Japan: Act on the Partial Revision of the Patent Act and Other Acts (Act No. 36 of May 14, 2014)

April 1, 2015

Japan: The Act on the Partial Revision of the Patent Act and Other Acts (Act No. 36 of May 14, 2014), which was passed on April 25, 2014, and promulgated on May 14, 2014, entered into force on April 1, 2015.

It amends the Patent Act, the Design Act, the Trademark Act, the Patent Attorney Act and the Act on the International Applications under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT) in order to: (i) enhance relief measures for applicants and create new opposition system for patent rights; (ii) set out provisions for simultaneously filing a design application in multiple countries to comply with the Geneva (1999) Act of the Hague Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Industrial Designs to which Japan acceded on May 13, 2015; (iii) expand the scope of protection to non-conventional trademarks such as color marks, sound marks, hologram marks, motion marks, and position marks already protected in some countries, and expand the scope of eligible entities to register regional collective trademarks; (iv) clarify patent attorney's missions and expand the scope of their business; and (v) simplify payment procedures for fees for international applications under the PCT.