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The JPO Appeal System Handbook: Japanese and English Editions are Available


Jan 22, 2021

The JPO Appeal System Handbook: Japanese and English Editions are Available


The Appeals Division of the Japan Patent Office (JPO) has two roles: higher examination and early resolution of IP disputes. The Japan Patent Office (JPO) has recently published a handbook on the Japanese appeal system, the summary of which is as follows:

Part 1

How the appeal system works

The following appeals, petitions and judgments are available:

  • Appeal against Decision of Refusal applies to patents, designs and trademarks. The success rate of appeals against examiner’s decision of refusal is about 70%. If the applicant is dissatisfied with the decision, he can appeal to the Intellectual Property High Court, which upholds the decision in about 80% of cases.
  • Opposition applies to patents and trademarks. In 32% of cases, the opposition is upheld (without amendment), in 45% of cases it is upheld (with amendment) and in 10% of cases the patent or trade mark is cancelled.

  • Invalidation trials apply to patents, utility models, designs and trademarks. The approval rate of trial decisions in litigation for revocation of trial decisions in the Intellectual Property High Court is generally 70% for patents.

  • Appeal for annulment applies to trademarks. In most cases, if the trademark owner has not used its registered trademark for three years in Japan for the designated goods or services, anyone can request a trial for cancellation of the registration.

  • Amendment proceedings apply to patents. This type of appeal is often used by patentees who have been granted an invalidation trial to avoid the reasons for invalidation.

  • Judgment procedure applies to patents, utility models, designs and trademarks. This is a system for requesting an official opinion on the scope of rights from the Appeal Board of the Patent Office. The judgments are not legally binding, but they are in fact fully respected and authoritative.

Part 2

1. What is the Tribunal like?
2. How are hearings and decisions conducted?
3. What is done to improve the reliability of decisions?
4. How does the Tribunal system relate to users?
5. Information dissemination and international exchange
6. Fees and contact information

Please check the website if you are interested in the appeal system as it provides an easy-to-understand overview of the system.

For more information, please visit the JPO website
 Japanese version: shinpan_gaiyo.pdf (jpo.go.jp)
 English version:     shinpan_gaiyo_e.pdf (jpo.go.jp)