Submission of foreign language patent applications since April 1, 2016

Until March 31st, 2016 it was only possible to file a foreign language patent application in English. However, in accordance with revisions by the JPO, from April 1, 2016 it became possible to file a foreign language patent application with documents in other foreign languages as well and submit the Japanese translation thereof within one year and four months from the priority date.

  • The possible benefits of said new procedure are the following;
  • Applicants can decide on short notice whether to file an application in Japan
  • Applicants can file patent applications before the JPO with the original document filed in any other country
  • Applicants do not have to prepare English documents to be filed as the foreign language patent application
  • No surcharge for preparing the translation of the application documents shortly before the filing date
  • If a mistranslation is found later on, it is possible to correct the same based on the filed foreign language document


Accordingly, we started filing all patent applications from April 1, 2016 in the form of a foreign language patent application unless otherwise specified by our clients.