For years, Japan was one of the countries that accept a multiple dependent claim which refers to other multiple dependent claims (“multiple-multiple dependent claim”) in patent applications. However, multiple-multiple dependent claims are no longer acceptable – effective April 1, 2022.
Any patent application having a filing date or an international filing date on or after April 1, 2022 AND including one or more multiple-multiple dependent claims shall be rejected under Japan Patent Act Article 36-6-4.
In response to the Office Action, it is possible to amend claims to remedy such deficiencies. Filing a preliminary amendment prior to receiving the Office Action is also a good idea.