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Q106. Amending Japanese claims to Parallel Issued Foreign Claims

Q106. Amending Japanese claims to Parallel Issued Foreign Claims
 Facts: An applicant has a first filed foreign application and a later filed Japanese application claiming priority to the foreign application. The applicant would be ultimately satisfied with the Japanese claims having the same scope as claims that issued in the foreign case.
 QUESTION: In that case, is it advisable to amend the Japanese claims when requesting examination to parallel the issued foreign claim? Or should the applicant wait until the Examiner has issued the first Office Action before amending the claims?

A106. It would normally be unnecessary to restrict the claims in a Japanese application to the scope of the issued foreign claims. Examination in Japan is done entirely independently of the U.S. or European or any foreign prosecution. The applicant is not currently obligated in Japan to report any prior art references uncovered in other countries. Therefore, it would be rather wise to try to obtain a maximum scope of the patent protection in Japan regardless of claims in other countries if a maximum scope of protection is desired in Japan.
 We believe that the applicant should wait till the first official action before amending the claims. However, it is quite conceivable that restricted claims would lead to quick issuance of a patent or to a stronger patent in view of a possible Invalidation Trial against the patent after grant, particularly when the prior art references cited in the foreign application are very close references.