How to Search for a Japanese Patent Prior Art
Locating or searching patent in Japanese is a very challenging and tricky task, and also costly, because of the complexity of JPO patent system, huge number of documents stored at JPO database, and language barrier. However, chances of uncovering pertinent prior art is quite high, because Japanese patent prior art is so difficult to find and costly that a patent holder of a foreign company often did not have a thorough JP search before or after filling the application in the normal novelty / patentability search process, nor the examiner at USPTO due to the limited resource, time, and budget. In other words, Japanese patent prior art is an untouched gold mine in term of prior art information.
In this section, we provide some tips, ideas and examples about Japanese patent search, including number system, validity, novelty, etc. using a few examples.
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Tips of Searching Patents in Japanese: