Affixation of Seal or Signature Is No Longer Required for Most Procedures as of June 12, 2021
The JPO announced on July 16, 2021 that, as a result of revision of laws effective as of June 12, 2021, affixation of a seal would longer be required for most procedures before them. Out of approximately 800 procedures in which affixation of a seal has been necessary, only 33 procedures continue to require affixation of a seal, while the requirement is no longer applied in 764 procedures. A list of the 33 procedures is provided on the JPO’s website.
The 33 procedures have been chosen because severe damage will result in the case of forged or incorrectly executed documents within such procedures. For example, affixation of a seal is still required for a procedure by which assignment of an application to a new applicant is recorded or by which a change of the applicant’s name is to be recorded. Also, affixation of a seal is still required for a procedure by which assignment of a registered patent to a new patent owner is recorded.
Previously, when a foreign party undertook a procedure in which affixation of a seal was required, a signature was required in place of a seal. Therefore, when a foreign party undertakes a procedure that no longer requires affixation of a seal as a result of the above-explained revision of laws, a signature is no longer required.
Japan Patent Information Committee
Legal updates on Patents