The JPO published on June 20, 2019 updated English guidelines for recovery of lapsed deadline for justifiable reasons.  According to the JPO’s explanation , the content is substantially identical to those published in 2016.  It should be noted that there are two types of recovery, those accepted when there is a) a “justifiable reason” and when there is b) a “reason not attributable to the applicant” for the lapse of deadline, as described below.  The published guidelines apply only for the former.


a) a “justifiable reason” for the lapse of deadline

“Justifiable reasons” are those unexpected despite the precautionary measures taken by the applicant, such as, earthquakes, disorder of computers unpredictable for users, data errors which occurred for unpredictable reasons despite the measure taken to avoid errors, etc.


Deadlines which may be recovered:

-claim for priority;

-filing of a Japanese translation subsequent to a PCT or Japanese application in a foreign language;

-request for examination;

-assignment of patent administrator;

-retroactive payment of registration/maintenance fee.


b) a “reason not attributable to the applicant” for the lapse of deadline (this one is even more difficult than a))

-filing of evidence regarding exemption from loss of novelty;

-filing in response to the Commissioner’s reminder of a certified copy of a priority application;

-filing of a divisional application within a predetermined period after decision of grant/rejection by the examiner;

-transfer of an UM or a design application or a registered UM to a patent application;

-filing of an advance announcement relating to an extension of patent term;

-filing of an Appeal against Rejection by the Examiner;

-filing of a re-Appeal;

-request of refund of a payment made in error.


Author: Yoshitaka Sonoda