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Archived updates for Tuesday, April 18, 2006

JPO Proposes Examination Guidelines on Use Limitations

The Japanese Patent Officce has invited interested parties to submit written comments on proposed revisions to its Examination Guidelines for patent claims containing use limitations: According to the press release, the gist of the draft is as follows:

  1. In finding a claimed invention having a statement of a limitation by use, it is made clear that there are two cases as follows

    A case where a limitation by use should be construed in such a manner that it
    means a structure etc. particularly suitable for the use

    A case where an invention with a limitation by use should be construed as so-called "a use invention".
  2. It is made clear that, in general, "a use invention" is construed as an invention based on a discovery of an unknown attribute of a product and suitability for a new use of the product due to the attribute.
  3. Expressions pointed out to be ambiguous such as "a product that is to be used solely for the use purpose" are made clear, and it is also made clear that they are examined by the way of the above-mentioned method.
  4. Examples of claimed inventions with a limitation by use are enriched.

Comments must be received on or before May 8th 2006.

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