Annual Technical Report 2004 on Patent Information Activities submitted by Japan (SCIT/ATR/PI/2004/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 2004 was 423,081. The number of registrations was 124,192.
(2) Utility model
The number of applications in 2004 was 7,986. The number of registrations was 7,363.

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 2003 compared with that in the previous year.*
"B05 Atomization or spraying in general" (up 23% from the previous year)
"B60 Vehicles in general" (up 21% from the previous year)
"B62 Road vehicles except for rolling stocks" (up 25% from the previous year)
"C07 Organic chemistry" (up 52% from the previous year)
"C10 Petroleum, gas, or coke industry" (up 24% from the previous year)
"C12 Biochemistry" (up 73% from the previous year)
"E06 Doors, windows, etc." (up 20% from the previous year)
"F01 Machines, or engines in general" (up 22% from the previous year)
"G09 Education, ciphering method, display, etc." (up 22% from the previous year)

*IPC classes with 500 or more applications in 2003 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 2004:
Publication of Patent Applications - 364,500 issues
Publication of Unexamined Utility Model Applications - 10 issues
Published Japanese Translations of PCT International Publication for Patent Applications - 38,750 issues           
Publication of Registered Utility Model - 9,530 issues
Patent Gazette - 123,300 issues
Utility Model Gazette - 8 issues
Decision on Appeal / Trial Gazette - 13,365 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.
The Gazette contains mixed-mode type data, composed of text data and image data, thus text search using the text data is also available.
In July 2003, the JPO unified the domestic application forms of the patent and/or utility model into the PCT international application form and internationally standardized the electronic formats (use of XML forms). Following this, from January 2004, formats of publication of unexamined applications and publication of registration were changed to XML forms and at the same time the providing medium was changed from CD-ROM to DVD-ROM.

a) Publication of Unexamined Applications
Since January 1993, the JPO has issued publication of unexamined applications on CD-ROM. In the beginning, publication of 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, the published Japanese translations of PCT international publication for patent applications, published Japanese translations of PCT international publication for utility model applications (which was abolished 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 (which was abolished in January 2000) were added successively in the CD-ROM to be published.
With respect to patent applications containing sequence listings, the JPO issued a separate volume of CD-ROM containing sequence listings as huge data of publication of unexamined applications on CD-ROM in October 2001.
Publication of unexamined applications in a single-volume of CD-ROM contained a total of 3,300 issues and was issued 119 times in 2003.
Since January 2004, publication of unexamined applications has been issued with the format changed from SGML to XML and the medium changed from CD-ROM to DVD-ROM.
The publication of unexamined applications in a single-volume of DVD-ROM included 8,400 issues and issued 50 times in 2004.
The publication of unexamined applications on DVD-ROM enable a search by using 16 items, including document number, IPC, applicant, name of invention, as search keys.

b) Patent Gazette
The JPO has issued the publication of examined applications that includes the Patent Gazette and the Utility Model Gazette in a single-volume of CD-ROM since January 1994. This official gazette was abolished in January 1996 because of transfer to post-grant opposition system, and the publication of examined applications was terminated in March 1996. From May 1996, "the Patent Gazette and the Utility Model Gazette on CD-ROM" which includes post-grant registered gazettes (the Patent Gazette and the Utility Model Gazette) has been issued.
The Patent Gazette in a single-volume of CD-ROM includes a total of 2,400 issues and was published 53 times in 2003 and 24 times in 2004.
Since July 2004, the Patent Gazette has been issued with the format changed from SGML to XML and the medium changed from CD-ROM to DVD-ROM.
The Patent Gazette in a single-volume of DVD-ROM included 2,700 issues and issued 25 times in 2004.
The Patent Gazette on DVD-ROM enable a search by using 22 items, including document number, IPC, applicant, name of the invention, as search keys.
 At present, about 15 software companies sell Japanese-language software to enable use of the Official Gazette on DVD-ROM. Several companies also provide Internet-based patent information services for use of the data in the Official Gazette on DVD-ROM.
The JPO has provided 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.
Also the simplified viewer software (JPO.CONV) included in the publication of unexamined applications on CD-ROM issued in January 1996 and the Patent Gazette on CD-ROM issued in May 1996 have been modified so as to enable display data even under English environment, and provided from October 1997.
The JPO has provided, free of charge, with viewer software (named DVD-ROM GAZETTE VIEWER SOFTWARE) for the Official Gazette on DVD-ROM since January 2004. This software runs on the English version of MS-Windows.

