JPO’s “New Normal” Post-COVID-19: Masks, Online Meetings, and Late Filings

Published: 26 Mar 2023

* Please refer to: our updated summary of the Japan Patent Office’s COVID-19 policies

The Japan Patent Office announced, in accordance with the Japanese government’s new stance toward wearing of masks outside and in public places, that it will make masks optional from March 13, 2023.

Though the reality is that very many people are still walking around wearing masks inside and out in Japan, the policy change reflects Japan’s cautious return to face-to-face interaction.

New Normal in Digital Interaction

Some things have changed for the long term. For example, videoconference meetings with examiners[1] and videoconference invalidation trials in the JPO seem here to stay.

Treatment of Late Filings?

Applicants are still told that the JPO will treat filings made late due to a contraction of COVID-19 relatively leniently.[1] Yet we should still take care, considering Japan’s tough reinstatement requirements (even with the shift from “Due Care” to “Unintentionality” standards coming soon).

See the summary of filings with remedies.

Masks off, and screens on.

* The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice.
** For questions or consultation, please contact Taro Yaguchi or our firm for more information.


[1] Japan Patent Office. “新型コロナウイルス感染症拡大防止に伴う対応等について [Measures in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus].” Updated March 13, 2023. Accessed March 25, 2023.

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Taro Yaguchi

Firm: Keisen Associates
Country: Japan

Practice Area: IP Litigation

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