Trademark application Japan

Trademark registration Japan

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We have researched availability for more than 150,000 brands and verified that they met all requirements to trademark them.

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Every year we register more than 1500 trademarks in all countries in the world, with objections being lodged in less than 1 percent.

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What are the costs of a trademark registration in Japan?

The costs of trademark registration in Japan depend on the number of Nice classes that are relevant to the trademark. Most marks need 1 to 3 classes, but it is possible to get  protection in all of classes 1 through 45 of the Nice classification.


How do you get a trademark registration in Japan?

Anyone who wants to bring a product or service to the Japanese market as an entrepreneur will have to deal with jurisdiction on a first-to-file basis. This means that you must be the first to register a trademark in Japan in order to obtain the exclusive rights over it. Only in exceptional cases can a trademark be protected if it has not yet been registered. If you want to file a trademark in Japan, you must submit your application to the Japan Patent Office. Successful registration is valid throughout Japan and gives you the right to take action against third parties who infringe it.


Is active use necessary prior to registration?

If you want to register a trademark in Japan, you do not need to have it in use when you submit the application. As long as you, as an entrepreneur, intend to use the brand in the future, you can register it in Japan, provided you meet various criteria. This makes it even more interesting for foreign entrepreneurs who are planning to expand their business to this country to complete a registration before entering the Japanese market.


Registering a combined trademark in Japan

Do you intend to register a trademark in Japan? When this concerns a combined trademark, i.e. a trademark consisting of both word elements and figurative elements, the right you obtain with the registration remains limited to this specific combination of elements. Do you want to be able to use the word element or logo separately from the other element for your commercial activities in the country? Then it is recommended to submit a separate application for this.

If you fail to do so, there is a risk that a third party may use your trademark for its goods or services. In only one case can you object to this, this concerns the situation where this person offers goods or services that are the same as yours or that are very similar to them. You then have the right to object, stating the confusing resemblance as the reason. The success of such an objection varies and depends on the specific circumstances.


What is the procedure to be followed to register a trademark in Japan?

If you want to register a brand name in Japan, you go through a standard procedure consisting of a few steps. After submitting your application, it will be checked for completeness. If it does not meet all the requirements, you will receive further instructions on how to fill in the missing elements. During the registration process, any third party may provide useful information that could render your trademark unsuitable for registration. This does not necessarily have to be a party that has prior rights or is interested in the trademark.

After an initial formal investigation, a substantive investigation takes place. If your application is approved, you will receive a certificate and the award will be published in the commercial gazette. Third parties then have two months to object to this.


The Accelerated Procedure: Fast Track Examination

If you want to register a trademark in Japan, you should expect the procedure to take about twelve months. An accelerated process has also been possible since February 2020. If you prefer an accelerated investigation, you will be faced with a procedure that takes approximately six months from the application date. However, this does not alter the fact that the nature of some applications still lead to a longer research period. When published in the commercial gazette, it is never mentioned when an application is processed via the accelerated procedure.


Is payment in installments possible?

Do you want to apply for a trademark in Japan? Unlike most other countries, it is possible to pay the registration fee in two different installments. The first payment then applies for the first five years of trademark protection and the second payment for the following five years. However, this will bring you a little more expensive. The first amount must be paid within thirty days of the official approval for registration. The second payment must be made within five years from the date of registration. You can also pay for extensions in two parts.


What is the validity of a trademark in Japan?

Have you managed to register a trademark in Japan? This will be valid for ten years. An extension can be requested from six months before the end date. There is also a grace period of six months. No proof of use is required for renewal either. However, if you do not use your trademark within three years of registration, you run the risk of it being discontinued. It is enough to use your trademark just once in those three years to avoid that.


What does the international route for trademark protection in Japan look like?

Japan is one of the member states of the Madrid Protocol. This means that international expansion via the Madrid System is also possible for this country. For an international registration you must have a basic registration. The international proceedings first take place in Switzerland, where WIPO’s headquarters are located, and are then forwarded to Japan.

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Trademark registration Japan