Why search Japanese Prior Art?
Japanese patents are the richest sources of prior art in the world, with more than 50 millions searchable patent and trademark documents, over 200 millions pages, all stored in the JPO database. As a comparison, USPTO has about 10 millions of searchable documents including patents and trademarks stored.
Applications filed in Japan are published (laid open) 18 months after the filling or priority date regardless of the examination. The invention described in the published application becomes a prior art as of this disclosure.
Japanese prior art search is extremely important considering Japanese patent information is the richest prior art source in the world and Japan is the 3rd largest economy after the US and China with the most advanced technologies in many fields.
Without a Japanese search, you might miss 50% of the prior art even if you have thoroughly searched USPTO and EPO.
However, patent information in Japanese is difficult to access and interpret, because of the language barrier and the differences in patent systems.
We are the only search firm in North America that can search Japanese prior art using Japanese with deliverables in English.