[April 2019]Big Changes in Japan Litigation System
The litigation system in Japan has seen big movement of late. The Bill for the Act of Partial Revision of the Patent Act, which includes the creation of inspection proceedings, has been approved by the Cabinet, following its March 1, 2019 submission during the ongoing ordinary session of the Diet.
Under these new proceedings, a neutral, technical expert appointed by the Court conducts an on-site inspection, such as a factory inspection; implements research necessary to prove infringement; and submits a report concerning this research to the Court. If this system is actually introduced, it is expected to become much easier for patentees to establish the infringement of method patents etc.
Further to the above revision of the Patent Act, the Bill for the Act of Partial Revision of the Design Act also made many changes concerning design applications, among them: increasing the duration of the design right from 20 years to 25 years; allowing applicants to file an application for multiple designs on a batch basis; and newly expanding the scope of design protection to cover 1) graphic images that are not recorded or shown on articles and 2) interior and exterior designs of buildings.
For more information, please visit the METI website at the following link: https://www.meti.go.jp/english/press/2019/0301_003.html