Harmonizing the Japanese Patent System with Its U.S. Counterpart Through Judge-Made Law: Interaction Between Japanese and U.S. Case Law Developments
Japanese jurisprudence has been strongly influenced by German jurisprudence, but this trend is changing because more legal professionals including judges, patent attorneys and patent office examiners study at U.S. Law Schools. Some recent Japanese court decisions reflect this strong influence from U.S. jurisprudence. Particularly, the influence is significant in the field of patent claim interpretation, courts, power to review the validity, parallel importation and patent infringement damages. This article concludes that there are few significant differences remaining between the U.S. and Japanese patent laws, and Japanese courts' eagerness to adopt U.S. patent law significantly contributes to harmonizing the remaining differences.