[COVID-19] JAPAN Trademark Updates

Last updated as on June 16, 2020.


A state of emergency was declared in Japan in April 2020. After about 7 weeks, the state of emergency was lifted for the entire nation.

In any part of the world, we have been facing difficult times during this COVID-19 pandemic.


In light of the crisis, some remedy measures are made available by the Japan Patent Office. We summarize important updates.

We hope this summary of updates will be of help for those affected by the COVID-19.


Japan Patent Office's Operations

  • The Japan Patent Office resumed accepting documents at their reception counter as from June 1, 2020. Now, documents can be submitted via electronic filing system or mail or at the Office's face-to-face counter.
  • Many of the examiners and Office staff have still been working remotely from home. There appears to be no obvious delay in their procedures.


Deadline Relief

The periods indicated in the following information apply to overseas residents. The same relief measures are made available to those who reside in Japan, but different periods may apply.


What is special about these relief measures?

No evidential document supporting the circumstances, which cause a delay, is required for now.



Formality Examinations - Deadline to File Responses

Even after the deadlines designated in orders or notices issued in the formality examinations, except those for trials or appeals, the procedures will be considered to be valid:

  • for the period normally extendable plus two months
  • it is necessary to file a request where reasons for delay should be explained.


Notice of Reasons for Refusal - Deadline to File Responses

The Japan Patent Office may take flexible approaches to accept the responses even after the deadlines,

  • if an applicant files a request for remedies within the original 3 months response period, or
  • if an applicant files a response, with the explanations of reasons for delay, within approximately 3 months after the original 3 months response deadline.


Statutory Time Limites

Even after deadlines, the below-listed procedures may be considered to be valid if the procedures are carried out:

  • within two months from the time it becomes possible, and
  • within 6 months from the original deadlines, and
  • it is necessary to submit a document where reasons for delay should be explained.

This deadline relief apply to the following trademark procedures:

  • Submission of original priority certificate
  • Payment of registration fees
  • Request for appeal against examiner's decision of refusal
  • Renewal request  etc.


We hope this information is of help in any way.

If you require further details or have questions, please feel free to contact us.

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