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

Abstracting, reviewing, translating

a) Abstract
From December 1, 1990, the JPO has required applicants filing patent application and utility model application to submit an Abstract in addition to filing documents. The Abstract is inserted in the front page of a Gazette together with the bibliographic matters such as the name of the applicant, the title of the invention. Although the Abstract is prepared by the applicant, in order to enhance its utility as the front-page database, the JPO checks whether the content of the Abstract is appropriate, and if it is found inappropriate, the Abstract is modified by the office.

b) Preparation of and Use of Secondary Documents
1) Preparation of English Abstract of Publication of Unexamined Patent Application in Japan
The Patent Abstracts of Japan (hereinafter referred to as the “PAJ”) is a paper booklet which combines English Abstracts of publications of patent applications, filed by Japanese applicants, and their representative drawing. The JPO has been sending the PAJ to foreign patent offices since its first issue.
Since April 1995, The PAJ for publications 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 form. Currently the PAJ is sent to 95 foreign patent offices and public institutions.
PAJs issued in the 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 have been issued in PAJs.
The PAJ/CD-ROM is sold to the general public, and 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 and public institutions that currently receive the PAJ/CD-ROM.

3) Preparation of PAJ/CD-ROM Foreign Applicant Version
PAJ (disclosed 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, namely; 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 documents
The JPO prepares coded data of Japanese abstracts of US patent specifications, the publication of US patent specifications and the publication of EPO patent specifications. The data are stored electronically and used as search reference.

The services from 1) to 4) above have been operated by NCIPI since October 2004.

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 2004, the number of applications classified by the JPO by the International Patent Classification was: about 400, 000 when the application was laid open, about 120,000 when the Patent Gazette or Utility Model Gazette was issued, and about 9,500 when the registered utility model gazette was issued.
 The JPO positively participated in the activities for the revision of the IPC, and sent their delegates to IPC-related WIPO meetings for aggressive activities.

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 is continued
4) The number of indexed documents, year and origin About 106,000 documents by 2004 Japan.

Hybrid system indexing

An indexing code, which is a hybrid system, is assigned to each documents and used as a search key.
Furthermore, an F-term derived by reclassifying or subdividing the IPC for each predetermined technical fields from a variety of technical standpoints (purpose, usage, structure, material, manufacturing method, processing method, control means, etc.) is assigned to each documents and used as search keys.

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..
In order to perform full text search for documents in Japanese and in English, a full-scan system on a memory using an automaton is to be used from March 2005.

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 2004, 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 of the published documents have completed, can be used in the search.

b) Making F-terms Available to the General Public
The JPO opens all F-terms of the themes which are available to general public. By the industrial property right information via the Internet, F-term is available to general public and users can conduct F-term search by through the use of Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL) of NCIPI.


Updating of the Search File
The search file used by the examiner is continuously updated so that it is the latest one. To the search files, Japanese patent documents (publication of patent applications, publication of registered utility model, etc.) are added in accordance with the JPO's internal classifications (FI) developed by subdividing the IPC. In 2004, about 200,000 documents in total were added to the search file.

Storage, including mass storage media

The search indices file used by the examiner is stored in the form of electronic data on RAID. For full text search, all documents are stored on memory.

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

Text data and image data of the WIPO, the USPTO and the EPO, as well as image data of major European countries are stored, and IPC, ECLA and USPC search is possible.

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

In-house systems (online/offline)

a) Patent and Utility Model Search System (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) not only the conventional F-term search system and a system to search computer-software related non-patent literature (CS literature), but also a foreign patent document search system using EPO internal classification (ECLA) and the United States patent classification (USPC). Multiple search keys, such as F-term, FI, free word, CS term, ECLA and USPC, can be inputted simultaneously; thus an examination environment, enabling seamless search of various documents, such as domestic patents, foreign patents, non-patents, was created. This system enables referencing by linking patent family documents, citing documents, and cited documents. Furthermore, the text data of prior to laying-open specifications is stored and is available for search.
A full text search in Japanese and English is also available by use of text data of the domestic patent gazette collected through the paperless system and text data of the foreign patent gazette.
Further, a new terminal incorporating 2 screens of an ordinary high-resolution LCD for performing a search work and of a super high-resolution LCD for displaying documents such as the Patent Gazette or the like is to be introduced from January 2005.

b) Search System for Example of Appeals and Trials and Court Decisions (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 system introduced in January 1998 for searching gene-related information, and enables homology search, which searches for a sequence utilizing homology in respect of nucleotide sequences and amino acid sequences, and keyword search, which utilizes bibliographic data.

