Kilpatrick Townsend attorneys Hitoshi Akiba, Charles Gray, and Kris Reed recently presented to clients on the topic of “Recent Changes to Patent Law in Asia” at the annual Kilpatrick Townsend Intellectual Property Seminar (KTIPS). KTIPS is an intensive, two-day patent strategy and protection seminar for firm clients.

Key takeaways from the presentation include:  

1. China is becoming the world’s largest battlefield for patent disputes:

  • Improved enforceability
  • Higher damages
  • Permanent injunctions
  • More Non-Practicing Entities (NPE)
  • Specialized IP trial and appeals courts

2. Compulsory license: 

 Chinese government can impose if:

  • Patentee did not practice three years from grant or four years from filing; or
  • Deemed to be a legal monopoly

3. Six month limited public disclosure grace period: 

  • International expo organized and/or recognized by Chinese government
  • Academic or technology conference (specified by the government)
  • Unauthorized disclosure by others 

4. The Japan Patent Office (JPO) recently focused on protection of design: 

  • Japanese design patent law was revised last year and the revisions becomes effective next year
  • The new design patent law includes various revisions for expanding design protection including the protection of architectural/graphical design

5. The JPO also launched initiatives to encourage intellectual property activities of start-up companies:

  • This includes various fee reductions schemes available even for foreign small companies