Essentials of Japanese Patent Law: Cases and Practice

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Patent rights depend on many interpretive elements, including even the patent subject matter and the question of who owns the right. Such elements lead to varying legal approaches in different countries and, since it is in the nature of inventions to be international, knowledge of patent law in a variety of national jurisdictions is an indispensable asset for patent lawyers and their clients. This book provides that essential knowledge as it relates to the patent laws of Japan together with English translations of main provisions of the Patent Law. It provides a systematic and concise analysis of theoretical issues and information of practical usefulness (such as examination guidelines of the Japanese Patent Office) as well as analysis of important case law.

With detailed attention to both substantive and procedural law, the author’s thorough exposition covers such features of Japanese patent law as the following:

  • requirements for patentability;
  • provisions for invention by employee;
  • assignment of invention before application;
  • application of foreign language documents;
  • limitation on effect of patents;
  • effects of bukken (right in rem) and saiken (person-to-person claim);
  • procedure before the Patent Office;
  • civil remedies for infringement of patents;
  • case law interpreting negligence;
  • measures for recovery of damage to reputation;
  • establishment of security interests;
  • administrative law suit procedure;
  • appellate review; and
  • procedure before Japanese Intellectual Property High Court.

The Essentials of Japanese Patent Law clearly explains the way in which patents may be registered and protected under Japanese law, and will be of inestimable value to counsel for inventors and enterprises everywhere. No patent lawyers or other intellectual property professionals will want to be without it.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9789041125729
  • Publisher: Kluwer Law International, BV
  • Publication date: 12/28/2006
  • Series: Eiss/Kluwer Law International Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface     v
Legal Abbreviations     xxiii
Statutes     xxiii
Law Reports     xxiv
Citation     xxiv
Courts     xxiv
Name of Era     xxiv
Substantive Law
Introduction     3
The Place of Patent Law in Intellectual Property Law     5
Outline     5
Some characteristics of Intellectual Property Law in terms of the subject matter     6
Unlimited number of embodiments protected     6
Obscure boundary of the subject matter     6
Dual workability     6
Classification of Intellectual Property Law     6
Classification from a procedural viewpoint     6
Classification by nature of right     7
Relationship to the Basic Laws     9
Substantive Law     9
Requirements for Patentability     9
Rights to a patent     9
Nature and effect of a patent     10
Civil remedies for infringement of patents     10
Alteration of right holders     12
Ceasing of effect of a patent (s. 76)     12
Penal provisions     13
Procedural law     13
Procedure before the PatentOffice     13
Party capacity, procedural capacity (litigation capacity)     13
Interruption and suspension of proceeding (s. 24)     13
When submissions become effective     13
Service     13
Appellate review     14
Lawsuit     15
Administrative law suit in patent matters     15
Civil lawsuit     16
Institutional background     16
The Patent Office     16
Examiners     16
Administrative Patent Judge (APJ)     16
Courts     16
Suit for reversal of decision of the Appeal Board     16
Infringement suit etc.     17
Patentability     19
Objective requirements     21
Positive requirements     21
Invention (s. 2(1))     21
Use of the laws of nature     21
Technical thought     23
Originality     24
Being advanced     24
Capability of industrial application (s. 29(1))     24
Examination Guidelines of the Patent Office     24
Court decisions     25
Novelty (s. 29(1))     25
Rule     26
Exceptions to lack of novelty (s. 30)     29
Inventive step or non-obviousness (s. 29(2))     31
Rule     31
Selection invention     32
Enlarged prior application effect (s. 29bis)     33
Basic concept     33
Determination of identity between claimed invention and reference     34
Negative requirements - unpatentable subject matter (s. 32)     34
Subjective requirements     35
Eligibile right holder     35
Right capacity     35
Japanese nationals     35
Foreign nationals     35
Standing to own a patent     36
Who is a holder of a right to a patent (s. 35)     37
Respective rights of employer and employee     37
Contract to assign a future invention     38
Guarantee of reasonable compensation     38
Criteria for computing compensation     39
Profits accruing to employer (positive elements)     39
