JPO Revokes Ikinari Steak’s Steak Service Method Patent

Ikinari Steak, a Japanese steak chain with locations in Japan and the U.S., received a patent for a steak service system in 2016. The patent was for a very simple method claim for preparing a steak.

Claim 1, as translated, stated, “A method for providing a steak comprising: guiding a customer to a standing table, asking the customer the amount of steak desired, cutting the ascertained amount of steak from a meat block, cooking the cut meat, and carrying the cooked meat to the table.”

Following the grant of the patent, an opposition was filed against the patent and on November 28, 2017 the JPO held that the method did not qualify for a patent under Chapter 1, Article 2 of the Japan Patent Act which requires that an invention be a “highly advance creation of technical ideas utilizing the laws of nature.” Instead the claims merely recited an artificial arrangement that does not meet the requirements of being a patentable invention.