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Annual Technical Report 2003 on Patent Information Activities submitted by Japan (SCIT/ATR/PI/2003/JP)


Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.

The term "patent" covers utility models and Supplementary Protection Certificates (SPCs). Offices which issue design patents should report their design patent information activities in their Annual Technical Reports on Industrial Design Information Activities.


I. Evolution of patent activities

Changes experienced in terms of application filings and grants with respect to the previous year

1) Patent
The number of applications in 2003 was 413,092. The number of registrations was 122,511.
2) Utility model
The number of applications in 2003was 8,169. The number of registrations was 7,694.

Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year

The number of patent applications in the following technical fields has significantly increased in 2002 compared with that in the previous year. *
"F28 Heat exchange in general" (up 16% from the previous year)
"C01 Inorganic chemistry" (up 13% from the previous year)
"F21 Lighting (up 11% from the previous year)

* IPC classes with 500 or more applications in 2002 were examined.

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, distribution and use of primary and secondary sources of patent information

Publishing, printing, copying (main types of publications of the office in the field of patent information, etc.)

Nothing particular

Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of patent information

The Japan Patent Office (hereinafter referred to as the ”JPO”) published the following patent documents in 2003:
Publication of Patent Applications 348,900 issues
Publication of Unexamined Utility Model Applications 6 issues
Published Japanese Translations of PCT International Publication for Patent Applications
          36,363 issues
Publication of Registered Utility Model 5,900 issues
Patent Gazette 121,900 issues
Utility Model Gazette 84 issues
Decision on Appeal / Trial Gazette 12,584 issues
The List of Request for Examination 187,000 issues
The List of Request for Technical Evaluation 1,007 issues
Registration List 15 issues
Final Decision List 315,000 issues

Mass storage media used (paper, microforms, optical storage, etc.)

Nothing particular

Word processing and office automation

Nothing particular

(New) techniques used for the generation of patent information (printing, recording, photocomposing, etc.)

Since December 1990, the JPO began accepting patent applications and utility model applications, filed via flexible disk or on-line (electronic application). (The flexible disk application was abolished in 1999.) The JPO electronically edits the collected data acquired from the electronic applications or the applications by electronic means, and creates a gazette on CD-ROM.
The gazette on CD-ROM contains mixed-mode type data, composed of text data and image data, thus text search using the text data part is available.

a) Publication of Unexamined Applications on CD-ROM
Starting from January 1993, the JPO has issued publication of unexamined applications on CD-ROM. In the beginning, publication of (unexamined) patent applications and publication of unexamined utility model applications were included in a single-volume CD-ROM. In July 1994, publication of registered utility model applications was added, and from January 1996, published Japanese Translations of PCT international publication for patent applications, published Japanese Translations of PCT international publication for utility model applications (discontinued in January 2000), domestic re-publication of PCT international publication for patent applications and domestic re-publication of PCT international publication for utility model applications (discontinued in January 2000) were added in the CD-ROM step by step. And now the CD-ROM that includes these publications is published under the title of "CD-ROM Publication of Both Unexamined and Registered Utility Model Applications".
With respect to patent applications containing sequence listings, the JPO published a separate volume of CD-ROMs containing sequence listings as Huge Data of Publication of Unexamined Applications on CD-ROM in October 2001.
A single-volume Publication of Unexamined Application Gazette on CD-ROM contained a total of 3,800 issues and was published 119 times in 2003.
The Publication of Unexamined Applications on CD-ROM enables a search by using 15 items, including document number, IPC, applicant, name of invention, as search keys.
Starting from January 2004, DVD-ROM publication of unexamined applications described in XML format will take the place of CD-ROM publication of unexamined applications.

