Japanese Patent Law Revisions have been Announced
The JPO made an announcement regarding changes to Japanese Patent Law on March 11, 2011.
There are 4 themes for the new revisions:
1. Strengthening Protection of License Contracts
License registration, which was difficult to practice, is no longer required to oppose a prohibition request from a third party.
2. Appropriate Protection for the Results of Collaborative Research and Development
A new provision was adapted to restore the patent rights to inventors in situations where a patent was obtained by only a number of the joint inventors.
3. Improvement of User Convenience
The term for small and medium sized business patent fee discounts and waivers has been extended to a maximum of 10 years. Japanese patent fee discounts can also be applied to foreign corporations. Again, regulations for the exception to lack of novelty have also been amended.
4. Review of the System of Judgment for Prompt and Efficient Solutions to Conflicts
If the contents of a patent right are amended after judicial review, a provision was established to prevent the case from being transferred from the trial to a judge.