Contribution of the employer to the invention (deducting elements)     40
Negative prescription     40
Time when the right to a patent is transferred     40
Time when reliable information for determination of compensation becomes available     41
Payment of compensation after lapse of the time limitation     41
Right to a patent in a foreign country     41
Right to a Patent     43
Subject matter     45
Civil remedies for infringement     47
Remedies under the Unfair Competition Law     47
'Trade secrets' defined     47
'Useful technical information' and 'managed in secrecy' requirement     47
'Trade secrets' and 'managed in secrecy'     47
Requirements for injunctive relief     48
Unlawful acquisition of trade secrets and related acts     48
Unlawful use and disclosure of trade secrets legitimately communicated     49
Protection of a bona fide assignee     50
Claim for reinvesting of a right to a patent in the legitimate proprietor     51
During pendency of applications for a patent     51
After granting of a patent     52
Claims for damages     53
Requirements for general tort     53
Knowledge or negligence     53
Amount of damages     54
Change of proprietor     55
Succession     55
Exploitation as security     57
Pledgeability     57
Attachability     57
Special treatment of a joint right to a patent     57
Effect of Patent     59
Protected activities     61
Protected activities specified     61
'Exercising' defined     61
Some interpretational problems     62
'Repair' and 'construction'     62
Parallel import     62
Exhaustion of patent right     64
Export     66
Subject matter within the scope of a patent (technical scope of a patent)     67
Rule     67
Cases warranting narrower interpretation     67
File wrapper estoppel     67
Inconsistency between allegation as an applicant and as a plaintiff in infringement suit     67
Inconsistency between allegations as an appellee in appellate review for invalidation of a patent and as a plaintiff in an infringement suit     68
Functional claim     69
Claims incorporating elements of public knowledge     69
General perspective     69
Claim relating to an invention, some embodiments of which are publicly known     69
Claim relating to an invention, all embodiments of which are publicly known     70
Product by process claim     72
Product claim incorporating a process in other circumstances      73
Patents making use of the patents of others (s. 72)     73
Expert opinion of the Patent Office regarding patent scope     74
Limitation on the effect of a patent     75
Activities and products without a patent scope     75
Exercising of a patented invention for the purpose of experiment and research (s. 69(1))     75
Means of international transportation (s. 69(2)[1])     76
Products existing in Japan at the time of the patent application concerned (s. 69(2)[2])     77
Preparation of medicines and medicines prepared on prescription of medical doctors and dentists (s. 69(3))     77
Patents revived for appellate review de novo     77
Certain products without the effect of a revived patent (Id. (1))     78
Certain activities without the scope of a revived patent (Id. (2))     78
Restriction due to statutory licence (s. 176)     79
Patents revived for the payment of surcharges etc. (ss. 112bis, 112ter)     79
Restrictions due to a statutory licence     80
Common nature of a statutory licence     80
Types of statutory licence     80
Right of prior user     80
Employer's statutory licence     82
Right to continue exercising of invalidated patent     82
Right to continue exercising of an expired right of a registered industrial design     83
The statutory licence of a person who has been exercising an invention protected by a revived patent (s. 176)     84
Licence on administrative decision     85
Common nature     85
Types of licence     86
Geographical Limitation     89
Parallel import     89
International extension of constructive infringement     90
Term of a patent     90
Rule     90
Exception - extension of patent term     90
Requirements for the extension     91
Requirements for application for the extension     92
Effect of the application     94
Examination and action     94
Effect of the registration (s. 68bis)     96
Infringement (Negative Effect)     97
What constitutes infringement     99
How to find infringements     99
General     99
Doctrine of equivalence     100
Requirements for equivalence     100
Time to determine equivalence     101
Circumstances where the doctrine of equivalence is not applicable     102
Incomplete appropriation     102
Without authority to exercise the patent     103
Working in the course of business     103
Presumption of infringement     104
Legislative intent     104
The 'application date' defined     104
'Product known to the public' defined     105
Constructive infringement     105
Nature     106
Requirements     106
Circumstances that require objective elements only     106
