Patent System in Japan

On April 25, 2024, the JPO announced a revision of the Patent and Utility Model Examination Handbook.
This is due to the start of operation of the Patent Application Closed System, which came into effect on May 1, 2024. As such, it does not set forth any new guidelines or operations beyond those stipulated in the Law.

The JPO has added 10 new cases to clarify key points for the examination of AI-related inventions.
In light of the rapid development of generative AI, the JPO has updated the cases so that even companies that have had little experience with AI-related technologies can use them as a reference for patent applications for AI-related technologies.

The JPO has revised the “Trademark Examination Standards” to comply with the revised Trademark Law of 2023.
The basic concepts (including interpretation and operation) of the application of the Trademark Act in the performance of practical duties in trademark examination are summarized in the Trademark Examination Guidelines, which are classified as general guidelines for trademark examination and are broadly used in order to deepen trademark applicants' and their representatives' understanding of the practical duties performed at the JPO.

On May 24, 2024, the JPO began accepting applications for VC-IPAS; VC collaborating on Intellectual Property Acceleration program for Startups, a program for dispatching intellectual property experts to venture capitals.
This program dispatches intellectual property experts such as patent attorneys and attorneys at law to venture capital firms to support startups in developing intellectual property strategies through venture capital.

On April 24, 2024, the JPO issued a guidebook on the investment and utilization of intellectual property intangibles.
While awareness of the importance of investment and utilization of IP and intangible assets and their disclosure is spreading, many companies are still struggling with how to tackle this issue.
Therefore, this report discusses various specific cases and describes key points for promoting investment and utilization of IP and intangible assets, the role of the IP department, and the importance and methodology of information disclosure.

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