SoftBank Robotics obtained a three-dimensional trademark of “Pepper”, the famous humanoid robot with a tablet over its chest.

Source Nikkei website (Japanese)

[Design at issue]

[Key issue]

“Publicly known” (Article 3, paragraph (2) of the Design Act)

Court ruled that in order to fall under the terms “publicly known,” the fact of being actually known to an unspecified or large number of people in Japan or a foreign country prior to the filing of the application for design registration was required.

Source IPHC website

JPO announced on November 8, 2018 that 260 applicants (out of 3,587) had passed the patent bar examination of the year of 2018.
The number of patent attorneys is increasing little by little.
Now there are more than 11,000 patent attorneys and 4,900 patent firms in Japan.

Source JPO website(Japanese)

[Title of the patent] “Method for repairing sliding door device and repaired sliding door device”

[Key issue] Literal infringement (Article 70 of the Patent Act)

IP High Court judged in a patent infringement case that the appellant’s device did not belong to the technical scope of the patent invention, since the device did not satisfy “substantially the same height” of the phrase “an upper end of the behind wall and an upper end of a lower frame for repair have substantially the same height” of the patent claim, on which point the district court had made an opposite judgement.

Source IPHC website

[Title of the patent] “Food product containing rice saccharified material and rice oil and/or inositol”

[Key issue] Support requirement (Article 36, paragraph (6), item (i) of the Patent Act)

Court rescinded a JPO’s decision on an opposition case, stating “the state of art as of time of the filing is only a matter to be considered auxiliary in order to understand the description of the claims and the Detailed Description of the Invention, and in principle, should not be treated as a matter to extract a problem to be solved by the invention.”

Source IPHC website

Government is making a new rule in antitrust law to regulate IT major companies, which are so called “Platformers”.
It seems whether or not monopolization of data inhibits competition will be one of the criteria for examining M&A by Fair Trade Commission and the number of intellectual properties and researchers relating to date and AI will be evaluated as a factor influencing the competition.

Source Nikkei website(Japanese)

Japanese Patent Office (JPO) tries to make new framework to support universities to obtain patents.

JPO will establish “a supporting team for fundamental research” for providing useful information such as technology trends and registered patents in internationally spotlighted fields so as to encourage universities to get patents.

Source Nikkei website (Japanese)