Circumstances that require both subjective and objective elements     107
Constructive infringement and claim for damages     108
Defences in infringement suits     109
Civil remedies     111
Injunctive relief     111
Requirements (s. 100(1))     111
Scope of injunctive relief     111
Activities necessary to prevent infringement (s. 100(2))     111
Need to specify subject matter of an injunction     112
Standing to sue     112
Injunction as a provisional disposal     113
Types of preservation measure     113
Requirements for injunction     114
Decision on the application and appeal therefrom     114
Claim for Damages     115
Requirements      115
Criteria for assessment of damages (s. 102(1))     117
Presumption of damages (s. 102(2))     118
Minimum guarantee (s. 102(3))     118
Decreased damages (s. 102(4))     119
Discretionary damages (s. 105ter)     119
Some fact-specific findings of damages     120
Presumption of negligence (s. 103)     121
Standing to sue     121
Exclusive ordinary licensee     121
Ordinary licensee     122
Measures for recovery of damage to reputation (s. 106)     122
Procedural aspects     123
Obligation to disclose the specific manner of making the accused device (s. 104bis)     123
Production of documents     123
Obligation to produce documents     124
Decision on the request     125
Effect of failure to produce     125
Secrecy order     126
Issuance     126
Revocation of a secrecy order     127
Notification of a request for access to trade secrets     128
Examination of parties in closed court     129
Enlarged involvement of the court research officer     130
Specialised committeemen (Law # 108 of Heisei 15th{lcub}2003{rcub})     130
Exploiting a Patent     133
Licensing     135
Exclusive licence     135
Definition     136
Requirements     136
Effect     136
Exploitation     136
Giving of ordinary licence     137
Definition     137
Requirements     138
Effect     138
Entitlement to claim for damages     139
Criminal sanctions     139
Transfer of patent and licence     141
Assignment     141
Patent     141
Assignment (specific succession)     141
General succession (merger and inheritance)     141
Exclusive licence     141
Assignment     141
General succession     142
Ordinary licence     142
Assignment     142
General succession     143
Establishment of security interests     145
Establishment of a pledge     145
Other uses for security purpose     145
Hypothecation     145
Other security uses     146
Ceasing of the Effect of a Patent     147
Absence of heirs (s. 76)      147
Abandonment     147
Non-payment of patent fees (s. 112(4)(5)(6))     147
Expiration of a patent term (ss. 67[middot]67bis)     148
Unappealable decision of the Appeal Board for invalidation (s. 125)     148
Cancellation of patents by court decision (Antimonopoly s. 100(1)[1])     148
Criminal Sanctions     149
Offence of infringement (s. 196)     149
Infringement of patents and exclusive use licences     149
Statutory penalty     149
Dual penalty provision (s. 201)     149
Offence of fraud (s. 197)     150
Offence of false marking (s. 198)     150
Offence of perjury (s. 199)     151
Offence of leaking secrets (s. 200)     151
Offence in contravention of a secrecy order (s. 200bis)     152
Administrative fine     152
Procedural Law
General Provisions of Procedure     155
Parties to the proceedings     155
Party capacity     155
Procedural capacity     156
Minors and adults under guardianship     156
Persons under curatorship (s. 7(2))     157
Counsel     157
Required appointment of counsel (s. 13)     157
Qualification of counsel and scope of representative power (s. 9)     158
Non-extinguishment of representative power     158
Independent representation (s. 12)     159
Reciprocal representation among several parties     159
Patent Administrators     160
Exception to a patent administrator's power     161
Succession and continuation of proceedings (ss. 20[middot]21)     161
Interruption and suspension of the proceedings (s. 24)     161
Interruption     161
Grounds for interruption     162
Effect of interruption     163
Motion for succession     163
Suspension (Civ. Proc. ss. 130[middot]131)     164
Grounds for suspension     164
Effect of suspension     164
Time period and scheduled date     164
Time period     164
Kinds of time period     164
Effect of failure to timely respond     165
Computation of time (s. 3)     165
Scheduled date     166
Papers submitted when effective     166
Service of submissions     166
Significance     166
Service officials     167
To whom     167
Means of service      167
Service by delivery (personal service)     167
Service by registered mail     168
Service by publication     168
Application and Examination Procedure     169
Actions by applicants     171
First to file principle (s. 39)     171
Prior application effect     172
Applications filed on the same day     172
Applications without prior application effect     173
Filing of applications     173
Procedure (s. 36)     174
Required elements of an application     174
A request     174
Attached documents (s. 36(2))     175
Unity of an application (s. 37)     178
Requirements for unity     178
Effect of unity     179
Claiming Paris Convention Priority     180
Procedure (s. 43)     180
Among countries of the Union     181
Extended application to WTO member states     182
Requirements (Paris Art. 4)     183
Filing of regular applications for patents or utility models (Paris Art. 4A[middot]E(2))     183
Time period for claiming priority     183
Identity of the subject matter of applications (Paris Art. 4H)      184
Identity of the applicants (transferability of priority) (Paris Art. 4A(1))     184
Effect of a priority claim     184
Prior application effect (ss. 39, 29bis)     184
Determination of patentability as of the priority date     185
No adverse effect     185
Request for examination     185
Amendments     186
Classification of amendments by effect for failure to respond properly     188
Proceedings to be dismissed     188
Proceedings to be subject to notice of rejection     188
Classification by restriction on scope and time period for amendments     189
Amendments to specification, claims or drawings (s. 17bis)     189
Other amendments     189
Amendments to the abstract (s. 17ter)     190
Action on improper amendments     190
Amendments in response to the first notice of rejection     190
Amendments after a second or subsequent notice of rejection     190
Division of an application (s. 44)     191
Concept of a divisional application     191
Time period     192
Requirements for division     192
Requirements of form     192
Substantive requirements      192
Effect     192
Conversion of applications     193
Manner of conversion     193
Time period for conversion     194
From utility model or design applications into patent applications     194
From patent applications into utility model applications     194
From patent applications to design applications     194
Effect     195
Claiming domestic priority (s. 41)     195
Possible uses     197
Adding more specific embodiments     197
Presenting a more abstract claim     197
Joining of claims     198
Requirements     198
Basic applications     198
Identity of applicants     198
Time period for claiming priority     198
Procedure     199
Effect     199
Retroactive effect     199
Withdrawal of a prior application (s. 42)     200
Withdrawal of applications     200
Voluntary withdrawal     200
Constructive withdrawal     200
Effect     201
Abandonment of applications     201
Application for patent relying on a registered Utility Model     201
Legislative intent     202
Requirements for filing the application for a patent (s. 46bis)     203
Requirements of form     203
Substantive requirements     203
Effect     203
Application in foreign language documents (s. 36bis)     204
Legislative intent     205
Procedure     205
Nature of foreign language documents, foreign language abstract and the Japanese translations     205
Japanese translations     205
Foreign language documents     206
New matter over original disclosure     206
Definition     206
Examination     206
New matter over Japanese translations     207
Amendment by written correction of mistranslation     207
Requirements     207
Amendments for written correction of mistranslation during appellate review for correction (s. 126(1)[2][middot](2)) or appellate review for invalidation (s. 134(1)[2][middot](5))     208
Examination of foreign language applications     208
Examination of new matter over the original disclosure     208
Examination of amendments proposed after the last notice of rejection     208
Actions on amendments     208
Publication of applications      209
PCT applications in a foreign language     209
Criteria for determination of new matter over original disclosure     209
Amendments     209
Amendments by written correction of mistranslation     209
General amendments     209
Actions of the Patent Office     211
Dismissal of improper proceedings of applicants     211
Dismissal of proceedings that are improper and may not be amended     211
Dismissal of improper but amendable proceedings     212
Publication of applications (s. 64)     212
What is published     213
Applications to be published     213
Applications that shall not be published     213
Timing     214
Effect     214
Right to compensation     215
Other effects     216
Action for rejection     217
Final action and registration     218
Action for allowance     218
Final rejection     218
Registration of grant     219
Procedure     219
Publication and delivery of a certificate of patent     219
Effect     219
Appeal Board     221
Types of appellate review      223
Procedure before the Appeal Board     225
