On 11 March 2016, the Japanese government submitted its instruments of accession to the Patent Law Treaty and the Singapore Treaty on the Law of Trademarks to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). Both treaties are aimed at harmonising formal procedures for patent and trade mark applications in order to improve user-friendliness for applicants worldwide. According to WIPO's official notice, the treaties will enter into force in Japan on 11 June 2016.
Provisions for new procedures which were introduced in line with Japan's accession to the treaties will enter into force on 1 April 2016. Further details and the text of the amended Act for Partial Revision of the Patent Law can be found on the Japan Patent Office's (JPO) website (currently in Japanese only).