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  Introduction to the IPT
>  Patent Trial System
  Overall Flow


Patent Trial System

Significance of Patent Trial

'Patent Trial' refers to a procedure in which the Industrial Property Tribunal makes an administrative judgment for the settlement of an applicant/agent's patent-related disputes or his/her dissatisfaction with an examiner's decision to reject his/her patent application, etc. A Patent Trial functions as the first-instance trial in the Three-Instance Patent Litigation System.

Only after a trial decision is given from the Industrial Property Tribunal is an applicant/agent allowed to appeal to a higher court, such as the Patent Court and the Supreme Court.

Industrial Property Tribunal
(Court of first instance)
Patent Court
(Crt. of second instance)
Supreme Court
(Crt. of third instance)
(Structure of the Patent-related Disputes Trial System)

    Types of Appeals and Trial Examinations

  • Ex Parte Cases
    Trial Against Ruling of Refusal or Revocation(Patent Law Article 132ter)

    When a person has received an examiner's decision of rejection or revocation, that person may demand an appeal within 30 days from the date of receipt of the certified copy of the examiner's decision. A provision for exception is established in cases where a person resides in an area that is remote or difficult to access. The President of the Industrial Property Tribunal may extend the time limit to 2 months for the benefit of a person in this situation.

  • Inter Parte Cases
    Invalidation Trial of Patent (Patent Law Article 133)

    Due to a mistake of an examiner or appeal examiners, some patents which should not have been granted may exist. In such cases, an interested party or an examiner may demand a trial to invalidate the patent, and for a patent containing two or more claims a demand for an invalidation trial may be made for each claim. However, any person may demand a trial to invalidate the patent after the registration date of the patent right and not more than three months after the publication date of the registration of the patent right.

    The reasons for invalidation of the patent are generally the same as reasons for the rejection of a patent application.

    A trial for invalidation of a patent may be demanded even after the expiration of the patent right. Where a trial decision invalidating a patent has become final and conclusive, the patent right shall be deemed never to have existed; however, where a patent is invalidated by any reason that has arisen after the grant of a patent, the patent right is deemed not to have existed from the time when such reason originated.

    Trial to Confirm the Scope of a Patent Right(Patent Law Article 135)

    A patentee or an interested person may demand a trial to confirm the scope of a patent right. When a trial is demanded to confirm the scope of a patent right, the confirmation shall apply to each claim if the patent contains two or more claims.

    Trial for Correction (Patent Law Article 136)

    A patent holder may demand a trial for corrections to specifications or drawing for only the following reasons:
      ⒜ to narrow a claim
      ⒝ to correct a clerical error
      ⒞ to clarify an ambiguous description.
    However, this provision shall not apply where an opposition to the patent is pending.
    This trial is intended to protect an invention by providing the opportunity for a patentee to make corrections on the condition that there are not any unexpected losses or damages incurred upon any third parties.

    When a trial decision stating that the specifications or drawings of a patented invention are to be corrected become final and conclusive, the patent application, the laying-open of the decision and the registration of the establishment of the patent right, shall be deemed to have been made on the basis of such corrected specifications or drawings.

    Trial for Invalidation of Correction (Patent Law Article 137)

    An interested party or an examiner may demand a trial for an invalidation of a correction, where the specifications or drawings of a patented invention have been corrected in violation of Article 136.

    When a decision that a correction of the specifications or drawings is to be invalidated becomes final and conclusive, the correction shall be deemed never to have been made.







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