Thinking of filing your patent application in Japan? 3 Issues to consider

There are a lot of reasons to consider filing your patent application in Japan. Japan currently has the third largest economy in the world, but for foreign business owners, that advantage can be lost when you consider the barricades to conducting business in Japan. Before you jump in with both feet, consider the following issues and think about whether it’s worth it for your company.

1. The Fees Can Be Exorbitant

The cost of getting a patent in Japan can be prohibitive. You could pay more than $10,000 in filing fees once you’ve paid for a Japanese attorney to review your document and secured trustworthy translations of all of your documents.

Translation is a significant expense for those filing patent applications in Japan. Every document that comes from Japan must be translated into English, and every document that goes to Japan must be translated into Japanese. Even if you are able to secure a patent, the translation fees that come with trying to protect your patent can be very high.

2. Broad Patent Coverage Is Not Widely Available

Patent protection in Japan can be narrower than the protection you get in many other nations. Due to the nature of the Japanese patent system, it is often the “nuts and bolts” that get protected, rather than broad concepts. While this does protect companies that make incremental changes, it makes it much more difficult to get broad coverage for new discoveries.

3. The Patent Process Can Take Years

If you opt to file a patent application in Japan, patience is key. The process can be slow, and you could be waiting years before your application is approved. By the time your patent is granted, technological advances can have made your patent obsolete.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer when it comes to patents, which is why it’s important to work with an experienced intellectual property lawyer. Discuss your IP legal needs now by contacting us at OspreyIP.

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OspreyIP, PLLC

Based in Brentwood, Tennessee, OspreyIP is a law firm that operates internationally to help clients file and prosecute patent applications, secure trademark registrations, and take steps to protect their intellectual property.

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