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Introduction to Japan Trademark Registration System

Introduction to Japan Trademark Registration System

Official Office for Trade Mark Registration

Japan Patent Office (JPO)

Joined International Treaties for Trade Marks

Paris Convention; Trademark Law Treaty; Madrid Protocol; Singapore Treaty

Principle on Trade Mark Protection

Japan adopts "first-to-file" for trademark protection, and the Trademark Act of Japan protects merely the registered trademarks.

If a registered trademark is used by someone else without authorization and/or license, the trademark owner can simply take an infringement action.

For un-registered marks, it is necessary to engage the point of “well-known?or “famous? and court action can be taken under the Unfair Competition Prevention Act.

Kinds of Registrable Trade Marks

In Japan, the term “trademark?includes word mark, device mark, 3D mark, their combination, and some non-conventional trademarks, such as motion mark, hologram mark, color per se mark, sound mark and position mark.

In addition, there are special trademarks are enacted and protected, such as “certification mark? “grade trademarks? “collective trademark?and “regional brand?

Required Information and Documents

1. Applicant’s name, address, nationality / company’s registered country;
2. Specimen of the mark to be applied;
3. List of goods/services to be applied, and the class(es);
4. Translation & transliteration of foreign language in the mark; and
5. Priority document, if any.

Timeframe and Procedure for Application

If the application goes smoothly, the whole registration procedure takes about 6-10 months.

A trademark application in Japan usually takes about 6-9 months for examination, at the meantime, it will also published for opposition purpose. If there is no any refusal and/or opposition, a registration certificate will be issued within 1 month upon payment of the official registration fee.

Duration and Renewal of Registration

A trade mark registration in Japan is valid for 10 years from the date of application, which can be renewed every 10 years, from 6 months before the renewal due date or up to 6 months after the date expires.

Cancellation System

If a registered trademark has not been actual used in Japan by the owner or with his consent, in relation to the goods or services for which it is registered, for a continuous period of at least 3 years, and there are no valid reasons for non-use, any third party can apply for revocation to cancel/remove the registration.

Relevant Information:

Japan Trademark Registration Costs and Procedures

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