Obtaining Japanese Patent Protection

Japan grants patent protection to inventors, devisers, creators, and successors in interest, through the Japanese Patent Office (JPO). Japan follows the "first-to-file" system. This means patents are only granted to the first-time applicant. Japan affords patents for highly advanced and sophisticated inventions while it grants utility model to simple "devices." When the JPO registers an application for patent as a right, patent rights start for the inventor or patent holder. Denials can be appealed before an appeal panel and the Intellectual Property High Court.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What are the main steps in the patent application process?
What about the necessity of translating the patent application?
How are annuities paid?
What are the most relevant issues regarding utility patents?
What is the relationship between the United States Patent and Trademark Office and the Japanese Patent Office?

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