b) Patent Gazette on CD-ROM
The JPO has issued the publication of examined applications on CD-ROM that contains the Patent Gazette and the Utility Model Gazette in a single CD-ROM since January 1994. When this official gazette was abolished in January 1996 because of transfer to post-grant opposition system, the publication of examined applications on CD-ROM was stopped in March 1996. From May 1996, "the Patent Gazette and the Utility Model Gazette on CD-ROM" that contains post-grant registered gazettes (the Patent Gazette and the Utility Model Gazette) has been published.
A single-volume Patent Gazette on CD-ROM contains a total of 2,300 issues and was published 53 times in 2003.
The gazettes contained in the Patent Gazette on CD-ROM can be searched by using 20 items, including document number, IPC, applicant, name of invention, as search key.
At the time of writing, about 15 software publishers are selling Japanese-language software that provides effective use of the Official Gazette on CD-ROM. Several companies provide Internet-based patent information services, utilizing the data on the Official Gazette on CD-ROM. The JPO has been providing foreign patent offices, free of charge, with viewer software (JMSCD4) for the Official Gazette on CD-ROM. This software runs on the English version of MS-Windows. This software is updated to keep up with the changes in the contents of the Official Gazette on CD-ROM. At time of writing, the current version (JMSCD4.2) has been provided to foreign patent offices since April 2000.
Also, the simplified viewer software, (JPO.CONV), which has been contained on the Publication of Unexamined Applications on CD-ROM since January 1996 and the Patent Gazette on CD-ROM since May 1996, was modified to display the data under the English system and made available in October 1997.
From July 2004, Patent gazettes in XML format on DVD-ROM will be published instead of gazettes on CD-ROM.

c) Publication of Unexamined Applications on DVD-ROM
No. of cases: Approximately 8,000
Publishing cycle: Once a week (in principle)
Publishing will start on January 8, 2004.

d) Patent gazettes on DVD-ROM
No. of cases: approximately 2,300
Publishing cycle: Once a week (in principle)
Publishing will start on July 7, 2004.

III. Matters concerning abstracting, classifying, reclassifying and indexing of technical information contained in patent documents

Abstracting, reviewing, translating

a) Summary
From December 1, 1990, the Japan Patent Office required patent and utility model applicants to submit a summary in addition to the specified application documents. The summary is presented on the front page of a gazette together with the applicant’s name, the title of the invention and other particulars. The summary should be made by the applicant. To enhance its usefulness as part of the front-page database, the JPO checks whether the content of the summary is appropriate. If it is considered to be inappropriate, the office modifies the summary itself.

b) Preparation of and use of secondary documents:
1) Preparation of Patent Abstracts of Japan
The Patent Abstracts of Japan (PAJ) is a paper booklet which combines English abstracts of publications of (unexamined) patent applications, filed by Japanese applicants, and their representative drawings. The JPO has been sending the PAJ to foreign patent offices since its first issue.
Since April 1995, the PAJ for the Publication of Patent Applications, issued in October 1994 or later, has been issued in mixed mode CD-ROM format by using MIMOSA software that Trilateral Patent Offices (EPO, JPO, and USPTO) jointly procured since April 1995, instead of in the conventional paper booklet format. Currently the PAJ is sent to 93 patent offices or public institutions in 87 countries.
PAJs issued in paper booklet form (from 1976 to 1993) were subsequently sorted into 69 technical fields and published by IPC section on 99 CD-ROMs.
Starting from the issue in April, 1998, all applications by both Japanese and foreigners were presented in PAJs.
The PAJ/CD-ROM is sold to the general public. It can be used to create in-house database or to provide information services to a third party.
2) Preparation of PAJ/INDEX CD-ROM
The PAJ/INDEX CD-ROM contains a bibliography and an abstract of PAJs, and the disk number of the corresponding PAJ/CD-ROM.
The JPO has been publishing PAJ/INDEX CD-ROM quarterly since April 1997. The information on each PAJ/INDEX CD-ROM is organized chronologically based on a 3-month period and covers a one-year period. The PAJ/INDEX CD-ROM is also sent to foreign patent offices or public institutions that currently receive the PAJ/CD-ROM.
3) Preparation of PAJ/CD-ROM for Foreign Applicant Version
PAJ (disclosed PAJ after 1998) published in April 1998 included that of foreign applicants, but foreigners' applications filed between 1989 and 1997 which had not been prepared as PAJ were collected and stored in six CD-ROMs and then issued in the following schedule: G section in March 1998; A and H sections in March 1999; C section in March 2000; and B, D, E, F sections in March 2001.
4) Foreign patent document
The JPO prepares coded data of Japanese abstracts of US patent specifications, the Publication of US Patent Specifications and EPO patent application specifications. The data are stored electronically and used as a search reference.

