Japan Hikes Refunds For Withdrawn Patent Applications

Law360, New York (January 13, 2006, 12:00 AM EST) -- In an attempt to speed up its drastically overtaxed screening process, the Japan Patent Office is considering increasing the examination fee refund amounts for withdrawn patent applications.

Currently, about half of all patent applications submitted for approval are denied after examination. Inventors who withdraw their patents are eligible for getting back half of their examination fees, or about 200,000 yen.

The increase in refunds comes as the JPO continues to struggle to reduce patent pendency times, which can stretch to over two years.

Critics charge that...
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