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Q134. How to Know Maintenance / Expiration of Registration

Q134. How to Know Maintenance / Expiration of Registration
 How to know maintenance / expiration of registration?

A134. Several ways are available.
(1) Make a request for inspection of files to the JPO. You can check the patent register thereby, thus this is most reliable and up-to-date way. Certain amount of official fees is needed. Online inspection is available, by e-filing software provided by National Center for Industrial Property Information and Training (INPIT).
(2) Use Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL), which is web-based online library provided by INPIT (http://www.ipdl.inpit.go.jp/). The IPDL provides legal status search. You can check a status of payment of annuity of certain patent right. Note that IPDL have some delay, usually about one month, thus the information is not up-to-date but neither fees nor special e-filing software is necessary. The service is provided only in Japanese language.
(3) Use certain commercial database services. Costs and reliability are depending on each service provider.