There are critical deadlines for Japanese Patent Applications under the Japanese Patent Law through filing to registration or grant.
1) Request for Examination – 3 years from a filing date
After a Japanese patent application is filed with the Japan Patent Office, an applicant needs to file a request for examinnation within three years from a filing date. When the application is based on a PCT application, this term starts from an international filing date. When the application claims a priority under the Paris Convention, the term starts from the actual filing date in Japan. The term for filing the request for examination cannot be extended. After the three years from the filing date, the application is deemed to be withdrawn and cannot be revived.
*Our firm automatically forwards notifications to our clients several months before the deadline to confirm if the applicants wish to proceed with examination for the applications.
2) National Entry – 30 months from a priority date
In accordance with the PCT, the deadline for entering the national phase in Japan is set to 30 months for all PCT applications. The Japanese Patent Law allows a grace period of 2 months for the filing of the Japanese translation of the specification if the national entry into Japan occurs before the 30th month. The Japanese translation can be filed after the national entry in Japan, if a national entry request is filed to the Japan Patent Office (JPO) before the 30-month deadline. The Japanese translation can be filed to the JPO within two months from the filing date of the national entry request. It should be noted that the grace period starts from the “filing date of the national entry request” (not from the last day of the 30-month term).
3) Priority Priod – one year from a filing date of a first application
A Japanese patent application claiming a priority from a first application filed in a country other than Japan needs to be filed within one year from a filing date of the first application. The priority period cannot be extended.