PCT/Paris Route Entering Into Japan

In Japanese Patent Law, "invention-creations" mean patents, utility models and designs.

"Patent" means any new technical solution relating to a product, a process or improvement thereof. Once granted, it can last as long as 20 years. That’s why most oversea patents entering into Japan are filed as “Patent” considering the longer patent term than "Utility Model".

"Utility Model" means any new technical solution relating to the shape, the structure, or their combination, of a product, which is fit for practical use. Once granted, it can last as long as 10 years. In Japan, there is no substantive examination for utility model.

"Design" means any new design of the shape, the pattern or their combination, or the combination of the colors with shape or pattern, of a product, which creates an aesthetic feeling and is fit for industrial application. Once granted, it can last as long as 20 years.

The applicant should enter Japan by PCT national phase within 30 months, or by Paris Convention Route within 12 months from the priority date.

The Reasons to Choose Japan:

A Developed Country with a Mature Market and High Consumption Level

Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) which Provides Accelerated Patent Prosecution Procedures with the Support of the JPO

Eligible to Convert a Patent Application into a Utility Model Application if the Applicant Receives the First Decision from the JPO that the Patent shall be Refused.

Most Likely to Obtain a Certificate from the JPO at the End of the Day

Filing to Grant Procedure for Patent



Filing National Application (PCT Route/Paris Convention Route);



Preliminary Examination By The Office;



Publication Of The Patent (Within 18 Months After Application);



Request for Substantive Examination (Within 36 Months from the Priority Date);



Issuance Of Patent Certificate (Taking Around 2 to 3 Years After Application).

Frequently Asked Questions:

When should I file the PCT national entry into Japan? icon icon
  • You’d better enter Japan by PCT national phase within 30 months.
What’s the requirement of language for the patent application? icon icon
  • Japanese version of abstract, claims, specification, drawings (when explanatory text is included).
When should I request the substantive examination? icon icon
  • Within 36 months from the priority date. Moreover, you can request for PPH to accelerate the examination along with the substantive examination, by which it only takes around 1 year from filing to grant.
Is it hard to get it granted in Japan and how long will it takes? icon icon
  • It is not hard to get it granted in Japan and it will take around 2 to 3 years after application. In Japan, you are eligible to convert a patent application into a utility model application if you receive the first decision from the JPO that the patent shall be refused, which means that you are more likely to get a patent certificate at last.
What’s the maintenance cost after the patent being granted? icon icon
  • Maintenance
    Fees (JYP)
    1st - 3rd years 4,300 + 300 / claim
    4th - 6th years 10,300 + 800 / claim
    7th - 9th years 24,800 + 1,900 / claim
    10th - 25th years 59,400 + 4,600 / claim

    There are three points which deserves attention for the maintenance fees in Japan:

    1)A one-time maintenance fee for the first 3 years should be paid at the time of grant.

    2)From the 4th year onwards, an annual fee should continue to be paid.

    3)The annual fee of Japanese patents is related to the number of claims, which means that the applicant should not only pay the basic annual fee but also the fees for the claims.

Brief Introduction of PPH in Japan

Patent Prosecution Highway(PPH) is a mechanism to facilitate expedited examination of applicants. Japan has established PPH cooperation with most major economies. And the PPH request is only applicable to patent application in Japan.

PPH has two main advantages. For one thing, the PPH application will greatly shorten the pending period for the patent to be substantially examined by the examinor. Normally, the first office action(if any) will be issued within 2 months after the PPH request has been accepted, comparing with 12 to 18 months of pending period for the general application after requesting for substantive examination. For another, the authorization rate is higher than the general application.

If the PCT application has received a positive written opinion or an international preliminary examination report of patentability at the international phase, the applicant can file a PCT-PPH request to the Patent Office at the same time when we request for the substantive examination at the national phase. Else if you’ve chosen Paris Convention Route to entering into the national phase, General-PPH may be requested if you can provide the Office Actions, Responses to those Office Actions and Grant Notice(if any) of the Priority Patent.

In brief, you don’t need to decide whether to apply PPH in Japan or not until you request for the substantive examination. You can leave this matter behind because we will notify you in time.

Estimated Cost for Filing a Patent

Price (USD)
Attorney Fee
Govt Fee*
Translation Fee**

Govt fee will be charged later since we need to check the claims and specification of your PCT Application/Original Patent Application in case there’s any additional govt fee according to the Patent Office rules.


Translation fee is estimated on the basis of our previous orders. It will be charged later since we need to check the number of words in abstract, specification and claims.