Statutory Subject Matter

Invention An invention that receives a patent is ‘a high level creation from technical ideas that utilize natural law’. Inventions can be classified into those for articles (including computer programs) and methods. Method inventions include inventions for methods of manufacturing articles and inventions of methods for other uses (Article 2, all items of Paragraph 3, […]

Industrial Applicability

An invention that is granted a patent must be industrially applicable (Article 29, Main Section, of the Japanese Patent Law). Industrial application is the ability for the invention to be used in general industry. ‘Industry’ is interpreted to have a wide meaning, and includes endeavors other than manufacturing, such as mining, agriculture, fishing, transportation and […]


Article 29, Paragraph 1, of the Japanese Patent Law  is quoted below: Article 29 (Conditions for Patentability) 1. An inventor of an invention that is industrially applicable may be entitled to obtain a patent for the said invention, except for the following: a. inventions that were publicly known in Japan or a foreign country, prior […]

Inventive Step

Article 29, Paragraph 2, of the Japanese Patent Law  is quoted below. Article 29 (Conditions for Patentability) 2. Where, prior to the filing of the patent application, a person ordinarily skilled in the art of the invention would have been able to easily make the invention based on an invention prescribed in any of the […]

Novelty with Whole Content Approach

The content of an invention described in the specification or drawings, including content outside the scope of the claims, is disclosed by the patent being laid open or published in a patent gazette. Even with an application filed before a prior application is laid open or published in a patent gazette, when the content is […]

First to File

Article 39 of the Japanese Patent Law is quoted below: Article 39 (Prior application) 1. Where two or more patent applications claiming identical inventions have been filed on different dates, only the applicant who filed the patent application on the earliest date shall be entitled to obtain a patent for the invention claimed. 2. Where […]