Japan Eyes Full Digital Shift for Patent Applications

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 3 (Jiji Press)--The industry ministry has said it plans a full introduction of digital format for patent applications and other procedures handled by the Japan Patent Office, a ministry affiliate.

The ministry hopes to achieve the shift at an early date after mapping out a policy on identity verification by the end of the year at the earliest, ministry officials said.

The Japan Patent Office deals with about 800 kinds of applications, including utility models, trademarks and designs, with the number of applications from corporations and individuals totaling some 3.1 million a year.

The office has already finished digitalizing some 290 applications, or 90 pct of the total. But the remaining 10 pct, involving some 500 kinds, are still processed with paper documents due to requirements for strict identify checks, posing a possible impediment to teleworking.

At a news conference on Friday, industry minister Hiroshi Kajimaya said that at the ministry, patent applications lead other kinds of applications in terms of number, adding that related bulky documents are managed with “hanko” seals affixed.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press