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The Asia Patent Alliance (APA) is a full service intellectual property firm offering expertise assistance in the area of patent, design, trademark and so on for our clients in Japan, China and Korea.

We are delighted to send you our newsletter of July 2016 which can be viewed below. It is about the recent fees reduction announced by the Japan Patent Office for patents and trademarks.

We hope that the information provided in this newsletter will be of interest to you. If you wish to view our activity report including successfully granted patents, please visit our homepage. In case of questions, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to working with you soon.

We wish to inform you that both the Japan Patent Office and our firm will be closed on August 11 and August 12, 2016 due to the Japanese Obon-festival. If you have any urgent cases for actions during these days, please let us have your early instructions.

The Dos and Don'ts of Filing a Divisional Application in Japan

The Japanese Patent Office (JPO) allows divisional applications, but it is important to be cautious of the strict rules concerning deadlines. A divisional application can be filed when amendments to the description, claims or figures of a patent specification are allowed. Further, filing a divisional application is also allowed within 30 days from the issue date of a notice of allowance and within 4 months from the issue date of a final rejection. However, there are some exceptions.

A divisional application cannot be filed if a notice of allowance is issued after a final rejection, either through a pre-trial reexamination or through an examination in which an application was sent back by a trial decision. Also, if a notice of allowance is received after a decision in trial to patent or decision in trial to reject, a divisional application is not allowed. In addition, a divisional application cannot be filed after registration fees have been paid because the application is no longer a pending case of the JPO.

Therefore, we would recommend you to evaluate your need for a divisional application, at the time you are filing an appeal against a final rejection or are paying the registration fees. The Asia Patent Alliance has filed several divisional patent applications, and can answer any questions regarding the procedure that you may have.