• The Shift-Amendment Restriction of Japan (Article 17-bis Paragraph 4 of the Patent Act): Contents and Practical Solutions
  • August 14, 2013 | Author: Tutomu Nisio
  • Law Firm: Hiroe & Associates patent professional corporation - Gifu City Office
  • The provision known as the Shift-Amendment Restriction is applied to all patent applications filed on or after April 1st 2007. However, this provision is difficult to understand for Japanese patent attorneys, and even more so for patent attorneys in other countries. Thus, I have summarized the provisions which constitute the basis for this restriction, along with a few concrete examples, which will hopefully be easy to understand. In conclusion, I found that while the shift-amendment system of Japan is very strict compared to the West, often leading to cases where filing a divisional application is the only way to obtain a patent grant; rights with the same broad range as in the West can be obtained through effective argumentation.