[Key issue] A trademark consists solely of a mark indicating, in a common manner, the common name of the goods or services of Article 3(1)(i) of Trademark Act.

Court rescinded a JPO’s invalidation-trial decision, stating that in the light of the usage of “PPF” on websites, etc. for goods “films in general for protection of the body surface of automobile” (the goods ), it was acknowledged that traders and consumers had recognized “PPF” as a general abbreviation of the goods.


[Title of the patent] Constructional board

[Key issue] Inventive step (Article 29 (2) of the Patent Act)

Court rescinded a JPO’s invalidation-trial decision, stating that a difference between a patent invention and a primarily cited invention should be found as a collective structure as a unit from a viewpoint of solving the technical problem of the patent invention.

Source IPHC

[Title of the invention] “Pharmaceutical”

[Key issue] Right of prior use of Article 79 of the Patent Act.

In an injunction case requested on the basis of a pharmaceutical patent, Court did not affirm a right of prior use for Appellant stating that the technical idea embodied in a sample drug of the Appellant’s product could not be an invention having the same content as the patent invention.

Source IPHC

[Title of the case] “Retweet” (Copyright)

[Key issue] Infringement of moral right of author of Articles 19(1) and 20 of the Copyright Act.

Court stated that, concerning the so-called “Retweet,” there was no infringement of copyrights (reproduction right, right to transmit to the public, right of communication to the public), but that there was infringement of moral right of the author (right to determine the indication of an author’s name, right to maintain integrity).


Source IPHC

The Patent Office is aiming to submit an amendment of Design Act to the ordinary Diet session in 2019.
According to the amendment, the duration of design right shall be extended from 20 years to 25 years and website layout and the interior and exterior design of a building shall be included in the subject of the design protection.

Source Nikkei (Japanese)

[Title of the case] Litigation seeking rescission of the JPO decision of dismissal of motion to invalidation of a patent covering a pharmaceutical compound.

[Key issue] Inventive step and the legal interest for filing a litigation against a JPO decision

This is Grand Panel case.  The IP High Court stated in the judgement:

(i)the legal interest for filing litigation against a JPO’s invalidation-trial decision would not be lost even after the expiration of the patent right unless there is a special circumstance.

(ii)if a cited invention alleged is indicated by a general formula covering an enormous number of compounds, such an invention cannot be recognized as a cited invention, since it is impossible to derive a technical concept specifically relating to a compound unless there is any reason to preferentially or positively select the technical concept.

Source IPHC

JPO announced that “Japan Platform for Patent Information (J-PlatPat) “, Japanese Patent Database system, would be improved and a new version would be released on May 2019.

In the new version, the quality of the translation will be improved by incorporating machine learning technique, the range of data will be increased (e.g., documents filed during the examination stage of designs and trademarks and documents filed during the appeal stage will be covered), and the timelag to update will be reduced.
We believe such improvements will be also useful for overseas people who engage in intellectual property.

Source JPO (Japanese)