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Searching patents in Japan, China, Chinese Taipei and Korea

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Database post - patent office logosDespite web browsers’ handy translate functions, it can still sometimes be hard to search for patents in other languages, particularly non-European languages which many of us won’t have a vast amount of experience with. It may have been that to get information about a Japanese patent, for example, one would have to email a Japanese attorney to source the information.

But no more! It seems some at the EPO might have been having a similar problem, and so the EPO’s Asian patent information services have put together a number of instruction guides on how to search patent databases in Japan, China, Chinese Taipei (also known as Taiwan) and Korea – without even the additional translation help of a browser.

So how do you find these instruction guides? Unfortunately, despite the EPO’s new-look website, using their own search function doesn’t bring up the correct pages. To find them, you’ll need to do the following;

  • Open your browser and bring up Google (other search engines are available…),
  • Search ‘Japanese/Chinese/Chinese Taipei/Korean patent search’, depending on your country of interest,
  • Click on the link which reads ‘EPO-Searching in databases-(Japan/China/Chinese Taipei/Korea),
  • This will take you to a page with a number of instruction guide PDF documents!

For example, on the Japanese searching database page the first document under ‘Legal status  information’ named Retrieving basic legal status information in Japanese from the JPO’s J-PlatPat provides a 5-step instruction guide on how to find the application number and legal status of a Japanese patent application. Helpfully, the step-by-step is shown on screenshots of JPO’s J-PlatPat, making it simpler to see where to click and type, and where the relevant information is shown. We’ve taken some screenshots of screenshots to show you just how handy these instruction guides are:



We hope this small discovery helps you on your patent database searching quests!

Madeleine Finlay 3 May 2016

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