Annual Report 2019 released by JPO

  • 投稿カテゴリー:News

The Japan Patent Office released an annual report 2019 on the situation of Japanese patent applications. We have picked up some of the topics which we think are of interest to our clients.

Trends in numbers of Japanese patent applications and PCT applications

In 2018, 313,567 patent applications were filed in Japan. The number of Japanese patent applications is broadly flat from the year of 2015. 

Meanwhile, the number of PCT international applications filed before the Japan Patent Office is consistently on the rise, and in 2018, 48,630 PCT applications were filed, which was the  record-high. 

Patent Examination Term at IP5

The following table shows the patent examination terms at the IP5 (Japan, US, EP, China, and Korea). It had been said that the JPO’s examination is relatively slow, but as you see, the patent examination term at the JPO is very short these days. 


Patent Examination in Japan is very quick

The Japan Patent Office sets a goal to be achieved by Year 2023: 1) First Office Action within 10 months; and 2) Final Decision (Grant or Rejection) within 14 months. In order to achieve the goal, the patent examination at the JPO is getting quick. According to the annual report 2019, it was almost achieved in 2018, 9.3 months until a fist office action is issued and 14.1 months until a final decision. Please note that, as to item 2), cases where second office actions are issued and applicants extend term for reply are excluded.

Rate of Decision to Grant in Japan is really high

It had been said that the JPO’s examination is very strict and that the rate of Decision to Grant in Japan should be low.  However, the rate of Decision to Grant in Japan actually goes beyond 60% from the year of 2011 and it was 75.3% in 2018.  


Trends in Biotech Patent Applications in IP5

The number of patent applications in the field of biotechnology drastically decreased in 2016 (based on priority date) in Japan, US, Korea, and EP.  On the other hand, in China, the number of patent applications in most fields increased in 2016, while it decreased in biotech field only slightly though.  The number of applications in China is far more than the total of those in the other countries.