This year the US beat Japan in patent application filing for the first time since 1963, but Nippon is prepared to bounce back. In fear of falling back in international competitiveness in the future, the Japan Patent Office introduced a new system to accelerate examinations of patents on a trial basis October 1 (“to become the world’s most advanced IP-based nation”).
The so-called “super accelerated examination system” is open to companies, individuals or public institutions applying for a foreign patent and proving there is an urgent need to protect their IP. Tokyo-based elite university Keio seems to be the first to have fulfilled both conditions: On October 1st, It has submitted an examination request for a process to detect toxic metals in water (developed by a group of Keio students).
The Japanese Patent Office today decided to grant a patent on this process after just 17 days of screening and said this is a world record.
Keio University will pay the necessary fees next week and instantly obtain the patent. The average time of deciding upon patents in Japan is two years.