Asia Trademark Alliance

Filing a Trademark in Japan

Time limit : There is no time limit for filing a Trademark Application, however, if a third party filed an identical or similar Trademark earlier, the latter application will be rejected (First to File system). Thus, we recommend filing the trademark application as soon as possible.

Japanese translation : The trademark application must be filed in Japanese. Especially, you need to translate designated goods and services to Japanese. We will provide a Japanese translation from English, German or any other language.

First-to-file system : Japan has adopted the first-to-file system, which means that if two parties apply to file identical or similar trademarks, the first party to file will be granted the trademark right. Even if you have a trademark right outside Japan, in case that you are not the prior applicant of that trademark in Japan, the application will be rejected.

Check whether your trademark is eligible for registration : Even if you are the first to file, trademarks similar to names of famous companies or products, trademarks that include geographical names and trademarks that simply explain a product or service (e.g. "Tasty Curry") are not eligible for registration.

Application requirements : If you want to register a Trademark in Japan, you need to file a Trademark Application with the Japan Patent Office, unless you filed a Trademark Application via Madrid Protocol.

Translated Trademark Application Form : Designated goods and services must be translated into Japanese. Figures and Letters in the Trademark must not be translated into Japanese.

A Power of Attorney is NOT Required

How can I make sure the JPO will approve my trademark?
The JPO will consider the following points:

  • Whether a trademark application is distinct.
  • Whether a trademark application is not just an explanation of the service or goods.
  • Whether a trademark application is not a place name.
  • Whether a trademark application is not identical or similar to others.

Can I appeal a refusal?
To obtain the trademark registration, if the JPO judges that there are other identical or similar trademarks, you are entitled to submit either a written Argument claiming that your own trademark application is not applicable to the refusal, and/or a written Amendment to delete designated goods and services.

If my trademark application is successful
If no reasons for refusal are found, the JPO will grant the trademark. When the trademark fee has been paid, the invention will be added to the Trademark Register and assigned a trademark number. A certificate of trademark will be sent to the applicant to acknowledge this formal registration.
The trademark will be published in the trademark Gazette, which is an online resource for researching existing applications.

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