Q&A Trademark In Japan

Although the holder has exclusive rights with their trademark registered successfully, non-use of such trademark can make other individuals and organizations loss rights to register this trademark.

After trademark in Japan is registered successfully, the owner does not have to prove the use of their trademark, but they need to use it in practice. The reason is that within three years from date of trademark registration in Japan, if the trademark is not used, any third parties could require the Trademark Office to cancel the validity of the trademark certificate for non – use. In this time, the owner needs to provide evidence of using to oppose this action. There are some exceptions that the owner does not have to prove the of trademark: import limitation, policy from other countries and a nature calamity or an objective event. Therefore, the holder should utilize their trademark if they do not want to be opposed to their trademark certificate in Japan.

Therefore, although the holder does not need to prove that they utilize their trademark, if having requirements from other people, they can loss rights with their trademark.

With successful trademark registration in Japan, the holders shall have exclusive rights to use their trademark.

After registering trademark in Japan successfully, the owner will receive rights for their trademark. For details, owner’s rights are: right of using exclusively registered trademark, right to object subsequent conflicting application, to license the third parties to use the trademark in their business activities, to use actions protesting against the third party’s using illegally, rights to claim for priority in other countries signing treaties containing provisions on priority in which Japan has joined.

Protecting time of trademark in Japan is 10 years from the filing date. The owner can renew it validity of trademark certificate in Japan by trademark renewal procedures. Time to claim renewal has no more than 6 months before the renewal date and the grace is 6 months after renewal day is expired. A fine which is paid for late renewal is double the amount of the renewal fee.

Therefore, knowing rights the holder has in practice is very essential for them protect their trademark in Japan well.

In the respect of procedure of trademark registration in Japan, there are two ways to file trademark application in Japan. The holder can file trademark application online. Secondly, the applications can be filed directly in The Japanese Trademark Office. However, it is advised that applicants should use service of one IP Firm to file trademark in Japan to save time and keep track of their trademark application.

After filling applications that, applications shall endure four stages which are Formality Examination, Gazette Industrial Property. Substantive examination and Granting certificate (if any). This is to ensure that the trademark is not similar with previous registered trademarks. It takes a long time approximately with about six months without opposition. However, when the Trademark Office have published the application on gazette, others can file an opposition against the holder’s trademark until finishing the process of substantive examination. Then, after the trademark in Japan is registered successfully, the holder shall receive trademark certificate in Japan and their trademark in Japan is protected within 10 years from its filing date.

Understanding the procedure of trademark registration in Japan shall help your trademark have a better chance to be granted trademark certificate in Japan.

Trademark registration in Japan is not compulsory. However, when the trademark is registered, the owner shall have many benefits from registering. For example, it makes prime evidence if dispute occurs between the owner and other person who use the trademark illegally; it provides total protection for the trademark, area of protection covers national protection. More specially, since Japan is applying the rule “first to file”, filing trademark application at the soonest time is very significant. When the Trademark is accepted by competent authorities it will give owner exclusive use of the trademark. It means that no one, except the owner, can use the trademark for their goods/services legally.

Therefore, trademark registration brings many benefits to the holder for their trademark. Besides, with the rule Japan applies, the holder must file their trademark application as soon as possible.

Joining treaties and agreements relating to Trademark is very important for countries, Japan is not an exception.

This brings numerous benefits for to organizations and individuals in Japan. For example, the organizations and individuals can claim prior rights in other countries, so area of protection is larger; makes basis to improve Trademark act which still exist shortcomings and lack necessary provisions, to protect international trademarks. Japan has participated in many bilateral and multilateral treaties and agreements such as Paris Convention, Trademark Law Treaty, Singapore Treaty, Nairobi treaty, Madrid Agreement, Madrid Protocol, Nice Agreement, Vienna Agreement. In the future, Japan will continue to take part in agreements to make advantages for companies, organizations and individuals who have demand of registering trademarks.

Therefore, thanks to taking part in international treaties, the law on Trademark is more and more improved to protect national trademark better and even international trademarks.

“First to file” and “first to use” are two rules that countries apply to determine the time of having rights with a trademark in practice.

“First to file” is a recognized rule used in applying trademark in Japan. It means that if there are two or more applications for trademarks which are identical with or insignificantly different from each other, including identical or the same goods/services and identical or similar elements presented on trademark, the first application applied will be accepted for trademark registration in Japan and other people shall not file and have rights with this trademark. There are some countries which use the rule “first to file”. For example, they are Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, South Korea, Canada, Thailand, the EU, Indonesia, China, Philippines.etc. By the contrary, some countries such as America, Australia used the rule “first to use”.

Therefore, the holder should file their trademark application in Japan as soon as possible to have exclusive rights with their trademark.

Knowing the definition of a trademark is an important factor so that the holder shall determine whether their trademark meets basic conditions to file application or not.

Following the provision of Trademark Act, a trademark can be known as a sign used to distinguish goods/services of different organizations/individuals. A sign is considered a trademark when it satisfies conditions provided in Trademark Act: It must be a visible or an audible sign and it is can contain factors such as words, names, holograms, sounds, slogans, motion, shapes and colors. Besides, the trademark’s distinctiveness is a compulsory requirement. Hence, understanding the definition of a trademark and its conditions is very essential to register trademark in Japan practically.

You could visit here to see Procedure of Trademark in Japan

– You can also check the Fee of Trademark In Japan here.

– You could read the required documents of trademark in Japan here.

Need local trademark Attorney, contact AAA IPRIGHT: Email: info@aaaipright.com

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