The Japanese government has announced an initiative to reduce patent examination time from 2.5 years to about 14 months. When they achieve 14 months examination time, the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) will provide the shortest examination period in the world. This is part of the initiative to make Japan the world leader in intellectual property, an initiative which is being driven by the Prime Minister.
The push to achieve the shortest examination time was announced by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The driving force behind the effort to shorten the examination time is to provide applicants the ability to launch businesses and recover investments faster. We had referred to this before as the Patent Stimulus Package.
The Japanese initiative package should be compared to the U.S. initiative to provide more transparency in ownership of patents and to attack the so-called patent trolls. In view of the fact that new jobs are created by new business, and that young, high-tech companies outpace the rest of the private sector in job creation, the Japanese Patent Stimulus Package appears to have a better chance of stimulating the economy.