IP Practice: “Extension of Grace Period (exception of the loss of novelty) for inventions, utility models and designs”

The “Bill for Amendment of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law” in Japan, which was approved by the Cabinet on February 27, 2018, was passed on May 23, 2018. This amended law was promulgated on May 30, 2018 and will be implemented on June 9, 2018.


Due to this amendment, the time period regarding the exception of the loss of novelty, the so-called grace period, for inventions, utility models and designs will be extended from six months to one year (Patent Law Article 30, Utility Model Law Article 11, Design Law Article 4).


This new law will be applied to applications for patents, utility models and designs filed on and after June 9, 2018, which is the day the law goes into effect.


Please note, however, for applications made public on or before December 8, 2017, the revised Article 30 of the Patent Law or Article 4 of the Design Law will not be applied even if the relevant applications are filed on or after June 9, 2018.