Classification and reclassification activities; Classification system used, e.g., International Patent Classification (IPC), other classification (please indicate whether or not patent documents are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification is used)

In 2003, the number of applications classified by the JPO by the international classification method was: about 390, 000 when the application was laid open, about 120,000 when the Patent Gazette or Utility Model Gazette was published and about 5,900 when the registered utility model gazette was published.
The JPO was very active in the effort to revise IPC. Also, the JPO delegates were sent to IPC-related WIPO meetings and were very active participants

Coordinate indexing (domestic deep indexing systems, keyword indexing)

The JPO continued the indexing of ICIREPAT types in the alloy field.
1) System name and symbol Alloy AL
2) Storage media Magnetic disk, variable block
3) Development stage Indexing continued
4) The number of indexed documents, year and origin. About 100,000 documents. By 2003. Japan.

Hybrid system indexing

An indexing code, which is a hybrid system, is assigned to each document and used as a search key.
An F-term derived by reclassifying or subdividing the IPC for each specified technical field from various technical standpoints (purpose, purpose of use, structure, material, manufacturing method, processing method, control means, etc.) is assigned to each document and used as a search key.

Bibliographic data and full-text processing for search purposes

The title of the invention (device), the name of the applicant (inventor) and the address of the applicant (inventor) are used as bibliographic data for searching publication of unexamined applications, the Patent Gazette, etc. By using a technique called "n-gram" in Japanese and "word-gram" in English, search indices have been prepared in order to facilitate full text search.

IV. Search file establishment and upkeep

File building

a) F-term analysis
The search file is classified into about 2,600 themes (technical fields). In 2003, about 1,800 themes were analyzed. Almost all themes, including about 800 themes for which F-term assignment is not needed (FI is sufficient) and about 1,800 themes for which analysis for the published documents have completed, can be used in the search.

b) Making F-terms available to general public
The JPO makes F-terms available to the general public as the associated theme becomes available. As in the part of providing industrial property right information via the Internet, F-term is available to the general public and a user can conduct F-term search via the Internet.


Updating of the search file
The search file used by the examiner is continuously updated so that it is the latest one. Japanese patent documents (publication of patent applications, registered utility model gazettes, etc.) are added to the search file in accordance with the JPO's internal classifications established by further developing IPC (FI). In 2003, about 200,000 documents in total were included in the search file.

Storage, including mass storage media

The search file used by the examiner is in electronic data form and stored in a RAID system. Some of the search files are also saved in paper form.

Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file

Text data and image data of WIPO, the US Patent Office and EPO, as well as image data of major European countries are stored, and are suitable for IPC, ECLA and USC searches.

V. Activities in the field of computerized and other mechanized search systems

In-house systems (online/offline)

a) F-term search system
In December 1999, a patent and utility model search system, based on a distributed computing system, was put into operation. This system integrated (clustered) the existing search systems. The system integrated not only the F-term search system and a system to search computer-related non-patent document (CS document), but also a foreign patent document search system using EPO internal classification (ECLA) and the United States classification (USC). Multiple search keys, such as F-term, FI, free word, CS term, ECLA and USC, can be entered simultaneously; thus an examination environment, enabling seamless search of various documents, such as domestic patents, foreign patents and non-patents, was created. This system allows referencing by linking patent family documents and reference documents. Further, the text data of prior to laying-open specifications is stored and is available for prior to laying-open search.
A full text search in Japanese and English is also available, utilizing domestic Patent Gazette text data and foreign patent gazette text data, collected through the paperless system. In January 2001, a new terminal incorporating a high-resolution LCD was introduced.

b) Appeal and trial decision search system (J-term search system)
Gazettes and other documents on appeal and trial decisions are converted into electronic form and search keys, called J-term, are assigned to them; thereby enabling search and browsing by using J-term. A full-text search is available for appeal and trial decisions issued after January 2000.

c) DNA search system
This is a search system for gene-related information and was introduced in January 1998. The system provides a homological search, which searches for a sequence utilizing the homogeny and which covers nucleotide sequences and amino acid sequences, and a key word search, which utilizes bibliographic data.

a) LiqCryst
The JPO stores in PC a database on liquid crystal material, provided in CD-ROM format by University of Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany; thereby enabling a search.

External databases

The JPO’s examiners used the following external databases for searches: Any databases listed below can be used online from the terminal in the JPO.

A Japanese patent document search system, provided by Japan Patent Information Organization (JAPIO).

A scientific and technical document search system, provided by Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST).

c) CAS Online
Technical information document search system on structures of chemical substances, provided by the Japan Association for International Chemical Information (JAICI).

d) Science Direct
A website for searching more than 1,700 journals in the science, technology, medicine and social science fields provided by Elsevier and published by the Elsevier Group, EMBASE, Compendex and other bibliographic databases, reference works, etc.

