Pekama Insight – Yasuhiro Suzuki Talks IP From Japan

In the 2nd of our Pekama Supplier Interviews we talk to Yasuhiro Suzuki of Yasuhiro Patent Firm, Japan.

Hi Suzuki-San, how many IP professionals work in your firm?
Just 2

How long have you been practicing IP?
12 years

What is the focus of your practice?
Responsiveness and quality

Tell us a bit more about yourself. What do you like to do in your spare time?
Reading

What do you see as the biggest challenges to the IP industry?
Employing AI

If you don’t mind sharing what’s your firms most competitive advantage?
Thorough contribution to clients.

What are the biggest changes you have seen within the IP Industry?
Patent troll infestation

How do you see yourself making a difference to the IP Industry?
IP management consulting.

Turning to your services now, we want to assemble some useful information for our community members and make them more aware of the different ways IP is handled in different jurisdictions, so I would like to ask you some questions about IP protection in one of the jurisdictions where you practice. What is the jurisdiction that you would like to talk about?

Starting with patents – Is Japan member of the Paris convention and PCT?
Yes

What is the typical time from filing to grant in your jurisdiction?
1 to 1.5 year from filing the examination request

Is Japan a member of any PPH agreements?
Yes

Is there a green track for environmentally-friendly inventions?
Yes

Are there other acceleration processes?
Yes

Can you elaborate on opposition processes – how do they work, what do they typical cost and how long do they take?
Japan has post grant oppositions which can be filed by any persons (dummy) from the date of publication of grant within 6 months by claim. The time taken varies from case to case, typically 50% would complete within 12 months. The rate of cancellation would be less than 10% of total oppositions, but more than 60% of maintains were amended.

Are there any waivers from examinations and if yes, in which terms?
No

What’s the approach of your jurisdiction to software / business method patents?
Software patents are acceptable but business method patents themselves are not. If Business method is based on software or system patents, it should be acceptable.

Are there limitations to protection of healthcare-related inventions?
Yes. Method of diagnosis, cure and operation is not allowed.

Do you have utility models / innovation patents?
Yes. 

If yes – is there substantive examination?
No

Moving to trademarks –

Is Japan a member of the Madrid protocol?
Yes

Are there multi-class applications in Japan?
Yes

What are the minimum filing requirements?
Mark, international class, goods/services, applicant name

Is a certified priority document required?
Yes

What is the opposition period?
2 months from publication

What is the use requirement and when do marks become vulnerable for cancellation?
Use of registered trademark for registered goods/services. 3 years.

For how long are trademarks valid?
5 years or 10 years (applicant can select)

What is the approach to 3D trademarks?
3D trademark is not allowed if it consists of only three-dimensional shapes spontaneously arising from the trademark.

How do you see your future involvement in the Pekama community?
Contributor as a major player

What can Pekama do to help you and your business grow?
Pekama is a good networking tool which connects with attorneys worldwide and builds trust among them.

What can I do for you already that can help your firm?
Quality of members in Pekama is very important.

What are the leading economic sectors which you service in your country?
Information Technology, Mechanical, Electrical/Electronics, Control Engineering

Dan Woodford

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