New Case Law on Japanese Patent Law

There were a number of important judgments of Japanese courts relating to patent law, in particular from the Intellectual Property High Court. Herein, important decisions of the last three years are discussed. These decisions relate to patentability (novelty, inventive step, sufficiency of disclosure), the entering of the Japanese national phase of an international patent application, the filing of an appeal as well as patent infringement (damages, indirect patent infringement, claim interpretation, utilization in Japan). The decisions illustrate for example the strict handling of the regulations for entering the national Japanese phase as well as the more narrow interpretation of product-by-process claims, but also an improved protection in case of patent infringement in that both the recognition of specific acts as utilization of a Japanese patent and the obtainment of damages has been facilitated.