When we receive instructions to enter the national phase in Japan with respect to a PCT application, we usually ask the applicant to have a General Power of Attorney duly executed and return the original copy to us.
Once we file a General Power of Attorney with the Japan Patent Office, the submission of a Power of Attorney, which is normally required for each application, will no longer be required. Submission of a General Power of Attorney does not mean that the applicant cannot be represented by any other Japanese attorneys. The applicant will still be able to appoint other attorneys.
If the applicant prefers a case specific Power of Attorney, we will prepare such a power upon request.
However, under the current Japanese practice, it is practically not necessary to file a Power of Attorney at the time of the filing of the national phase entry into Japan. The reason why we ask the clients in advance to provide us with the Power is that we would like to keep it in hand for the possible future instances. For example, a Power is required when filing an Appeal, but it is sometimes difficult for the applicant to provide us with the Power before the deadline.
Meanwhile, when we receive a case transferred from the other representative, it is required to file the Power to complete the formality of the transfer before the JPO.
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