An Internet search site provided by IEEE/IEE for searching their publications (including magazine and minutes), IEEE standard, etc.

An Internet search site provided by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) for searching their scientific association journals.

An Internet search site provided by Yakuji Nippo Limited for searching “Yakuji Nippo” (a magazine specialized in medicine-related information).

h) Nikkei Biotech Online
An Internet search site provided by Nikkei Business Publications, Inc. for searching biotechnology-related articles published in “Nikkei Biotech” magazine.

An Internet search site provided by the New Glass Forum for searching information on glass formation.

j) Science Online
An Internet search site for biotechnology-related information published in “Science” magazine.

k) ProQuest
An Internet search site for searching economy and finance-related documents.

l) Web of Science
An Internet search site enabling search for citation links among more than 8,000 magazines stored in three citation databases provided by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI).

m) G-Search
An Internet search site for enabling search for full text articles in general newspapers, industry journals and specialty magazines.

n) NRI Cyber Patent Desk
An Internet search site enabling search for abstracts of company technical journals and concepts thereon.

o) Shoku Net
An Internet search site for searching articles in various areas concerning foods.

p) AIP Online
Internet search sites of journals provided by AIP such as "Journal of Applied Physics", "Applied Physics Letters", "Review of Scientific Instruments", etc.

q) Igaku Chuo Journal WEB
Internet search site of "Igaku Chuo Journal", a journal that runs information on medical science, pharmaceutical sciences, dentistry and the related areas.

Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics, administrative support, etc.)

a) An electronic application and file wrapping automation system
The JPO has been using an electronic application and file wrapping automation system since December 1990. This system improves the efficiency of administrative work by electrifying duties, from filing an application, formality check and substantive examination, dispatching, registration, publishing a gazette, requesting inspection of files, to requesting certification. Whole contents of an application are digitized, stored in a record file, processed and managed. Currently, to improve the efficiency of drafting by linking with the search systems and of examination by implementing electronic approval, and for faster gazette publication and for separate management of each application, the following subsystems are operating:
1) Filing system (electronic application filing)
2) Formality check system (automated formality check, formality-check-related drafting, approval and time management)
3) On-line dispatching system (online notification to applicant)
4) On-line viewing system (online request and viewing)
5) Examination-related administrative work system (substantive-examination-related drafting, approval and management).

With the introduction of this system, an applicant can file online a patent application or a utility model application.
In addition to filing an application from the specialized terminal, filing from a personal computer has been available since April 1998. By January 1999, filing an application by using a flexible disk (FD) was abolished and by the end of 2000, online filing from the specialized terminal was abolished.
On January 2000, a paperless system for administrative procedures was introduced. This system handles procedures relating to appeal (including reconsideration by examiner before appeal) and to the domestic administrative procedures of a JPO-designated PCT international application.
As of 2003, the ratios of online applications over all applications were 97% for patent and utility model, 98% for appeal, and 99% for the domestic administrative procedures of a PCT internal application. (The figures are for January to December averages.)

b) Other administrative procedure systems (existing system)
The following systems, operating before the electronic application system was introduced, have been operating successfully:
1) Application-related management system
This system provides computerized central management for application-related administrative work, including management of various progress information, extraction of an application for which a gazette is to be published and preparation of various statistical tables. (The management of patents, utility models, designs and trademarks filed prior to the electronic application system.)
2) A file wrapping administrative work system for the information center
This system provides computerized central management for administrative work data, relating to disposed file wrapper kept in the information center, and performs duties, such as management and storage of file wrapper, lending and returning a file wrapper by using terminals.
3) Appeal/trial decision administrative work system
This system provides computerized central management for appeal/trial decision data, including management of progress information about various procedures and preparation of various statistical tables.
4) Registration administrative work system
This system provides computerized central management for the register, including certificate of patent creation, annual fee management, patent right transfer management, and online-preparation of patent register copy and inspection document.

Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), carriers used

a) The hardware used
1) Central processing unit MP5600/210 1 set
MP5600/160 1 set
2) Terminals 3,656 units
3) Semiconductor memory unit 1 set
4) Magnetic tape unit    10 sets
5) Magnetic disk unit 113 sets
6) Optical disk unit 28 sets
7) Optical disk library unit 8 sets
8) Disk subsystem 4 sets
9) Server 95 sets
10) Disk array unit 297 sets
11) DVD-ROM unit 4 sets

b) The communication lines used
1) Leased line 13 lines
2) ISDN 7 lines
3) Frame Relay 2 lines

Existing online thesauri; their structure, presentation and usefulness for computerized searches

Since December 1999, the JPO has been operating the patent and utility model search system which enables a full text search function by utilizing the data collected through the paperless system. The collected text data includes Japanese Patent Gazette, foreign patent gazette and non-patent document. This search function supports the use of thesaurus dictionaries.
By utilizing thesaurus dictionaries, a user can expand the search almost routinely without manually inputting equivalent, synonym, related term or by-from of the search word. Thus, thesaurus dictionaries are essential to reduce the user input burden, and to improve the accuracy and efficiency of the full text search.
Current thesaurus dictionaries and functions available under the patent and utility model search system are listed below. Of these, a user can freely edit the theme dictionary, and the edited contents can be used by all users.

a) Available thesaurus dictionaries
1) Common dictionary (synonyms)
Synonyms of common words are registered.
2) Common dictionary (by-form)
By-forms of common words are registered.
3) JICST dictionary (Japanese)
Technical term dictionary prepared by Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST).
4) JICST dictionary (English)
English technical term dictionary prepared by Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST).
5) JICST dictionary (Japanese-English translation dictionary)
A dictionary for the correspondence of technical terms between Japanese and English.
6) Theme dictionary (Japanese)
A synonym dictionary of technical terms in specific technical fields, prepared for a specific theme.

b) Available functions
1) Search word input assist function
A function used in inputting search words in full text searches.
Automatic expansion and manual expansion are available. In the automatic expansion, an examiner expands the search words by specifying the expansion level of the registered synonyms and creates a search formula. In the manual expansion, an examiner expands the search words by manually selecting the words from the registered synonym list and creates a search formula. Also, automatic assignment of search tag, neighborhood search selection and Japanese-English translation are available.
2) By-form word expansion function
A function to automatically expand Japanese by-form words and English by-form words.

VI. Administration of the industrial property office library and services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, for assisting clients on searching procedures, for obtaining official publications and registry extracts)

a) Providing industrial property rights information via the Internet
The JPO has been providing the Industrial Property Digital Library service since March 1999. This service is accessible through the Internet and covers 53 million items of industrial property information by using document number and/or classification as search keys.
Main services relating to patent information that the JPO provides are as follows:

1) Simplified search for beginners (patent and utility model)
This search means is for beginners who are not familiar with industrial property information. Patent and utility model application gazettes on CD-ROMs and DVD-ROMs (publication and re-publication of utility model applications and registrations) issued since 1993 can be referred to by free-word searches or by document number.
2) Patent/Utility Model Gazette database search
Various patent and utility model gazettes (including publication of patent applications, examined applications and registrations), published in 1885 and later can be searched by using document number. An English version is available.
3) Search for patent/utility model documents by reference numbers
Searches for patent/utility model gazettes published since 1923 can be made by reference number. An English version is available.
4) IPC search
Searches for patent/utility model gazettes published since 1885 can be made by IPC or Facet for desired documents.
5) Front page search for publication of patent applications
Front pages of patent applications published in January 1993 and later can be searched by free word or document number.
6) Patent Abstracts of Japan (PAJ) search
English abstracts of the publication of patent applications published in January 1993, and after, can be searched by free word or document number.
Also, since March 2000, the JPO has been providing the full text (machine translated into English) of publications of patent applications published in January 1993.
7) Gazette text search
Publications of patent and utility model applications, published in January 1993, and after, publications of examined patent and utility model applications and publications of registrations, published in January 1994 and later, can be searched by free word or document number.
8) FI and/or F-term search
Searches for patent/utility model gazettes published since 1885 can be made by FI-term and/or F-term for desired documents. An English version is available.
Search based on the date when an invention is publicly known is going to be available from March 2004.
9) Patent map guidance
IPC list, FI list, F-term description and F-term list can be referenced. An English version is available.
Explanation of the additional code of an F-term is going to be provided from March 2004 in the English service.

