Washington International Law Journal


Recent changes made to Japanese and American patent procedural laws have not addressed the contentious issue of patent enforcement. Purely technical decisions concerning patent rights and their enforcement need to be consistent between jurisdictions of each country. Courts of both countries are second guessing purely technical decisions of their patent offices and interfering with the smooth and predictable development of new technology and its associated rights. This particularly hurts noncitizen patentees who are unfamiliar with the particular legal customs of the other country. It is proposed that technical patent scope determination during Japanese patent infringement litigation be delegated to the Japanese Patent Office and that technical patent validity determinations during U.S. patent infringement litigation be delegated to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The scientists and engineers who are dedicated to this common task at the U.S. and Japanese patent offices are best qualified to make these decisions which often affect patent rights of non-citizen patentees.

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