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Who can Patent.-Only the true and first inventor or discoverer can obtain a patent of invention, and only the owner of the original patent can secure a patent of improvement. No official of the Patent Office can own a patent unless he owned it before entering Government employ or received it by bequest.
An inventor outside the realm must appoint an agent domiciled in the realm as his agent, and such agent must be satisfactory to the Government and a registered patent agent in the country. Our agent fulfils these conditions and acts for our clients.
Only subjects of Japan, or foreigners with whose Governments Japan has special treaty arrangements, can obtain patents at present, the favoured countries are Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Great Britain and her Colonies and Dependencies, Holland, Norway, Sweden, Spain, France, and the United States. As, however, Japan has now joined the Union for the Protection of Industrial Property, the remaining States of the Union will soon have the right, and Hungary is now negotiating for a treaty.
What can be Patented. —Almost any new thing that can be patented in the United States or Great Britain can be patented in Japan, except articles of food, drink, or luxury, medicines and method of compounding them, things regarded as contrary to public order or morality and things which have been known to the public or have been in public use before the application of the patent; but this latter rule does not apply to things which have been known to the public for the purposes of trial for not more than two years, and this rule is also subject to the regulations of the Union for the Protection of Industrial Property.
Novelty.-See last paragraph. The publication of a description in print in any country prior to application in Japan is fatal to the validity of the patent, but subject to the regulation of the Union for the Protection of Industrial Property and the following rule in regard to national and international exhibitions.
Exhibitions.-Exhibits in exhibitions organised by the central Government, or by the authorities of a Prefecture, are, by notification to the Director of the Patent Bureau duly given before entering the exhibit, provisionally protected without further charge for six months from the date of entry into the exhibition, and exhibits in an international exhibition in any of the States of the Union for the Protection of Industrial Property are provisionally protected for the same period in Japan and to the same extent as they are protected (in consequence of exhibiting and notification thereof) in the country in which the exhibition is situated.
Military and Naval Patents and others required in the public interest can be appropriated and compensation paid for same by the Treasury, the patentee having an appeal to a court if not satisfied with the compensations.
Examination.- Patents are examined to see if they be in order or previously published by the inventor and to a certain extent others, in any country prior to the application, or if they interfere with any other pending application. If the examiner reports against the patent the report is submitted to the parties interested and the patentee can appeal within sixty days to another examiner, and from him appeal can be had to the Patent Bureau. interference between two pending applications be declared, or if applicant be opposed, both parties are called upon to furnish full statement of their respective cases, and if the decision finally come to be that the second applicant is the first inventor,
and the first patent or patent application be cancelled, the second applicant can have his patent dated back to the date of the cancelled patent. Appeals can be made from decisions of the Patent Court to the Supreme Court.
Amendments can be made, provided they do not extend the invention. Actions for infringement or revocation of patents are tried before three or five patent judges, who must give their reasons, with the decision.
Working.–A patent can be annulled if the owner allows three years to elapse without publicly working it in the Empire, or if, after such three years of nonworking he refuses to license or sell the invention at a reasonable rate.
Taxes.—Annual taxes have to be paid on pain of forfeiture of the patent. Sixty days' grace are allowed in cases of accidental failure to pay in time.
Marking. All patented articles must be marked Patent of " in the Japanese language. Penalties for wrongful marking or importing, using, or selling the patented article in contravention of the patentee's rights are major imprisonment of from fifteen days to three years, or a fine of from ten to five hundred yen and the confiscation of the infringing article, which is given to the patentee. Average costs : Patents of Invention
£22 Annual taxes including agency on patents of invention :
End of each of first three years £2 ros.
Registering a trade mark, each class .
(Population, 8,500.) The law and costs of Straits Settlements have been adopted bodily for Labuan. Trade mark, £14.
LAGOS AND PROTECTORATE.
(Population, 1,500,000.) Any inventor, his assigns, or legal representative with or without associates, or any person receiving the invention from abroad from the inventor or his legal representative or assign, can obtain a patent. The law is in nearly every other respect the British law, as set forth in the 12th Edition of my Handbook of 1902, except that the costs of obtaining patents are rather heavier, and the annual taxes commencing at the end of the fourth year are, including agency, £ 12 ios. for the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th years ; £17 1os. for the 9th and 10th years; and £22 1os. for the 11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th years.
Usual costs : Patent, £15.
(Population, 130,000.) Patents are granted for fourteen years, but limited by duration of any prior foreign patent, to first inventor, for any manufacture new as far as the colony is concerned, and not the subject of an expired patent abroad.
LEEWARD ISLANDS-LIBERIA— LUXEMBOURG,
Usual costs : Provisional protection
for six months, of little use except
paid for three years
(Population, 1,500,000.) Patents are granted for fifteen years to the true and first inventor, or his assigns, for inventions not yet known or used within the limits of the Republic. They must be worked within the first three years of their duration in the Republic, on pain of being considered abandoned. Usual cost to Liberians
£22 to others
(Population, 220,000.) The patent law is in most respects identical with the Belgian, except that an invention must be new, not merely in Luxembourg, but in the entire Customs Union of Germany, to be validly patentable. By new is meant not described in public print or publicly worked. So also a patent is invalid unless before, or within three months after, its application, a patent for the same invention be applied for in Germany and (afterwards) granted. A patent is granted for fifteen years, but only remains valid as long as the German patent for the same invention is kept up. If, however, the German patent be declared void