Further, the published appeal and trial decisions in 1940, and after, and as related information, the information on appeal and trial decisions, the legal status on applications, registrations and decisions, the collection of cases on suit against appeal/trial decisions, the list of examiners in charge and others can be referenced.

b) Providing JPO data
In March 1999, the JPO began providing the JPO’s bibliographical and progress information to outside users by organizing and converting it in the standard format for better usability for the users. About twice a month, the data is provided.

c) National Conservancy of Industrial Property Information (NCIPI), an independent administrative institution
NCIPI, which became an independent administrative institution in April, 2001, supplies industrial property information including patent gazettes. Its major activities are listed below:

1) Reference to patent gazettes, etc.
Gazettes on CD-ROM, etc. ,as well as the JPO’s “IPDL Service” are available to the public free of charge in the gazette reading room on the second floor of the JPO building. There are approximately 150 such reading devices in the room.
Reading devices for this purpose are provided at eight other places in Japan (Sapporo, Sendai, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Takamatsu, Fukuoka and Naha) where similar reference services and so forth are provided.
A total of approximately 85,000 persons used the services at the above facilities in 2003.
2) Reference to examination and trial documents
Various technical documents (books, etc.) to be used for the JPO’s examinations and trials are collected both domestically and from abroad and made available to the public.
3) Presentation of open patent information
To promote the smooth circulation of useful, disclosure-oriented patents (open patents) in industry and among local companies, as well as their use by industry and local companies, the JPO compiled a database of the open patents held by companies, universities, public research institutes, etc., and made it available on the internet as a patent circulation database.
Approximately 52,000 items were in the patent circulation database as of December 2003.

d) Intellectual Property Centers
59 Intellectual Properties Centers throughout the nation have widely implemented support operations for users including regional companies. They have given advice to users, provided them guidance in retrieval methods of patent information, etc., according to their purposes, regularly conducted workshops and prepared booklets relating to retrieval methods of patent information.

VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of patent documentation and information

International or regional cooperation in the exchange of machine-readable information, e.g., bibliographic data, abstract and/or full text information

a) Trilateral data exchange and data exchange between two countries
Regarding the trilateral exchange of data, the JPO periodically provides bibliographic data of the publication of unexamined applications, recorded in electronic media (such as CD-ROM), to the European Patent Office (EPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
In addition, the JPO sends, on CD-ROM, concordance data of other patent document numbers, Patent Abstracts of Japan (PAJ) data and IPC file.
Regarding the exchange of data between two countries, the JPO sent to China and Taiwan image and bibliographic data on all patent gazettes, utility model gazettes, etc., prior to the first issue of gazettes on CD-ROM, recorded in electronic media (such as CD-R). The JPO sent to the Republic of Korea text data of part of the above gazettes, recorded in electronic media.
The EPO sends to the JPO the data by CMT. Incorporating the publication of unexamined applications bibliographic data provided by the JPO, the data includes the consolidated and edited bibliographic data of: the publication of unexamined applications of each country; full text image data of laid-open patent application specifications; and the data of classifications, patent inventory and patent family.
The USPTO sends to the JPO full text image data of patent application specifications and full text image data of laid-open patent application specifications by DLT and classification data by FTP.

b) Trilateral exchange of DNA sequence data
The JPO sent the DNA sequence data published in the Patent Gazette (6,831 data) to the National Institute of Genetics, one of the intermediaries for the trilateral data exchange.

c) English translation of FI and F-terms
They have been translated into English under the cooperation of the Trilateral Patent Offices. The translated data was sent to USPTO and EPO as trilateral exchange data.
In addition, the JPO has been publishing it under the JPO’s Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL) since March 2001.

d) Sending Official Gazette on CD-ROM overseas
The JPO mutually exchanges official gazettes, etc. with 102 organizations (including international organizations) in 88 nations, of which it sends the CD-ROM Patent Gazette to 33 organizations.
The JPO also sends the CD-ROM of the publication of unexamined applications to 29 organizations.

Medium used for exchange of priority documents

On-line or CD-R

Medium allowed for filing applications

On-line or paper
CD-R or floppy disc may be used in case of emergency.

Implementation of the Statement of Principles Concerning the Changeover to Electronic Data Carriers for the Exchange of Patent Documents (please make a status report on the extent to which your Office has changed over to electronic data carriers for the exchange of patent documents)

See 5th item of Paragraph II and 1st and second items of Paragraph VII.