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

b) Microsoft TechNet
This system enables search of the database about the most advanced computer technical information provided by CD-ROM from Microsoft.

External databases

The examiners of the JPO use the following external databases for searches. Any database listed below can be used online from the PC in the JPO.

A Japanese patent document search system, provided by PATOLIS Corporation.

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

c) STN
A search system for the database of the science and technology field which is mainly used for searching CAS-related databases.

d) Science Direct
A website provided by the Elsevier for searching more than 1,800 journals in the science, technology, medicine and social science fields published by the Elsevier Group, and EMBASE, Compendex and other bibliographic databases, and reference works, etc..

An internet search site provided by IEEE/IEE for searching their publications including magazines 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.

A search system provided by the New Glass Forum for searching a database of glass formation information via internet.

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

k) ProQuest
An internet search site provided by PQIL Limited for searching economy and finance-related documents.

l) Web of Science
An internet search site having bibliographic information from about 8,700 important scientific journals stored therein and enabling search for their citation links as well.

m) G-Search
An internet search site for enabling search for full text articles on general newspapers, industrial journals and specialty magazines.

n) NRI Cyber Patent Desk
An internet search site for enabling search for abstracts of company technical journals and for enabling concept-based search.

o) Shoku Net
An internet search site for searching articles in various fields concerning foods.

p) AIP On-line
An internet search site provided by AIP for searching journals titled "Journal of Applied Physics," "Applied Physics Letters," "Review of Scientific Instruments," etc..

q) I-Chu-Shi WEB
An internet search site for searching "Igaku Chuo Journal", carrying information on medical science, pharmaceutical science, dentistry and their related fields.

r) Medical and Pharmaceutical Prepared Document Full Text DB
An internet search site for enabling search for full text of about 200 institutes’ prepared documents in medical and pharmaceutical fields.

An on-line information search system provided by Dialog Limited having at least 500 varieties of commercial-use database of information on patent, medical, pharmaceutical, science, technology, humanity & enterprises etc in the world.

t) QWEB2
An on-line information search service provided by Questel・Orbit Limited enabling search for the patent, the trademark, and the document in the world.

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

a) An electronic application and file wrapper system
The JPO has been using an electronic application and file wrapper system since December 1990. This system improves the efficiency of administrative works by computerizing application filing, formality/substantive examinations, dispatch, registration, gazette publications, and requesting for inspection of files, requesting for certification. Whole contents of the application are stored in an electronic file, processed and managed. Currently, to improve the efficiency of drafting by linking drafting system with the search systems and of examination by implementing electronic approval, and for faster gazette publication and for separate management of each applications, the following subsystems are operating;
(1) Filing system (electronic application filing)
(2) Formality check system (automatic formality check, formality-check-related drafting, approval and time management, etc)
(3) On-line dispatch system (on-line notification to applicants)
(4) On-line viewing system (online request and viewing)
(5) Examination-related administrative work system (substantive-examination-related drafting, approval and management, etc)
(6) System for appeals and trials (appeals-and-trials-related drafting, approval and management, etc)
(7) Gazette system (automatic preparation of the Gazette)
(8) Registration clerical work system (registration of establishment of right, management of original register, etc.)

Owing to the introduction of these systems, an applicant can file a patent application or a utility model application via on-line from a personal computer. Moreover, introduced is a paperless system related to the appeal (including reconsideration by examiner before appeal) and to the domestic administrative procedures of a JPO-designated PCT international application. In April 2004, the electronic application of the PCT international application was started.
As of 2004, the ratios of online electronic applications to all applications were 97% for patent and utility model, 98% for appeal, and 99% for the domestic administrative procedures of a PCT internal application (average for January to December), 72% for PCT international application (average in November, 2004).
In October 2005, internet application and electronic cash payment are to be started.

b) Other administrative procedure systems (existing systems)
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 and utility models, and designs and trademarks filed prior to the electronic application system.)
(2) A file wrapper administrative work system for the NCIPI
This system provides computerized central management for administrative work data, relating to disposed file wrapper kept in the NCIPI, and performs duties, such as management and storage of file wrappers, lending and returning a file wrapper by using terminals.

