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HOME > English > FAQ > 3. Frequently asked questions from within the University

3. Frequently asked questions from within the University

Q-01 How should I submit my inventions or discoveries?
Q-02 Who does an invention or discovery belong to?
Q-03 What are a student’s rights regarding intellectual property?
Q-04 What happens if a joint researcher from an outside institution (i.e. an external entity from Keio University) contributes to the discovery or inventions?
Q-05 What happens to those inventions or discoveries that are determined to not belong to the University?
Q-06 How much detail should a submission include?
Q-07 Who is responsible for the fees and expenses associated with the patent application process?
Q-08 How are licensing royalties associated with a discovery or an invention distributed?
Q-09 I want to make a presentation at an academic conference. How long will the patent application take?
Q-10 If I already made a presentation at an academic conference, can the associated invention or discovery be patented?
Q-11 Are presentations of undergraduate theses or masters and doctoral dissertations considered to be a public presentation of the invention or discovery?
Q-12 Is publishing details of the invention or discovery on the website of a research lab considered to be a public presentation of the invention or discovery?
Q-13 I would like to apply for an overseas patent. Can the Section for Intellectual Property handle such a request?
Q-14 Does the Section for Intellectual Property provide support for joint research and funded research activities?
Q-15 What type of support is available to venture firms?

Q-01 How should I submit my inventions or discoveries?

Please download an "Invention Submission Form" from the Section for Intellectual Property’s website and submit it to us. You can also submit the form via e-mail.


Q-02 Who does an invention or discovery belong to?

If any of the following applies, please submit the invention or discovery to Keio University. After discussing the details of the invention or discovery, the University will decide whom the invention belongs to:
  1. Inventions or discoveries created from research funded by the government or affiliated entities
  2. Inventions or discoveries created from research funded via specific grants from the University
  3. Those inventions or discoveries created out of a research contract with a third-party, including corporations, which have been determined to belong to the University

In addition to the above, if the inventor or researcher who made the discovery wishes to transfer his or her invention’s rights to the University, the invention should also be submitted to the University.


Q-03 What are a student’s rights regarding intellectual property?

If the student is the inventor or researcher who made the discovery and submits it to the University, the intellectual property rights will be determined in the same exact manner as described in Q2 above.


Q-04 What happens if a joint researcher from an outside institution (i.e. an external entity from Keio University) contributes to the discovery or inventions?

The handling of this issue will comply with articles related to intellectual property rights within the joint research agreement if there are stipulations. If such articles do not exist, the handling procedures will be determined after discussions with the outside institution.


Q-05 What happens to those inventions or discoveries that are determined to not belong to the University?

The invention or discovery will be returned to the submission owner. Once returned, it is possible for the inventor or researcher who made the discovery to submit a patent request as an individual.


Q-06 How much detail should a submission include?

The submission should include easy-to-understand details regarding the differences between traditional technologies and the new invention or discovery (the differences will determine the level of novelty or progressiveness of the invention or discovery) or any solutions to problems associated with traditional technologies. If a paper is available, please submit the document. If there is detailed data, please also attach it to the request.

Any and all information submitted to the Section for Intellectual Property will be maintained as confidential information.


Q-07 Who is responsible for the fees and expenses associated with the patent application process?

The University will pay for any expenses associated with the patent process if the invention or discovery belongs to the University. On joint discoveries or inventions, the fees and expenses associated with the patent process will be paid for by the University and the joint research partner in a manner that conforms to the stipulations within the joint research agreement.


Q-08 How are licensing royalties associated with a discovery or an invention distributed?

Royalties shall be distributed to the researcher, department and University as per the stipulations in the Keio University Regulations on Royalty Distribution.


Q-09 I want to make a presentation at an academic conference. How long will the patent application take?

After taking into account the processing time of the Section for Intellectual Property and the creation of the necessary documents by a patent attorney, it will likely take approximately two months after the initial submission of the form. We will make every effort to expedite the process if a presentation date is near.


