Grace period is extended to 12 months (Art. 30)

Grace period for the exceptions to the loss of novelty has been extended from 6 to 12 months. This applies to patents, designs and utility models and will be enacted on June 6, 2018 (next week!). Japanese or PCT application, but not priority application, must be filed within a year. If a grace period is used in a foreign country, the due date for filing in Japan should be docketed as one year from the loss of novelty.

In-camera procedures at courts will be improved (Art. 105)

The court will be able to order the parties to submit documents for in-camera procedures where limited persons review the documents and determine whether the documents are necessary for proving the infringement or damages. If they are found necessary, the court can order the submission of the documents to the court. This is likely enacted on April 1, 2019 and will reinforce Japanese patents.