How to apply for a mark in Japan
1. Start with a Free TM Search. We will check if there are any obvious conflicts. You will know if it's worth moving forward with the mark.
2. Attorney's opinion (a.k.a. Study) In some cases we may recommend asking our attorney to review the case and prepare a detailed registration report. That's an optional non-obligatory service.
3. Request registration. The process is completely online and we'll request your mark within 3-5 days and you will get a filing confirmation.
Detailed Process Explanation:
A straightforward trademark registration process takes 4-8 months. Our attorney will file your trademark within 7 business days, after receiving the required details. The application number is issued within 3 days after filing a trademark registration application.
The application process includes a formal examination and a substantial examination: an examination of distinctiveness and a search for prior trademarks.
Signs not deemed distinctive in the examination can be registered if distinctiveness has been acquired by use.
- Filing - 7 days
- Formal examination - 1 month
- Publication in the Trademark Gazette (Shohyou Koukai Kouhou) - 2 months
- Substantive examination - 3 months
- Issuance of the registration certificate - 1 month
- Publication in the Trademark Gazette - 3 months
Basically, the JPO does not request the applicants to file any evidence of the use of the mark. Once the mark is accepted to registration a registration fee must be paid within a month from the date of acceptance.
However, if the applicants designate many categories of goods/services in one class, the applicant has to file evidence of the use of the mark in Japan or a declaration showing intent to use of the mark and a business plan in order to obtain registration.
A power of attorney is not required at the time of filing a new application. However, the power of attorney is required in some special situations, such as demanding an appeal and responding to the Notification Refusal with respect to the International Registration etc.
Trademark Registration in Japan
- Trademark Registration in Japan Name of Office: Japan Patent Office
- Address: 3-4-3 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku Tokyo 100-8915, Japan
- Phone number: +81-3-3581-0762
Office applies the current version of Nice Classification, you can find acceptable goods and services in this link.
Our professional trademark attorney in Japan will prepare and file your application for trademark registration in Japan.
Trademarks are filed at the Japan Patent Office, Japan uses the "first-to-file" policy. No evidence of use is required upon filing a trademark. Trademark protection is obtained by registration.
It can also be acquired by sufficient public recognition pursuant to Section 2, Paragraph 1 (i) and (ii) of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law.
A mark that is used for retail services or wholesale services can be registered as a service mark.
Japan is a member of WIPO since 1975. Also, Japan is a member of the Madrid Agreement since July 8, 1953 and the Madrid Protocol since March 14, 2000.
With 117,000 trademark applications filed each year, only 25.000 are filed by foreign applicants, which demonstrates the understanding of how important the trademarks are for local businesses. You can access additional information regarding IP statistics in Japan here.
Fill out our simple trademark registration application online in just 5 minutes and a Trademark Search Specialist will contact you within 24 hours in order to guide you through the process.
Multiple-class applications are possible for Japanese trademarks.
If a trademark contains geographical names, the products it is used on must originate from the named country/territory. For example, if the trademark contains the word "USA", the goods must be produced in the USA.
At the time of filing an application with the JPO, the designated goods and designated services should be written in the Japanese language.
The typical reasons for trademark registration refusal are the cases in which:
- goods/services are not designated in accordance with the classification of goods;
- the content and scope of designated goods/services are not clear;
- the current use or the intention to use of a trademark needs to be confirmed with regard to the designated goods or designated services claimed in applications.
These are the main reasons for objections in Japan.
What is registrable as a trademark in Japan?
All distinctive and graphically representable signs are registrable as a trademark:
- combination of colors;
- combination of signs;
- three-dimensional forms;
- any combination of the mentioned signs.
Sounds, movements, holograms and position marks can be registered as well.
Required Elements to File Your Brand
- Type of the applicant: individual or a company.
- Complete name of the owner.
- Full address of the business owner.
- Phone number - to contact you in case if any action is required.
- Mailing address - to forward you the certificate once the trademark is registered.
- List of goods/services.
- Class or classes.
- Trademark itself.
Duration: How Long Will it Take?
Trademark registration in Japan is valid for ten years starting from the registration date. The registration is renewable for periods of 10 years. Beginning 3 years following the registration date, registration will become vulnerable to non-use cancellation.
If after the registration date, the trademark is not used by the owner or its licensee for a 3-consecutive-year period, the trademark can be cancelled.
It is crucial to use the mark properly in Japan.
Trademark renewal in Japan
The trademarks' renewal (as well as their registration) in Japan is the Intellectual Property Department responsibility. Foreign citizens and companies must act through local patent attorneys.
An application must be translated into Japanese. You can renew the trademark validity an unlimited number of times.
Cost to Register
The official fee for filing an application is JPY 12,000.00 for first class and JPY 8,600 for each additional class. The official fee for filing a defensive application is JPY 24,000 and JPY 17,200 for each additional class.
The registration fee is JPY 28,200 with an effect of April 1, 2016.
There is no publication fee.
The payment of registration fee must be made within 30 days from the date on which a copy of the decision or the trial decision to grant a trademark registration has been transmitted.
If the registration fee is not paid during the period, the trademark application will be dismissed.
Our fees (15 Jun, 2022):
- Trademark Search in one class: 119 USD
- Additional class: 109 USD
- Trademark Registration Request in one class: 569 USD
- Additional class: 449 USD
- Registration fees in one class: 599 USD
- Additional class: 449 USD
Our fees include the official fees and the legal fees.
We offer the following trademark services in Japan:
- Trademark Search
- Trademark Renewal
- Trademark Registration
- Trademark oppositions
- Defenses in case of oppositions or objections/office actions for National and WIPO trademarks
- Trademark assignment
- Change of name/Change of Address
If you are interested in any of these services, please do not hesitate to contact us. Note, that the price for a registration request does not include the final registration fees in Japan.
The prices do not include any legal defenses in case of oppositions or objections.