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Japan Trademark Registration FAQs

Updated:2018-6-1 15:25:01    Source:www.tannet-group.comViews:881

Japan trademark registration is governed by Japanese Trademark Act. Trademarks indicate a specific function of a product or a service. A trademark is a mark used by a manufacturer, dealer or service provider in respect of goods or services in order to differentiate them from goods and services offered by other parties which are of the same or a similar type. And a granted trademark right is effective throughout Japan, and its owner is able to use it exclusively in respect of the designated goods and services without exclusion by any other party.

Q: What should I know before I file a trademark application?
First of all, you should know the "First to File" principle. This means that if any other applicants file applications for the identical or similar trademark used for identical or similar goods and services after the first applicant has applied, those later applications will be refused.

Therefore, before filing a trademark application, please be sure to search prior trademarks to see if identical or similar trademarks have been registered by other applicants.

Q: Must a trademark be in use to be registered?
No, “use” of the trademark is not required for registration. However, under the Trademark Law, you must have an intention to use the mark, although there is no need to submit a statement regarding the intention to use the mark.

If a registered trademark has not been used for three years, a third party may seek to have the right revoked by demanding a cancellation trial at the Japan Patent Office (JPO). Also, in some case when the number of sub-classes exceeds seven, the JPO will demand evidence for the intention of use.

Q: What must I provide to register a trademark in Japan?
Generally, to apply for a trademark in Japan, it would not require any documentation or evidence of use. The following are the only information required to prepare and file a basic Japanese trademark application:

(1) A description of the desired mark;
(2) A list of goods and services to be covered, and of classes to be designated according to the Nice Classification (tenth edition); and
(3) Complete name as incorporated and the full address of the applicant.

Q: How long does it take before a trademark is registered?
There is no guaranteed time frame required for registering a trademark in Japan. In majority of  the cases, the first office action can most likely be expected within the first six months from the date of filing of the application for the trademark.

If you have applied for only a single class, the time frame for registration of your trademark will only be less, and if there are multiple classes for registration of your trademark, the time frame required will naturally go up.

Q: How can I renew my trademark registration?
A trademark right expires 10 years from day on which the trademark was registered. You can renew your trademark right by filing a request for renewal six months before the trademark right expires. You need to pay the renewal fee at the same time you request to renew your trademark right.

Q: What are the benefits of trademark registration?
The potential benefits of registration of trademark includes:
(1) The trademark owner’s claim gets constructive notice nationwide.
(2) Legal evidence of the ownership of the trademark.
(3) Differentiates the owner’s product from those of the competitors’.
(4) Prevent others from registering similar trademark for their products.
(5) Registration of the trademark in the home country serves as a basis for obtaining registration in foreign countries.
(6) Registration may be filed with the customs service and this will help prevent import of infringing goods from foreign countries.

Contact Us
If you have further queries, don’t hesitate to contact Tannet anytime, anywhere by simply visiting Tannet’s website, or calling Hong Kong hotline at 852-27826888 or China hotline at 86-755-82143512 or 86-755-82143181 or emailing to You are also welcome to visit our office situated in 16/F, Taiyangdao Bldg 2020, Dongmen Rd South, Luohu, Shenzhen, China.

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