Restriction of Multi-Multi Claims

March 9, 2022
Japan Patent Office
Administrative Affairs Division
Examination Standards Office

The Ministerial Ordinance Partially Amending the Ordinance for Enforcement of the Patent Act and the Ordinance for Enforcement of the Utility Model Act (Ordinance of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry No. 10 of February 25, 2022) has been promulgated and will come into effect on April 1, 2022.

Please note that, in response to the revision of this Ministerial Ordinance, any Multi-Multi Claim (Note) will no longer be allowed in any patent application and application for utility model registration filed after the enforcement.

  • (Note) The term “Multi-Multi Claim” as restricted by the revised Ministerial Ordinance means “any dependent claim that refers to more than one other claim in the alternative (“multiple dependent claim”) which depends from any other multiple dependent claim.”

Divisionbal Application


*         Applicant can amendment (or file divisional application) freely at any time before 1st official action is issued.

However, after the 1st official action is issued, applicant can file divisional application(s) only when amendment is allowed (Article 44) in the present Patent Law (effective after 1994).  Therefore, a chance of this amendment (= chance of divisional application) is limited substantially following two times (a) and (b) after the substantial examination started *:

(a)        at the response to the official action, and

(b)        at the filing of Appeal,


There is no chance of filing a divisional application if the case is granted in Appeal procedure without any official action.  Therefore, in case of a critically important case or invention, it should be considered to file a divisional application at the time of Appeal to keep the case or to keep a possibility of further amendment.