Access to Innovation
Japan Patent Office to Enable Digital Filing for All 800 Procedures
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY INDUSTRY NEWS
The Japan Patent Office announced on October 2 that it is preparing to make all of the 800 or so kinds of office filings it receives possible to file online, according to Japan’s economic paper Nikkei Shimbun. This means that even the relatively uncommon but important procedures will become easier to do, even remotely, and make digital work all the more prevalent.
The JPO actually led the way in digitization, accepting patent applications online from 1990, slowly overcoming the reluctance. Japan’s requirement of personal, physical name seals to execute official documents offers a level of security against forgery, but meant that sensitive procedures like changes of patent owner needed to be verified on physical paper, not online. (Individuals and corporations register their own seals to be kept on file with certain local government offices, and can issue proofs of seal registration to demonstrate their identity.)
Presently, the change has not yet come, but the JPO stated it would discuss practical decisions in order to come up this year with a date of transition. If this change does come, we will be able to file more urgent cases. Meanwhile, each practitioner and applicant will need to manage digital certificates and other information more all the more carefully.
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Sources and reference
Nikkei Shimbun. “特許庁の行政手続き、全てデジタル申請可能に [All of JPO’s office procedures to be possible digitally].” https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXMZO64574140S0A001C2EA4000/ October 2, 2020. Accessed October 8, 2020.
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