VIII. Other relevant matters concerning education and training in, and promotion of, the use of patent information, including technical assistance to developing countries

Training courses for national and foreign participants, use of audiovisual means

See second and third items.

Assistance to developing countries (sending consultants and experts, receiving trainees from developing countries, etc.)

a) Activities and assistance using a voluntarily contribution fund (trust fund) to WIPO
1) Sending experts
To provide training and advice on IP Office Automation, the JPO sent 1 expert official to the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP).
2) Training for government officials
In cooperation with WIPO, the JPO held training course on the Use of Information Technology.

b) Assistance to developing countries using other institutions
1) Sending experts
Under the Japan International Cooperation Agency's (JICA) scheme, the JPO sent 2 expert officials (long-term) to NOIP, and 1 expert official (long-term) to the Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights (DGIPR), in order to engage in the JICA technical cooperation project.
The JPO sent 1 expert official (short term) to NOIP to provide training and advice on computerization.
2) Modernization of Intellectual Property Administration
The JPO carried out the following projects in the Kingdom of Thailand, the Republic of the Philippines, and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam through the JICA project-type technical cooperation;
The Kingdom of Thailand: The JPO cooperation with JICA helped to establish the Industrial Property Information Center (IPIC) in the Department of Intellectual Property of Thailand in 1995. The JPO helped establish an industrial property right automation system and provided assistance, until June 2000, to provide and promote industrial property right information to users.
The Republic of the Philippines: The JPO carried out technology transfer and human resource development for modernization of industrial property right administrative procedures of the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines from May 1999 to May 2003, through establishing the bibliographic database, the system applicable to the old law and of the PCT subsystem patent administrative procedure system.
Starting from April 2000, the JPO has launched the "Modernization of Industrial Property Administration Project in Vietnam", a project for the modernization of administrative procedure at NOIP, and will continue the project until June 2004. This cooperation aims at developing human resources through the automation of administrative work.
3) Training for government officials
The JPO sent expert officials to the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and invited 3 counterparts and also invited 1 counterpart from the Republic of Malaysia from these countries for specialized training such as lectures on computer-related technology and practical training.

Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)

a) In Japan, the JPO held seminars to explain IPC to private-sector users of industrial property information. It also held briefing sessions to explain IPDL searches, thus paving the way for the growth in referring to the Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL). These seminars were held as follows:
October, 2003 Osaka and Aichi
November, 2003 Tokyo and Fukuoka
December, 2003 Hokkaido, Miyagi, Hiroshima and Kagawa
*At the IPC briefing sessions, lectures on specific fields (machinery, chemistry, electronics and software) and FI- and F-terms, in addition to general topics, were given.

Studies to identify trends in new technology, e.g., by the use of patent statistics, preparation of monographs, etc.

The JPO conducts techno-trend surveys based on patent as well as economic information mainly in fields in which the number of applications is increasing or those in which technological advances are foreseen. The purposes of this survey are to understand the research and development trends of enterprises and research institutes, to contribute to determination of the future direction of technological development, and to enable implementation of accurate examination and establishment of a flexible examination structure.
In FY 2003, the JPO conducted the survey concerning the following 14 themes:
- Control method of PDP
- Technique using geographic information system (GIS)
- Optical integrated circuits
- Interconnect technology of LSI
- Photocatalyst
- Semiconductor testing and measurement system
- Regenerative medicine
- Mobile-phone terminal and its application
- Mobile communication systems
- User interface of computers
- POS relating to network
- Navigation system
- Innovative therapy machine for cancer
- Post-genome related technology - for being applied to industry -
The survey results are available on the JPO website.

Assistance furnished by offices to facilitate the changing over of receiving offices to electronic data carriers for the exchange of patent documents (see also item 4 of Chapter VI, above)

See second item of Paragraph VIII.

IX. Other relevant matters


1.Classification is allotting one or more classification symbols (e.g., IPC symbols) to a patent application, either before or during search and examination, which symbols are then published with the patent application.


2.Preclassification is allotting an initial broad classification symbol (e.g., IPC class or subclass, or administrative unit) to a patent application, using human or automated means for internal administrative purposes (e.g., routing an application to the appropriate examiner).  Usually preclassification is applied by the administration of an office.


3.Reclassification is the reconsideration and usually the replacement of one or more previously allotted classification symbols to a patent document, following a revision and the entry into force of a new version of the Classification system (e.g., the IPC).  The new symbols are available on patent databases.