Q-10 If I already made a presentation at an academic conference, can the associated invention or discovery be patented?

If a patent application or paper on the content of a presentation made at an academic conference is submitted after making the information public, the fact that one’s own presentation content is the same as the content of the application will result in the denial of a patent because of the lack of novelty. For this reason, it is necessary to submit a patent application prior to making a presentation on the topic at hand.

However, if a presentation is made at a “Scientific Bodies and Exhibitions Designated by the Commissioner of the Japan Patent Office,” any patent application made within six months after a draft document is made public (this includes any posting on a website) is deemed valid and the novelty of the invention of such application remains intact (Exception to the Lack of Novelty of Invention (Section 30 of the Patent Law)).

Please note that this should only be viewed as an exception and not the general rule. For example, if a third party makes a similar presentation at an academic conference or submits a similar patent application in the time period between one’s own presentation and the submittal of the associated patent application, the novelty of the patent application is lost and the patent application will be denied. Also, if a third party submits an improved or related discovery during the time period between one’s own presentation and the submittal of the associated patent application, the third-party may acquire the patent before you. Another demerit to making a presentation before submitting a patent application is the fact that patents cannot be acquired in foreign countries and regions including Europe because no such bailout measures exist in such regions. As such, the submittal of a patent application prior to making a presentation is a vital step towards protecting intellectual property.

For details regarding the application of Section 30 of the Patent Law (Exception to the Lack of Novelty of Invention), please click on the link below:


Q-11 Are presentations of undergraduate theses or masters and doctoral dissertations considered to be a public presentation of the invention or discovery?

Since Keio University is an approved academic society as stipulated in Section 30 of the Patent Law, any undergraduate theses or masters and doctoral dissertations are protected. However, in order for the law to apply, the presentation of the thesis or dissertation must be at an event hosted by the University.

Also, if an undergraduate thesis or a masters or doctoral dissertation is stored at a library in a publicly accessible format, the novelty of the invention is deemed to be lost and a patent acquisition is not possible. For this reason, it is necessary to complete a patent application prior to storing such documents at a library.


Q-12 Is publishing details of the invention or discovery on the website of a research lab considered to be a public presentation of the invention or discovery?

In general, the posting of discoveries or inventions on a website is deemed to be publishing information to the public and therefore, the novelty of the invention is lost. However, if a patent application is submitted within six months of such online posting, Section 30 of the Patent Law can apply.

In addition, posting onto online journals is also deemed to be publishing information to the public and therefore, the novelty of the invention is again lost. Similar to the above scenario, if a patent application is submitted within six months of such online posting, Section 30 of the Patent Law can apply.


Q-13 I would like to apply for an overseas patent. Can the Section for Intellectual Property handle such a request?

Once an invention or discovery is transferred to the University, the Section for Intellectual Property will determine the pros and cons of an overseas patent application after carefully considering the necessity of the patent and associated expenses.

After submitting the request domestically, it is possible to submit an overseas patent within one year on the basis of a priority right.


Q-14 Does the Section for Intellectual Property provide support for joint research and funded research activities?

In general, joint and funded research is handled by the Office of Research Administration of each campus. The importance of handling intellectual property generated via the findings of joint and funded research efforts cannot be stressed enough. As such, the Section for Intellectual Property is available to assist university members when negotiating intellectual property rights issues and when attempting to reflect those results appropriately in a research contract.


Q-15 What type of support is available to venture firms?

In order to help start-up firms get off the ground, Keio University has established the “Entrepreneur Funding Support Program.” Under this unique system, the University provides a maximum of JPY1 million to venture firms that are founded based on intellectual property of the University. If you are considering utilizing the Entrepreneur Funding Support Program, please prepare the necessary information and submit them to the Section for Intellectual Property. After receipt of the documents, the Section for Intellectual Property will review the submission and submit a recommendation to the Entrepreneur Funding Support Program Operating Committee for their ultimate decision.

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