Recent Developments in Japanese Patent Law – Court Decisions from the Years 2016 und 2017

There have been in the last two years again numerous decisions of the Supreme Court of Japan, the Intellectual Property High Court as well as of the district courts in Tokyo and Osaka with regard to patent law. In this article, important decisions of the Supreme Court, the Intellectual Property High Court and the Tokyo District Court are discussed. These decisions relate to the consent of a licensee with the correction of a patent, the defense of a patent owner against an invalidity defense in infringement proceedings, the transfer of patents, the support for a claimed invention in the patent description, novelty, the existence of a product-by-process claim, clarity, the working of a use invention, the requirement of an interested person in invalidity proceedings, the patentability of an invention that relates to human mental activities, the dismissal of an irregular procedure as well as the doctrine of equivalents.