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 3,481 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 9 sets
(9) Server 941 sets
(10) Disk array unit 237 sets
(11) DVD-RAM Unit 4 sets

b) The communication lines used
(1) Leased line 13 circuits
(2) ISDN 7 circuits

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 domestic patent gazette, foreign patent gazette, and non-patent literature. This search function supports the use of thesaurus dictionaries.
By use of the Thesaurus dictionary, a user can search a synonym, related word, superordinate word, and subordinate word, and perform Japanese-English and English-Japanese translation of the search word. When performing full text search, reduction of users’ burden such as producing and inputting of a search query, and improvement of accuracy and efficiency of the full text search can be realized because the words searched, displayed, and translated by the Thesaurus dictionary can be easily converted into the search query.
The Thesaurus dictionary loaded on the present patent and utility model search system and the functions using the Thesaurus dictionary are as follows:

(Available thesaurus dictionaries)
a) Common dictionary (synonyms)
A dictionary in which synonyms of common words are collected.
b) Common dictionary (by-form)
A dictionary in which by-forms of the common words are collected.
c) JICST dictionary (Japanese version)
A dictionary prepared by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) having technical terms in Japanese collected therein.
d) JICST dictionary (English version)
A dictionary prepared by Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST) having technical terms in English collected therein.
e) JICST dictionary (Japanese-English translation)
A dictionary having correspondence of technical terms between Japanese and English collected therein.
f) Theme dictionary
A dictionary prepared by theme, and having technical terms of the technical field registered therein by the user. This dictionary can be freely edited by a user by himself, and the edited contents can be commonly used by all users.

(Available functions)
1) Search query input assist function
A function is used inputting search query of full text search.
The function can automatically produce a search query, wherein synonyms, subordinate and related words are displayed in a tree-form by inputting a search word, and then optional words are selected therefrom, thus the selected words can be searched at one time.
Furthermore, a series of all of the procedures can be automatically performed. Moreover, when producing the search query, search areas of a document can also be designated.

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)

Planning, administration, automation, security, buildings

The Intellectual Property Related Materials Reading Room is provided on the first basement of the JPO office building, and is operated in the following manner. And it is a branch library of the National Diet Library.
(1) The user
- JPO workers and those who obtained permission from the Director of the Patent Information Division (inclusive of public users).
- Personnel of the National Diet Library and personnel of the branch libraries of each ministries and government offices.
(2) Open
- 9:30 to 17:00

Collecting, acquisitions, preparation

The following are collected: Materials concerning industrial property right legislation and the peripheral laws inside and outside of Japan, related materials necessary for understanding industrial property right, related materials necessary for study of industrial property right, and reference materials for general administration.
As of the end of 2004, the library contains 31,000 volumes.

Collection management, preservation

Books are added with the storage number and classification and put on shelves, while bibliographic information is inputted in the library system to construct a database for a collection of books.

Interlibrary lending, resource sharing, networks of patent libraries in the country

Interlibrary lending of books etc. has been conducted among the National Diet Library and the branch libraries of each ministries and government offices.
Furthermore, the JPO is preparing for participating in “Distributed Type Comprehensive Data System” which permits a batch retrieval of the database for a collection of books of each of the branch libraries by use of the inter-Ministry network (Wide Area Network), Kasumigaseki WAN (LAN of the each ministries and government offices (in-house Local Area Network)), which was constructed by the National Diet Library.

Information services available to the public (including computerized services and search files contained in libraries remote from your Office and patent information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web)

a) Providing industrial property right 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 54 million items of industrial property information by using document number and classification as search keys. The service was transferred from October 2004 to NCIPI, and has been operated thereby.
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 1921 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 after 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 1976 and after can be searched by free word search or document number.
Also, since March 2000, the JPO has been providing the full text (machine translation 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, publications of examined patent and utility model applications and publications of registrations published in January 1994 can be searched by free word or document number.

8) FI and/or F-term Retrieval
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.
Searches based on the date when an invention is publicly known is 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 available 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 trial decisions are provided.

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 outside users. This service was transferred to NCIPI from October 2004, and has been provided to the outside users twice a month.

c) Access Service of the Patent Gazettes
NCIPI has provided about 150 devices for search for the Patent Gazette access room on the second floor of the JPO office building to allow the public access to the “IPDL Service,” “CD-ROM /DVD-ROM Gazette”, etc. free of charge.
At the same time, in eight places (Sapporo, Sendai, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Takamatsu, Fukuoka, and Naha), such devices are provided for giving search service. The number of the users of the services at the above devices in 2004 was about 72,000.

d) Reference to examination and trial documents
NCIPI is collecting various technical documents (books, etc.), which are used in the examinations and trials by the JPO, widely from inside and outside of Japan and made available to the public.

e) 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 NCIPI 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 58,000 items were in the patent circulation database as of March 2005.

