As from April 1, 2009, the JPO has launched on the deferral of examination fee payment system for the patent application on which an examination was requested. Normally, the request for examination fee must be paid at the time of filing a request for examination. However, considering global economical recession in recent years, JPO has introduced a one-year grace period for the payment of the examination fee on a patent application after the request examination was filed thereon. Initially, this measure was temporary and it would end on March 31, 2011.
On 24th December, 2010, the JPO announces that the application period for Deferral of Examination Fee Payment System extends up to March 31, 2012 in consideration of the recession as ever. One-year grace period remains unchanged.
Who can apply this system?
n A person who requests an examination on his/her own patent application (In case of filing a request for examination by other person, the system is not applicable and the simultaneous payment is necessary.)
Is there any exception for this system?
n Yes. In the following cases, the system is not applicable and the simultaneous payment is necessary.
Ø when requesting an accelerated examination
Ø when requesting a partial refund of international search fee
Once the system is applied, will the start of substantive examination be delayed?
n No. The deferral of examination fee payment will not change the time of starting on the substantive examination for the application.
How long can the payment be deferred?
n One year at maximum reckoned from the day when a request for examination is filed.
For more information, please ask your local attorney in Japan.
by R. Enomori