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Release of the Results of the FY2019 User Satisfaction Surveys on Examination Quality

September 30, 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 analysis of results of the surveys.

According to the FY2019 survey results, the ratio of all respondents who evaluated the overall quality of patent examinations as “average” or higher was 93.7%, down by 0.7 percentage points (pp) from the previous year. As for the overall quality of international search and international preliminary examination on for applications filed under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT), the ratio was 97.4%, up by 1.2 pp from the previous year.

The ratio of all respondents who evaluated the overall quality of design examinations as “average” or higher was 95.1%, down by 1.4 pp from the previous year, while as for the overall quality of examinations of international design applications filed under the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs, the ratio was 96.8%, up by 7.9 pp from the previous year.

The ratio of those who evaluated the overall quality of trademark examination as “average” or higher was 90.2%, down by 2.8 pp from the previous year.

The JPO, as an organizer of the survey, has achieved the FY2018 quantitative goal for respondents who highly evaluate the quality of communication with examiners in all categories of patents, designs and trademarks.

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 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 quality of examinations of 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 FY2018 focusing on two sections: overall quality of examinations and respective applications (as for the patent and trademark categories, sample application documents extracted by the JPO at random; as for the design category, application documents chosen by respondents from their own application documents), and asked respondents to score multiple questionnaire items on a 5-point scale. The FY2019 survey was conducted between May and June 2019 and the response rate was approximately 90%. Details of the respondents are as follows.

Patent: 650 IP users and 2,465 applications
Design: 313 IP users and 204 applications
Trademark: 379 IP users and 374 applications

3. Outline of the survey results and future actions

(1) Patent examination

(2) Design examination

(3) Trademark examination

*Note: As a goal to be achieved in FY2018, the JPO set over 60% for patents and trademarks and over 65% for designs as a quantitative goal for the ratio of the respondents as IP users who highly evaluate the quality of communication with examiners.

4. Details of the survey results

For the full text of a report on the FY2019 survey, visit the following websites.

Division in Charge

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