In advance of the revision summarized in the previous articles about “Revision of Patent Act and Trademark Act in 2015 (Parts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5),” other revisions of the Patent Act, Design Act and Trademark Act were promulgated in 2014 and went into force in 2015. The following are a review and statistics relating to the newly introduced systems.

1. Patents: Opposition System

A post-grant Opposition System was reintroduced on April 1, 2015, which has become popular among users wishing to cancel patents, and the total number of requests for oppositions exceeded 1000 as of August 1, 2016. The table below compares the Opposition and Invalidation Trial before the Japan Patent Office (JPO).

Patent Opposition System Trial for Patent Invalidation System
Procedures Ex parte Inter partes
Who is eligible to request Any parties
(Anonymity is not possible)
Interested parties only
Time limit Within 6 months of the publication date of the Gazette containing the patent Any time after the registration of establishment
Method of Proceedings Documentary proceedings (Oral proceedings are not possible) Oral proceedings, in principle (Documentary proceedings are also possible)
Official Fee 16,500 yen
+ (2,400 yen per claim petitioned)
49,500 yen
+ (5,500 yen per claim petitioned)
Number of Requests 684
(from April 2015 to March 2016)
[Note] After October 2015, about 90-120 requests per month
(from April 2015 to March 2016)

2. Designs: International Design Application under the Geneva Act of the Hague Agreement

On May 13, 2015, the Geneva Act came into effect in Japan and the revision of the Design Act went into force for handling international applications filed under the Geneva Act. As at the end of May of 2016, 1298 applications designating Japan had been filed under the Geneva Act.

<Number of International Applications for Design Registration filed with the JPO as Designated Office (As at the end of May of 2016)>

2015.05 2015.06 2015.07 2015.08 2015.09 2015.10 2015.11
0 17 25 84 56 80 79
2015.12 2016.01 2016.02 2016.03 2016.04 2016.05 Total
111 146 176 192 188 144 1298

3. Trademarks: Non-traditional Trademarks

On April 1, 2015, the JPO started receiving applications for non-traditional trademarks such as those of sound, color, motion, hologram, and position. As at the end of June of 2016, 1329 applications for the registration of non-traditional trademarks had been filed, out of which 86 trademarks were registered.

<Number of Applications and Registrations for Non-Traditional Trademarks (As at the end of June of 2016)>

Number of
Number of
Total 1329 86
Types Sound 446 39
Color 478 0
Position 295 9
Motion 94 36
Hologram 16 2

For more details, please visit the following pages of the JPO website.