The 2015 law revising part of the Patent Law, etc. (simply referred to as Law No. 55 of 2015) was promulgated on July 10 this year and necessary preparations are being made toward its enforcement projected around the spring of 2016.
While Law No. 55 of 2015 covers several areas, the contents of the revision concerning patent fees, etc. may be summarized as follows. This revision has two purposes, fee reduction for lightening the burden on users to promote the utilization of patent and trademark rights, and fee adjustment that reflects the increasing cases of international applications.
1. Reduction of Patent Fees as well as the Fee for Registration of Establishment of Trademarks and the Fee for Registration of Renewal of Term of Trademarks
Patent fees and patent application fee are reduced by about 10%.
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The fee for registration of establishment of trademarks and the fee for registration of renewal of term of trademarks are reduced by about 25% and 20%, respectively.
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2. Reviewing the Fee Schedule Applicable to International Applications The current fee schedule applicable to international applications based on the PCT is modified so as to depend on whether they are written in Japanese or foreign languages.
- In a separate law, the amounts calculated by taking actual costs into consideration shall be stipulated as upper limits.
- The amounts of actual fees shall be stipulated in Cabinet Order.
As for international applications written in Japanese, the current fee schedule is probably to be maintained whereas the fee schedule applicable to international applications written in foreign languages will probably be revised to reflect the fairness between Japanese and other language in bearing actual costs, current fees payable in foreign countries, and the trend in the filing of international applications.
3. On Transitory Measures
(1) Patent and trademark (Article 2, par. 7 of Patent Law Supplementary Provisions and Article 3, par. 5 of Trademark Law Supplementary Provisions)
For the patent fees and registration fees paid before the date of enforcement, the old fee schedules will basically apply, and those paid on or after the date of enforcement, the new fee schedules will apply.
(2) On late payment, etc.
Even for the patent fees and registration fees paid on or after the date of enforcement, the old fee schedules will apply in the following cases.
- when those patent fees or registration fees which should be paid before the date of enforcement are paid within the period of late payment (Article 112 of the Patent Law and Article 43 of the Trademark Law);
- in the case of payment in two installments of the fee for the registration of trademarks, where the first half of the fee for registration of establishment of trademarks (Article 41-2, par. 1 of the Trademark Law) and that of the fee for registration of renewal of term of trademarks (Article 41-2, par. 7 of the Trademark Law) were paid according to the old fee schedule, the second half of the respective fees shall also be paid according to the old fee schedule.
(3) International applications (Article 4, pars. 1 to 3 of the Supplementary Provisions)
(i) Search fee and additional search fee
If the international filing date is before the date of enforcement, the old fee schedule will apply and if it is on or after the date of enforcement, the new fee schedule will apply.
(iii) Preliminary examination fee and additional preliminary examination fee
If the date of payment of the preliminary examination fee is before the date of enforcement, the old fee schedule will apply and if it is on or after the date of enforcement, the new fee schedule will apply.
(Source and reference)
Text for the lecture on the 2015 Revision of Patent Law, etc.
The 2015 law revising part of the Patent Law, etc. (Law No. 55 of 2015)