respondents, the ratio of respondents who positively evaluated it was 59.5%, up by 1.5% from the previous year. As for the overall quality of examinations of applications for international design registration filed under the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, the ratio thereof was 48.2%, up by 18.8% from the previous year.

The ratio of those who have positively evaluated the overall quality of trademark examination was 47.7%, down by 0.6% from the previous year.

1. Background to the survey

Provision of internationally-reliable and quality examinations is a significant duty for the JPO to support companies in smooth business development, promote innovations and maintain healthy transactions among businesses. The JPO aims to ascertain the current quality of examinations and IP users’ opinions on examinations and to reflect the ascertained results in its future policies for quality control, and to this end, it has been conducting surveys on IP users’ evaluation of examination quality involving patent, design and trademark applications and analyzing the survey results.

2. Survey method

The JPO conducted a survey on the quality of patent, design and trademark examinations implemented in FY2017 focusing on two sections: overall quality of examinations and quality of examinations of specific applications (as for the patent and trademark categories, sample application documents extracted by the JPO; as for the design category, application documents chosen by respondents), and asked respondents to score multiple questionnaire items on a 5-point scale. The FY2018 survey was conducted between May and June 2018 and the response rate was approximately 90%. Details of the survey targets are as follows.

Patent: 731 IP users and 2,652 applications
Design: 348 IP users and 225 applications
Trademark: 420 IP users and 420 applications

3. Outline of the surveys results

(1) Patent examination

(2) Design examination

(3) Trademark examination

*Note: As a goal to be achieved in FY2017, the JPO set over 60% as a quantitative goal for respondents as IP users who highly evaluate the quality of smooth communication with examiners.

Reference: Evaluation of achievements of the goals that the JPO set in the FY2017 survey

4. Details of the survey results

For the full text of the report on the FY2018 survey, visit the following websites (in Japanese).

Division in Charge

Quality Control Office, Administrative Affairs Division, Patent and Design Examination Department (Physics, Optics, Social Infrastructure and Design), JPO