What You Need to Know about a Japan Patent Application

If you’re not a resident of Japan, getting a Japan patent isn’t easy. It goes beyond the cultural and language barriers since they have unique filing requirements. Its post-grant landscape is unforgiving, which could undo even the best of your market opportunities.

In this guide, you’ll learn about some things that can help you in filing a patent in Japan. Read on and find out more.


1. Japan has a First-to-File System

The Japanese patent law states that the first one to start filing for IP protection will get the patent. Here are the requirements that you should submit to the Japanese Patent Office:

  • Request
  • Specification
  • Claims
  • Diagrams
  • Abstract

You can file the application using English per the law. But the caveat is that you need to submit a translated application within the filing date.

The Japanese patent law will allow six months of grace for disclosures. It only applies when it’s made through the use of experiments as well as experiments, publications, or exhibition presentations. It will also apply if your invention becomes public knowledge without your intent or consent.


2. Hire a Foreign Patent Agent

Japan requires foreign enterprises outside the country to get a patent agent living in Japan. In most cases, this lawyer will act as your project manager. They will ensure that your application will go without a hitch.

That’s why a translation provider living in Japan is the best outlet to hire a patent agent. They will work closely with you, ensuring that you meet all your critical deadlines. If you get a foreign agent and translator, you’ll have a more streamlined process since they will both report to you.


3. Translating Japanese is Difficult

The Japanese language has higher translation error rates. The reason is due to the complications of translating your IP to four different character sets: hiragana, katakana, kanji, and the Romanized western alphabet. Most of the time, you need to express your technical ideas using multiple character sets within the same sentence.

With that, you’ll most likely get different interpretations of your invention. That’s why you’ll need to get highly-skilled translators. To make it even more understandable, you need to establish a terminology management system that allows you to reuse the content you translated before.

That way, you’ll get the highest accuracy level while maintaining your patent’s translation consistency.


Submit a Patent in Japan Today!

Filing a patent in Japan means dealing with a complicated written language and filing requirements. It’s daunting since they have a strict post-grant system. But if you consider these facts, you can minimize trouble and get your patent approved.

Did you find this helpful? If so, read more of our posts today.


Do you need more help in your international patent application? If so, you can contact us for free consulation. We are the Hong Kong patent application grant (PAG) authorized patent agent and can help you to apply for the international patent application.


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