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Japan: intellectual property documentation

The following is a detailed list of the Japanese intellectual property documentation held within the British Library IP collection.

Material on this list may only be available in Japanese. We cannot translate items for you.

Intellectual Property stock locations

IP Open Access: Always available in the Business & IP Centre

IP Reserve South: In secure storage, can be delivered to the Centre in typically 1-3 hours

IP Reserve North: In secure storage, can be delivered to the Centre in 48+ hours. If a nine-digit number is shown under "location", these can be ordered for use in the Centre by registered readers through Explore the British Library. Please type the number into the Explore search box to rapidly retrieve the record.

IP Reserve Material cannot be ordered for same-day delivery after 16:00. Sometimes the service may not be available all day on Saturday due to staffing. Some Reserve Material may not be available at times due to stock movements. Please contact us before your visit to check.


Japan Patent Office


Patent specifications

Japanese patent specifications are published as a journal-style "Gazette" rather than as individual documents. From 1971 until 1996 there were separate annual number series for A unexamined and B examined applications which were identical in number format and easily confused. From 1996 the former B examined applications and C granted specifications were replaced by a new series of B granted specifications with continuous numbers. Until 2000 the year number used in the annual numbers was the Japanese regnal year system rather than the CE (Western) year. The reigns relevant to Japanese patents are the Emperor Hirohito's (Showa era), which ran from 1926 (Japanese year 1) to 1989 (Japanese year 64), and the current Emperor Akihito's (Heisei era), which began in 1989 (Japanese year 1). From part-way through 2000 the CE year was used in unexamined application numbers instead of the regnal year.
Patent Application Gazette (A specs: unexamined applications)2012 - to dateCD/DVDIP Open Access
 1994 - 2011CD/DVDIP Reserve North
 1971 - 1993PaperIP Reserve North (015268711)
Patent Gazette (B specs: examined applications until 1996, then granted specifications)2012 - to dateCD/DVDIP Open Access
 1994 - 2011CD/DVDIP Reserve North
 1889 - 1993PaperIP Reserve North (015268713)
Translated PCT applications (T specs)2012 - to dateCD/DVDIP Open Access
 1996 - 2011CD/DVDIP Reserve North
Old granted patent series17330 (1909) - 216017 (1956)PaperIP Reserve North (015268710)
We ceased to receive the old-series Japanese granted specifications in 1956. Granted specs from the period 1956 - 1996 can usually be obtained from the online Patent & Utility Model Gazette (see below)

Patent Databases

Patent Abstracts Of Japan Online (Searchable English abstracts with status information. From 1994 automatic computer translations of the full unexamined application text into English are available but not searchable)1976 - to dateOnline
Patent & Utility Model Gazette Online (downloadable patent and utility model application and grant specifications retrievable by known number only)1922 - to dateOnline
Patent & Utility Model Concordance Online (a pre-1996 Japanese patent may have a pre-publication filing number, an unexamined application number, an examined application number, and a final grant number. If you only know one use this free database to find the others.)1922 - to dateOnline

Abstracts and Indexes

Patent Abstracts Of Japan (PAJ)2011/193728 - to dateCD/DVDIP Open Access
 1994 - 2011/193727CD/DVDIP Reserve North
 1976 - 1993 (cumulated and arranged by class)CD/DVDIP Reserve North
PAJ Foreign Applications1989 - 1997 (cumulated and arranged by class)CD/DVDIP Reserve North
PAJ Section C (chemical)1984 - 1994PaperIP Reserve South
PAJ Section E (electrical)1984 - 1994PaperIP Reserve South
PAJ Section M (mechanical)1984 - 1994PaperIP Reserve South
PAJ Section P (physical)1984 - 1994PaperIP Reserve South
PAJ all sections1977 - 1984PaperIP Reserve South
PAJ Index2011/217608 - to dateCD/DVDIP Open Access
 1994 - 2011/217607CD/DVDIP Reserve North
Patents Gazette for Opposition (English summaries)1967 - 1981PaperIP Reserve South
Patent Applications Gazette Index1973 - 1977PaperIP Reserve South
Patent Gazette Index1970 - 1977PaperIP Reserve South
Patent Classified Index1962 - 1966PaperIP Reserve South
Classification of Patents (classified index)1 - 45570PaperIP Reserve South
Number and Class Lists of Patents1901 - 1904PaperIP Reserve South
Index to Patents1885 - 1894PaperIP Reserve South
Derwent Japan Patent Abstracts (Section A-M/CH only)   
Unexamined Applications1974 - to datePaperIP Reserve North
Grants1961 - to datePaperIP Reserve North
Derwent World Patents Abstracts (Sections R-X)1987 - to datePaperIP Reserve North
Derwent Japanese Alerting Bulletin1996 - to datePaperIP Reserve North

Official Journals

Patent Office Official Bulletin (POOB)1950 - 1974PaperIP Reserve South
POOB Official Announcements1969 - 2010PaperIP Reserve South
POOB Document Gazette1994 - 2007PaperIP Reserve South
POOB Lists of Patent Applications1989 - to datePaperIP Reserve South
POOB Lists of Examination Required Patent Applications1971 - 1989PaperIP Reserve South
POOB Lists of Patents1975 - 1998PaperIP Reserve South
POOB Lists of Abandoned Applications for Patents1981 - 1997PaperIP Reserve South
POOB Lists of Abandoned Applications for Patents, Trade Marks, Etc.1977 - 1980PaperIP Reserve South
POOB Special Index1952 - 1958PaperIP Reserve South
JPO Collective Supplement to Official Bulletin1953 - 1960PaperIP Reserve South
Japan Industrial Property Journal1948 - 1949PaperIP Reserve South
Harris Patent Report (English titles in numerical order)1971 - 1972PaperIP Reserve South
Interpas Monthly Patent Data (English unexamined application title lists in alphabetical order)1961 - 1969PaperIP Reserve South

