Japan Trademark Registration

Japan trademark are required register IP protection from Japan Patent Office (JPO). Japan Patent Office (JPO) is the government body responsible for registering IP protection. Japan has a very sophisticated IP system. The highest number of patents granted worldwide originate from Japanese residents.


In general terms, the Japan trademark registration process and protection of IP in Japan is similar to Australia. The Japan trademark application for filing must be submitted in Japanese.


Registrable as a Japan trademark

In Japan, registrable marks must be distinctive and three dimensional marks are registrable. However, sound or smell is not registrable in Japan.


Marks that are not considered as distinctive include common names of goods, very simple marks including two initials represented in a simple common design, descriptive marks (i.e., marks indicating in a common way, the origin, place of sale, quality, raw materials, use, quantity, etc.).


However, it may be possible to obtain registration of the above mentioned marks if the applicant can establish that consumers recognize the goods or services as being connected with its business as a result of long and extensive use of the mark.


Japan Trademark Application

What must be indicated in when submit Japan trademark application? (Can be apply an japan trademark name individual or company)


– Register by Individual

1) Name and address of Applicant

2) Passport photocopy of applicant

3) Mark (wordmark, device mark, 3D mark)

4) List of Goods and/or Services, and Classification


Register by Company

1) Name of the director and address of Company

2) Passport photocopy of Director

3) Photo copy Of Company Incorporation Certificate

4) Mark (wordmark, device mark, 3D mark)

5) List of Goods and/or Services, and Classification


It is possible to cover more than one class of goods or services in an application. You cannot include more than one mark in an application. However, you can add Japanese characters to your foreign-word trademark and file it in a single application.


Japan has adopted the International Classification. Priority must be claimed at the time of filing. A certified copy of the original foreign application must be submitted within three months from the Japanese filing date.


As to three-dimensional marks, it is necessary to submit photographs or drawings showing the mark in different perspectives, such as front, rear and perspective. Once an application is filed, an application number will be assigned.


Japan Trademark Examination

Once an application is filed, the examiner at the Japanese Patent Office (JPO) will examine it. If the examiner finds that the trademark cannot be registered, he/she will issue a Notification of Reasons of Refusal and grants the applicant an opportunity to respond to the examiner's findings. Normally, a response must be submitted within three months from the mailing date of the Notification of Reasons of Refusal. If necessary, a one-month extension of time to respond can be requested. Although the descriptions of goods and/or services may be amended, it is not possible to amend the mark itself.


If the examiner is not persuaded by the response, he/she will issue a final rejection. In order to challenge the examiner's decision, it is possible to file an appeal against the final rejection. Since an appeal is examined by a group of three or five examiners, a more objective decision can be expected.


Establishment of a Japan Trademark Right

Trademark rights will be established and recorded in a trademark register. The trademark rights are effective for ten years from the date of registration. If a registered mark is not used for more than three years in Japan, the registration can be canceled by a third party's request based on non-use. If such a request is filed, the registrant must produce proof of use of the registered mark within a prescribed time.


Japan Trademark Publication

After registration is established, the registration will be published for opposition. Anyone can file an opposition within two months from the date of publication.


Japan Trademark Opposition

Within two months from the date of publication of trademark registration, anyone can file an opposition. If the opposition board decides to cancel the registration, the opposition board issues a Notice of Reasons for Cancellation to the registrant. Then, the registrant can file an argument within three months from the mailing date of the notice.


Japan Trademark Renewal

The Japan trademark is registered for 10 years, from the filing date, and is renewable by 10-year periods. Its term can be renewed for subsequent ten year periods, but a request for renewal must be filed within six months before the current term expires  


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