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Super Accelerated Examination” Beginning October 1, 2008

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) already provides an accelerated examination system. Using this system, the average time from request to the first Official Action is 2.2 months. In addition, the JPO started a trial “Super Accelerated Examination” on October 1, 2008 to meet the needs of applicants who require quicker results.

1. Who can request “Super Accelerated Examination”?
Applicants who meet all the requirements below can make a request:
(1) Applicants who have a corresponding foreign application.
(2) Applicants who have already commercialized the invention in Japan or who have plans to commercialize the invention in Japan within two years.
(3) Applicants who will prosecute the application completely online after the request.
(4) The application is a direct Japanese application. That is, this is not the case of a PCT application designating Japan entering national phase.

2. What documents and/or information are necessary for the request?
(1) Information about the corresponding foreign application, filing date, filing number, receiving office, etc.
(2) An explanation regarding the (proposed) commercialization of the invention in Japan.
(3) A search of the prior art and an explanatory comparison between the invention and the related prior art.

3. What is the procedure after the request?
(1) The JPO will determine whether the application qualifies for the “Super Accelerated Examination” system.
(2) If so, the Examiner will issue the first Official Action within one month.
(3) Foreign applicants should respond to the Official Action within two months and cannot extend the period.
(4) The Examiner will issue the next Official Action (normally, a final decision) within one month following the response.

4. How much does it cost for the request?
There is no official fee. However, preparation of the request and the other necessary documents will incur attorney’s fees.
For more details, please consult your local attorney.

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