JPO to Enhance Patent Search System

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) announced that as of March 12 they have enhanced functions of the Japanese patent search system “The Japan Platform for Patent Information" also known as "J-PlatPat”.

The previous search system used in J-PlatPat was different from the search system used by the JPO examiners. With this enhancement, the search system of J-PlatPat has been integrated with the system used by the JPO examiners. In this way, users of J-PlatPat can search applications by multiplying patent classifications and keywords, and specifying upper limits of word counts (number of words in English) between keywords.

Also, previously foreign patent applications including US patent applications, EP patent applications and PCT patent applications were only able to be searched by application number, publication number, or Japanese text, but under the new enhancements, these applications are also able to be searched by English text. In the J-PlatPat database, data for US, EP and PCT applications going back to 1978 are stored.

With this enhancement, companies and researchers will be able to perform more accurate and efficient prior art searches thereby preventing duplicate investment and promoting innovation at the research and development stage. Moreover, by being able to search foreign applications by English text, US, EP and PCT applications will be searched and found as prior art in more cross-sectional and efficient ways. Thus, companies will be able to develop more appropriate strategies regarding foreign applications.