On July 1, 2013, the Japan Patent Office revised its Examination Guidelines concerning “requirements for unity of inventions”, “amendment that changes a specific technical feature of an invention”, and the “examination procedure” relating to said unity requirement and ACSTFs.
The revised guidelines regarding unity are to be applied to applications filed on or after January 1, 2004, and examined on or after July 1, 2013. The revised guidelines regarding ACSTFs are to be applied to applications filed on or after April 1, 2007, and examined on or after July 1, 2013.
By the revision, a claim that has not been examined as to novelty and/or inventive step because of a unity violation under the former guidelines, will be subject to examination so as to enhance the efficiency of the examination. The changes are as follows:
Procedure regarding unity
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Japan, JPO, ASCTF, patent