In November, 2022, the JPO provided an update on the status of business-related inventions

The JPO considers business-related inventions to be inventions by which business methods are realized using Information and Communication Technology (ICT). Specifically for the purposes of this report, the JPO considered inventions classified with IPC or FI[1] G06Q as "Business-related inventions".  Business-related inventions are patentable subject matter in Japan.

The number of domestic patent applications for business-related inventions has been increasing in recent years. This was attributed in the report to an increase in R&D following the industrial structure change from "products" to "services". Another reason is that new services using ICT are being created in new fields such as finance, due to developments in AI and IoT technologies in addition to the spread of smartphones and SNS to the public.

As for the number of applications, the downward trend after the application boom in 2000 turned into an increase around 2012 and has been rising ever since For example, 11,747 applications were filed in 2020.

The grant rate of business-related inventions was initially sluggish, but has been rising year by year, reaching 74% (which is roughly equivalent to other technical fields) in 2017.

Specific information on this topic can be found here: