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ITEC International Patent Firm

Patent

Patent

Patent system is for protecting inventions as ideas related to technology by giving applicants exclusive rights (patent rights) for a predetermined period under a predetermined condition. The “invention” to be protected under the patent system is defined as the highly advanced creation of technical ideas utilizing the laws of nature and includes a “product” and a “process.” The “product” includes a machine, a circuit, and a computer program. The “process” includes a method for using a product and a method for manufacturing a product. The “invention” does not include things not utilizing the laws of nature such as calculation methods and perpetual motion machines.

Patent right means an exclusive right continuing for 20 years given as a result of examination to judge if meeting the predetermined patent requirements. The patent right is given to an applicant of the patent application which meets the predetermined patent requirements in the examination of the patent requirements such as novelty, inventive step, and description requirements after the request for examination is filed.

Patent Application

Documents needed for the patent application includes an application, a detailed description, scope of claims, and an abstract. The application needs to state the applicant(s), inventor(s), and attorney(s). The description needs to state the contents of the invention such as the concrete explanation of technical ideas of the invention. The scope of claims needs to express the contents of the invention in sentences for the requested scope to be protected in patent rights. The abstract needs to state a summary briefly explaining the contents of the invention and drawings if necessary. These documents should be descriptive enough to fulfill the description requirements which are legally prescribed.

With regard to setting the scope of claims, patent attorneys in our firm search for how much the scope of a patent right could be enlarged locating the seed of the invention to the center of the scope. In the scope of claims that defines the scope of patent rights, we prepare not only claims in consideration of broader concepts and narrower concepts but also claims of different categories in consideration of exercising the rights.

Laying Open of Applications

After one year and six months from the date of the filing of the patent application, the patent application is basically laid open in the patent gazette. This system of laying open in the patent gazette makes the similar invention more difficult to be granted a patent. This also makes the contents of others’ invention clear and helps to take the next action such as giving up patent application or further improvement as for the inventions similar to the laid open inventions.

In Japan, the patent application is not enough to be entitled to patent rights. Within three years from the filing of the application, the request for examination of the application should be filed in Japan patent office and the patent application should be examined.

Examination

In the examination, the patent application is examined from the points of the novelty meaning that the invention is new and the inventive step meaning that the invention is not reached even if techniques in public domain are combined. Other than these, the patent application is examined from the point of description requirements including the requirement of the description to be understandable enough and the requirement of the description to contain what the scope of claims states. In the case of these requirements not fulfilled, the notice of reasons of refusal (office action) is provided from the examiner. When the notice of reasons of refusal is provided, the reasons of refusal may be resolved, for example, by amendments to narrow the scope of claims or by making explanations to the examiner in the written opinion. In the case that there are no reasons of refusal or the case that the reasons of refusal are resolved, the notice of a patent is provided by the examiner and the patent right is given.

In our firm, patent attorneys fully review the refereed documents and the invention and prepare comments on the reasons of refusal. The amendments and the written opinion are prepared according to how important each application is for our clients. In the written opinion, we keep in our mind to make arguments based on the examination guidelines, appeal decision precedents, and judicial precedents.

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