JPO Published Guidance of Examination of IoT Technology

By: Mutsumi Fukuoka

On June 15, 2018, the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) published Guidance of Examination of IoT (Internet of Things) technology on their website.

Although patent applications related to IoT technology have been examined according to the existing Examination guidelines without issues, the Guidance was prepared because development and practical implementation of IoT technology has been rapidly increasing in Japan in recent years.

The Guidance explains the Examination guidelines of Patent-eligibility, Novelty, and Inventiveness regarding IoT technology.

The JPO explains in the Guidance that when considering the IoT technology from the point of view of “data”, “① the IoT technology obtains various pieces of data, ② collects the data via a network and manages them, ③ analyzes a large amount of the data and learn from them, and ④ finding new values/services of the data and utilizes them.”  The analyzing and learning (③) are often implemented using Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The Guidance introduces exemplary cases regarding ① obtaining, ② managing, ③ analyzing and learning, and ④ utilizing the data with regard to IoT technology.  Among them, especially the exemplary cases regarding ③ analyzing and learning the data using AI have been enriched.

Utilizing the Guidance will probably enable reducing the number of notifications of reasons for refusal to patent applications regarding IoT technology from the JPO, which reduces costs, and improving patent rates.