f) Intellectual Property Center
59 Intellectual Property Centers throughout the nation have widely implemented support operations for users including regional companies and applicants etc. They have given advice to the 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 etc.
In addition, in order to support the above project, NCIPI dispatches Patent Information Advisers, experts of the patent information, who give the users advices so that they can perform technical development, and patent obtaining/management through effective use of the 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 publications of unexamined patent/utility model applications, recorded in electronic media (such as CD-ROM, etc), to the European Patent Office (EPO) and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
In addition, the JPO sends concordance data of patent document numbers, Patent Abstracts of Japan (PAJ) data, and IPC files stored in electronic media (such as CD-ROM, etc.).
As bilateral data exchange project, the JPO is to send image data and bibliographic data of Patent Gazette and Utility Model Gazette before the publication of CD-ROM Official Gazette stored in an electronic media (such as CD-R) to Republic of Korea in March 2005.
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 publications of patent applications, etc. (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 Trilateral Patent Offices. The translated data was sent to USPTO and EPO as trilateral exchange data.
In addition, they have been published in Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL) since March 2001.
Moreover, an English version for a partial theme of F-term manual was produced in March 2005, and to be sent for USPTO and EPO September 2005, to be reported in IPDL from September 2005.

d) Sending Official Gazette on DVD-ROM to overseas
The JPO mutually exchanges official gazettes, etc. with 102 organizations (including international organizations) in 83 nations, out of which it sends the DVD-ROM Patent Gazette to 33 organizations. The JPO also sends the DVD-ROM of the publication of unexamined applications to 29 organizations.
Those gazettes sent to the above countries and organizations include PAJ (Patent Abstracts of Japan), which has become a project of NCIPI since October 2004.

Medium used for exchange of priority documents

On-line or CD-R

Medium allowed for filing applications

On-line or paper or as PCT applications, those sent by fax
CD-R or flexible 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 provide 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 through WIPO Funds-in-Trust/Japan
(1) Dispatch of Experts
To provide advice and guidance on substantive patent examination, the JPO sent 4 expert officials to the State Intellectual Property Office of the People’s Republic of China (SIPO).
(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) Dispatch of Experts
Under the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) scheme, the JPO sent 2 expert officials to National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP), and 1 expert official to the Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights (DGIPR) as long-term experts.
Under JICA scheme, the JPO sent 1 expert official to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IPO-P) as a short-term expert in order to follow up the Modernization of Industrial Property Right Project.

(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 IPO-P 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.
The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam: Under JICA scheme, from April 2000 to June 2004, the JPO carried out the "Modernization of Industrial Property Administration Project ", a project for the modernization of administrative procedure at NOIP, a developing human resources was performed through the automation of administrative work.
Since January 2005, “The Project for Utilization of Intellectual Property Information” has been carried out, which aims at construction of a search system and an information system as well as human resources development by use of the systems in order to realize modernization of the industrial property operation.

3) Training for government officials
The JPO invited counterparts, 2 from Indonesia and 1 from the Republic of Malaysia, to give them lectures/on-site training on computer-related technologies and other technological fields.

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

a) Seminar
(1) Industrial Property Right Seminar
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, 2004 Fukuoka
November, 2004 Tokyo, Osaka, Aichi, Hiroshima,
December, 2004 Hokkaido, Miyagi
*Explanations were also made on FI- and F-terms.

(2) Patent Distribution Promoting Seminar
For the purpose of smoothly and effectively transferring the patent rights, which are intended to be licensed (transferable patents), among private enterprises and between universities/public research organizations and private enterprises for activating creation of new business and development of new products of medium and small-sized enterprises, venture business, NCIPI organizes “Patent Distribution Promoting Seminars,” which are comprehensive seminars of patent distribution promoting project.

b) Patent Information Adviser
In order to realize effective use of patent information in medium and small-sized enterprises and universities/research institutions, NCIPI dispatches Patent Information Advisers to each prefectures to give advices for patent information search method, and to hold training courses, thus responding to various demands regarding the use of the patent information.

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 2004, the JPO conducted the survey concerning the following 12 themes:
- Structure and manufacturing method of plasma display panel
- Technique related to natural disaster countermeasure
- Discharge lamp lighting circuit
- Welding of non-ferrous metal materials
- Prevention of vibration of rotating mechanism
- Equipment and technique related to genes
- Ink for ink-jet
- Semiconductor manufacturing equipment process management technique
- Weight reducing technology for automobile
- Color matching management technology
- Bioinformatics
- IC tag
The survey results are available on the JPO website.

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.