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Patent Trends for 2021 – 5 Takeaways from the Japanese Patent Office´s Annual Report to keep in mind

The Japanese patent office (JPO) recently released its report for 2020, which provides interesting data about national and international patent filings in 2019 and 2018 as well as JPO policies. Just like last year we have gone over the report and present you the takeaways we found most relevant.

1. Number of filed Patent Applications in Japan keeps decreasing

The trend of a decrease in the number of patent applications filed in Japan seems to continue as the numbers for 2019 are even lower than for 2018. A further drop might be expected for 2020 due to the pandemic. On the other hand, we can see that international patent applications keep increasing.

2. Number of Patent Applications from China increasing

Looking at which countries are filing with the JPO, we can see that applications from China have increased. In last year´s report, China was still behind Germany on 4. position, now China is on position 3. It will be interesting to see what kind of impact the pandemic had on filings from China in 2020.

3. Huawei still on the Rise

When looking at the companies with the most registrations in Japan, we can see that in 2019 Canon managed to overcome Mitsubishi that was the first place in 2018. In terms of foreign companies, Huawei that was number 3 in 2018 is number 2 in 2019 with 729 filings. Also, the German company Robert Bosh rose from number 11 to number 8 with 305 registrations.

4. Number of Patent Applications worldwide is increasing

The number of worldwide applications keeps rising. In 2018 3.326 patent applications were filed which is 164 more than the previous year.

The rise of applications filed with the CNIPA continues and jumped to 1.542 applications from 1382 in the previous year, whereas the number of yearly applications filed with the USPTO, JPO, KIPO and EPO seem to be quite stable. It remains interesting whether China can keep up these number despite the effects of the pandemic.

5. Japan aims for the world´s fastest Patent Examination with a super-accelerated examination system

In continuation to last year´s report, the JPO is still working on speeding up their examination process with the goal of achieving the world’s fastest and utmost quality patent examinations. In 2018 the average term for the first office action was 9.3 months and the average time to grant was 14.1 months. The JPO also offers an accelerated examination system that allows an even faster examination under certain circumstances. The average time until the first office action for the accelerated examination was 2.5 months. On top of that, there also is a pilot program for a super-accelerated examination system that aims to issue the first action within 1 month, which was cleared in 2019 with an average of 0.6 months until the first action.

Were you satisfied with the speed of the JPO for your patent applications? If you plan to file a patent in Japan and need a Japanese translation transeuro is the right place to contact. For inquiries, please use our contact form.

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