Toray Industries, Inc., who possesses a patent covering an antipruritic agent “Nalfurafine”, sued generic companies, Sawai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Fuso Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., for patent infringement to the Tokyo District Court on December 13 to seek an injunction against the production, etc. of their products.

Because the patent relates to second medical use of known compounds and the term of the patent has been extended, one of the issues of this case is the scope of an extended patent right of a second medicinal use invention, on which issue no court decision has been made yet.

Source Nikkei website (Japanese)

Nintendo posted “Nintendo Game Content Guidelines for Online Video & Image Sharing Platforms” on its official website on November 29.

In the official website, it is announced “As long as you follow some basic rules, we will not object to your use of gameplay footage and/or screenshots captured from games for which Nintendo owns the copyright (“Nintendo Game Content”) in the content you create for appropriate video and image sharing sites. To help guide you, we prepared the following guidelines:” (Nintendo website).

Source Engadget Japanese Edition

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