Legal Decisions

Legal Decisions2012 - to dateCD/DVDIP Open Access
 2000 - 2011CD/DVDIP Reserve North
POOB Legal Decisions Relating to Patent Rights1950 - 1958, 1963 - 1999PaperIP Reserve South
 1958 - 1980PaperIP Reserve North (015268708)
Legal Decisions on Patent Litigation1985 - 1999PaperIP Reserve South
Japan High Court Judgments1976 - 1989PaperIP Reserve South

Miscellaneous Patent Publications

JPO Annual Report2001 - to dateOnline
 1906 - 1938, 1957 - 2007PaperIP Reserve South
JPO Statistical Report1960 - 1976PaperIP Reserve South
IPC Concordance South3rd edition, 1973, 1995PaperIP Reserve South
Japanese International Patent Classification1968 - 1989PaperIP Open Access
 Editions 5 - 7PaperIP Open Access
Japanese Guide to the IPCEditions 3 - 4PaperIP Open Access
IPC Revision Concordance3rd - 4th, 4th - 5th EditionsPaperIP Open Access
Index to the IPC2nd - 3rd, 3rd - 4th EditionsPaperIP Open Access
F-Terms (National Patent Classification)1968 - 1973PaperIP Open Access
Classification Updates1970 - 1975PaperIP Open Access
Classification of PatentsValid for 1 - 45570PaperIP Reserve South
Japanese Laws Related to Intellectual Property1975PaperIP Open Access
Patent and Trade Mark Laws of Japan1966, 1970PaperIP Open Access
Trade Mark and Utility Model Law1959PaperIP Open Access
POOB Lists of Commonly Known Techniques1986 - 1988PaperIP Reserve South
Lists of Identifications1991 - 2004PaperIP Reserve South
Implementing Guidelines Under 1994 Revised Patent LawPaperIP Reserve South
POOB Table of Examiners1969 - 1993PaperIP Reserve South
Glossary of Identification Numbers/ Codes for Lawyers and OrganisationsPaperIP Reserve South
JPO Library Catalogue1995, 1998PaperIP Reserve South
Holdings In JPO and Provincial Libraries1977, 1981, 1983, 1988PaperIP Reserve South
Annotated Catalogue of Official Reports1992PaperIP Reserve South
Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation Ninetieth Anniversary Souvenir (in English)PaperIP Reserve South

Utility Models

Unexamined Applications (U Specifications)2012 - to dateCD/DVDIP Open Access
 1994 - 2011CD/DVDIP Reserve North
Utility Model Application Gazette (abstracts only)1971 - 1993PaperIP Reserve North (015268714)
Examined applications and post-1996 grants (Y specifications)3172567 - to dateCD/DVDIP Open Access
 1994 - 3172566 (2011)CD/DVDIP Reserve North
Utility Model Gazette (Y specifications)1905 - 1993PaperIP Reserve North (015268702)
POOB Lists of Utility Model Applications1973 - 1993PaperIP Reserve South
POOB Lists of Registered Utility Models1969 - 1993PaperIP Reserve South
POOB Lists of Abandoned Applications for Utility Models1975 - to datePaperIP Reserve South
POOB Legal Decisions Relating to Utility Models1981 - 1999PaperIP Reserve South
Utility Model Classified Index1962 - 1966PaperIP Reserve South

Trade Marks

Japanese Trade Mark Database1898 - to dateOnline
Trade Mark Registrations2012 - to dateCD/DVDIP Open Access
 2000 - 2011CD/DVDIP Reserve North
Trade Mark Applications2012 - to dateCD/DVDIP Open Access
 2000 - 2011CD/DVDIP Reserve North
Trade Marks Gazette1993 - 1999PaperIP Reserve South
 1925 - 1992PaperIP Reserve North (015268707)
Trade Marks Journal1887 - 1924PaperIP Reserve North (015268706)
POOB Lists of Registered Trade Marks1969 - to datePaperIP Reserve South
POOB Lists of Abandoned Applications for Trade Marks1981 - to datePaperIP Reserve South
POOB Legal Decisions Relating to Trade Marks1981 - 1999PaperIP Reserve South
Renewed Trade Mark Bulletin1957 - 1958PaperIP Reserve South
Trade Mark Classification Concordance1992PaperIP Reserve South
Trade Mark Law 1974PaperIP Open Access

Registered Designs

Design Gazette Database (searchable by number only)CurrentOnline
Design Registrations2012 - to dateCD/DVDIP Open Access
 2000 - 2011CD/DVDIP Reserve North
Designs Gazette1993 - 1999PaperIP Reserve South
 1933 - 1944, 1950 - 1992PaperIP Reserve North (015268709)
POOB Legal Decisions Relating to Designs1981 - 1999PaperIP Reserve South
Design Classification1983 - 1985, 1989, 1998PaperIP Reserve South
Japan Design Classification - Locarno Classification Concordance1998PaperIP Reserve South