Filing of a demand for appellate review     225
Outline     225
Standing to appeal     226
Requirements of form for a demand for appellate review     226
Required statements     226
Amendment to a demand for appellate review     227
Concept of 'alter the substance'     228
Irregularities of form     229
Joint appeal     230
Necessary joint appeal     230
Ordinary joint appeal     230
Service of a duplicate of a demand for appellate review and submission of the answer thereto     231
Interrelationship between appellate review and a lawsuit     231
Notification between courts and the Patent Office     232
Interruption of appellate review and court proceedings     232
Dismissal by a Board decision of a demand for appellate review (s. 135)     232
Dismissal by ruling of the presiding APJ     233
Review by the Appeal Board     235
Types of Review     235
Taking of evidence and progress of the proceedings     235
Review ex officio     235
Intervention (s. 148)     237
Types of intervention      237
Intervention as party     237
Auxiliary intervention     237
Procedure     238
Notice of conclusion of the review     238
Termination of the proceedings     239
Final decision of the Appeal Board     239
Types of final decision     239
Effect of the decision of the Appeal Board     239
Effect of 'administrative act'     239
Enforceability against the whole world     240
No second demand for appellate review     240
Withdrawal of demand for appellate review (s. 155)     241
Withdrawal of the subject matter     241
Rules applicable to specific types of appellate reviews     243
Appellate review for reversal of final rejection (s. 121)     243
Provisions regarding examination shall apply mutatis mutandis to the appellate review     243
Relationship to final rejection     243
Requirements for amendment     244
Notice of rejection guaranteed (s. 159(2))     244
Final decision of the Appeal Board     245
Presupposed examination     245
Provisions regarding inter partes appeal not applicable (s. 161)     246
Appellate review for correction and request for correction      246
Appellate review for correction     246
Legislative intent     247
Time period (s. 126(2))     247
Requirements for correction     248
Amendments     249
Determination on compliance with requirements for correction     250
Effect of correction     250
Request for correction (s. 134bis)     250
Time period for filing a request     252
Requirements for correction     253
Request for corrections in relation to judgment and ruling vacating decision of the Appeal Board for invalidation     253
Appellate review for invalidation of a patent (s. 123)     254
Standing to appeal     255
Grounds for invalidation (s. 123(1)[1]-[8])     255
Procedure     255
Retroactive effect     256
Appellate review for invalidation of patent term extension     256
Grounds for invalidation (s. 125bis)     257
Procedure     257
Appellate review de novo of an unappealable Appeal Board decision     259
Grounds for appellate review de novo     260
Time period for filing a demand for appellate review de novo (s. 173)     261
Parties     261
Scope of review      262
Effect of revived patent (s. 175)     262
Restriction as to the specific statutory products     262
Restriction as to the prescribed acts of working     262
Restriction for statutory licence     262
Appealing to the Courts     263
Appeal for reversal of the final decision of the Appeal Board     265
Outline     265
The appealable final decisions of the Appeal Board     266
Jurisdiction     266
Standing to sue and to be sued     266
In general     266
Lawfulness of a suit filed by less than all the joint appellants (inventors)     267
Suit for reversal of the Board decision affirming final rejection     267
Suit for reversal of a Board decision having invalidated a patent     270
Time period     270
Scope of review     270
Substantive illegality     271
Case law     271
Scholarly opinion     272
Procedural illegality     272
Binding force of the court decision     273
Court decision or ruling for reversal of the decision of the Appeal Board     274
Legislative intent     274
Requirements for the decision     275
Suit for vacating actions of the Principal of the Patent Office     277
Jurisdiction and time period     277
Standing to sue     277
Concept of administrative acts     277
Presupposed objection or request for review to the Principal of the Patent Office     278
Suit for declaration of invalidity of administrative acts (Adm. Case ss.3(4)[middot]36)     281
Suit for increase or decrease in the amount of awarded royalties (Adm. Case s. 4)     283
Jurisdiction and time period     283
Standing to sue     283
Binding force of the judgment     283
Relationship to presupposed appeal to the Principal of the Patent Office     283
Table of Cases     285
Index     291
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