Case Studies: Japanese Prior Art Search

Biotech Communication Optical communication
Machinery Electronics Pharmaceutical
Business model Medical Device Computer
Pharmaceutical Biotechnology Semi-conductor

Field: Electronics. Japanese Patent and Non-patent Literature Search

Project duration: 6 weeks

Client: IP deparment of a major electronic products manufacturer (referred by a patent law firm)

Type of search: Invalidation search. The client had performed extensive searches in English, and had hired a Japanese Ph.D. student to spend a few months to search both Japanese patents and non-patent literatures. It turned out that the previous Japanese searches missed a few important reference documents because the previous searcher could not access commercial Japanese databases and was lack of such expertise so he used only free databases such as IPDL.

Field of Technology: Electronics

Brief Descriptionof the Target Patent to be Invalidated: The target patent teaches a digital camera that has improved data processing features. The target patent was filed in early 90's.

Search strategy:
Japan is the country that has a few technologies ahead of other countries. Digital camera is one of such technoloiges, and Japanese companies clearly have a competitive edge in this field in early 90's.

Database used: NRI (for full text search), PATOLIS (for classification search), and IPDL (for downloading full patents for review.

1) F-Term and FI (unique Japanese patent classification) search;
2) Full text key word strings and IPC combination search.

About 1540 hits were generated. After reviewing these hits, 3 Japanese patent documents that are pertinent art were uncovered. The electromagnetic brake system disclosed in one of the 3 Japanese patent documents is identicalto the system disclosed in the target patent.

Thank you kindly for the speedy delivery. I will be sure to advise the client of your remarks regarding the translation. I will also make sure that the reviewer has this information available. I can’t say thank you enough. You have done a great job.

- John Hall, Texas