Since July 1, 2015, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) has been available as an International Searching Authority (ISA) for PCT applications filed by U.S. nationals or residents in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) as receiving Office. However, the use of JPO is restricted. The JPO will act as the ISA for international applications filed with the USPTO insofar as the following conditions are met: (1) the international applications are submitted in English; (2) the claims of the international applications are directed to the field of green technology as defined by certain IPC classes (see Official Notices (PCT Gazette) dated 25 June 2015, pages 108 et seq.); (3) the JPO has not received more than 5,000 international applications from the USPTO during the three year period from 1 July 2015 to 30 June 2018, not more than 300 applications per quarter during the first year, and not more than 475 applications per quarter during the second and third years; and (4) the JPO is chosen as a competent authority by the applicants of said applications.
For cited documents in the International Search Report, the JPO, upon request and on payment, intends to furnish the applicants with copies of the documents.