Registering a trademark in Japan is a process that involves conducting a preliminary search, filing an application, undergoing an examination by the JPO, and waiting for the publication and potential opposition period. If successful, the registration of your trademark will give you exclusive rights to use it in Japan for 10 years, renewable indefinitely. By following this guide and using the resources provided, you can take the necessary steps to protect your brand in Japan. Make sure to adhere to the requirements and guidelines to ensure a smooth registration process.
The first step in the process is to conduct a preliminary search to ensure that your proposed trademark is not similar or identical to an existing one. The Japan Patent Office (JPO) provides a database that you can use for this search. Access the database at this link: https://www.j-platpat.inpit.go.jp/
If the search does not reveal any conflicting trademarks, the next step is to file an application with the JPO. The application must include a clear representation of the trademark and a list of goods or services to be covered by the trademark.
After receiving the application, the JPO will examine it to ensure that it complies with the requirements of the Trademark Law. The JPO will also determine whether the trademark can be registered or if it infringes upon any existing trademarks.
Once the application passes the examination, the JPO will publish the application in the Official Gazette. This is to give third parties the opportunity to oppose the registration of the trademark. The opposition period lasts for two months from the date of publication.
If no opposition is filed, or if any opposition is resolved in favor of the applicant, the JPO will proceed with the registration of the trademark. The applicant will then receive a certificate of registration.
The official fee for filing a trademark application is approximately JPY 37,600 (as of 2023) for one class of goods or services. If the application is successful, there is an additional fee for the issuance of the registration certificate. Please note that these fees are subject to change and it's recommended to check the latest fees on the JPO website.
The entire process, from application to registration, usually takes between 6 to 12 months, provided that there are no objections or oppositions.
Japan Patent Office (JPO): https://www.jpo.go.jp/