Kind Code of Japanese Industrial Property Documents Stored at JPO
Japanese patent system is very complicated, which has at least 12 kind of documents, and 5 numbering systems.
12 Kind codes and Document Types
A: Published patent application, and Japanese translation of PCT international application;
B: Examined patent application publication;
U: Published utility model application, Registered utility model, and Japanese translation of PCT international applicationof utility mode;
U1: Unexamined utility model specification;
Y: Examined utility model application publication;
A1: Domestic re-publication of PCT international application;
N1: Journal of technical disclosure, and Patent;
C: Patent specification;
H: Corrected patent specification;
I: Corrected utility model specification;
Y: Examined utility model registration;
Z: Examined utility model specification.
5 Numbering Systems
For patent appication and publication documents published before 2000, numbering uses 1 letter indicating imperial era (X), 2 digits for the Japan imperial year (y) and up to 6 digits for the number (n), with the number format as: Xyy-nnnnnn. For example, S60-156789, or H06-20458.
However, from 2000 onwards, four-digit Western year is used instead so the format becomes: yyyy-nnnnnn, such as 2006-256783.
For granted patents, seven digit numbers are used without year, with the format as: nnnnnnn. For example, 2356791.
Japanese imperial years vs. Western years
|Imperial years||Western years ||Numbering|
|Meiji 1 - 45 ||1868 - 1912||M01 - 45|
|Taisho 1 - 15 || 1912 - 1926|| T01 - 15|
|Showa 1 - 64 ||1926 - 1989|| S01 - 64|
|Heisei 1 - 11 ||1989 - 1999||H01 - H11|
|Heisei 12 - ||2000 onwards ||2000 - |
Conversion of Japanese imperial years to Western years:
SHOWA + 1925 = Western year;
HEISEI + 1988 = Western year.