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Japanese patents

The following is a vague guide to the encircled numbers on Japanese patents; this will help you to determine which parts of the patent to spend hours trying to get Google Translate’s handwriting recognition to transcribe when Espacenet doesn’t have even the applicant listed.

For dates, see Japanese Date Comparison Chart. Dates that interest us will begin “昭和” or simply “昭” for the Showa era (1927–1989) and “平成” for the Heisei era (1989 onwards, where 昭和64 = 平成1 = 1989). Patent numbers begin with the year in Japanese era format, for example a patent from 1988—Showa 63—has a number beginning “昭和63…”. In the Latin alphabet, “昭和” in patent numbers is converted to “S”, giving a patent number beginning “S63…”. Likewise, patents from the Heisei era have “平成” converted to “H”, so a 1994 patent number will begin “平成04” in Japanese, and “H04…” in the Latin alphabet.

Field Japanese Attempt to make sense of it
11 Patent type or something (e.g. 実用新案出願公開)
12 Some kind of description (e.g. 公開実用新案公報)
19 “日本国特許庁” = Japanese Patent Office
21 実願 or 出願番号 Application number
22 出願 or 出願日 Application date or filing date
43 公開 Publication date
51 Int.Cl. International classification
54 考案の名称 or 発明の名称 Name of invention (I am unreliably informed that “考案の名称” means “name of inventor”, but that cannot be correct)
57 要約 Summary
71 出願人 Applicant
72 考案者 Inventor