As from April 1, 2024, Japan Patent Office starts to issue electronic certificates for patents, utility model registrations, design registrations and trademark registrations.
When a trademark etc. is approved for registration, the registration fee must be paid to the Japan Patent Office. Once the registration fee is paid, the trademark will be registered within several days.
Then, a registration certificate will be issued.
As from April 1, 2024, electronic certificates will be issued in most cases.
On the other hand, if your Japanese representative(s) choose to receive all the official notifications on paper via mail, the registration certificates will still be issued on paper and not electronically.
Electronic certificates appear to be issued in about one to two weeks after payment of the registration fees.
What happens if I lost the electronic certificate?
Electronic certificates will be issued ONE TIME ONLY.
Japan Patent Office wouldn't re-issue another electronic certificate, even if you delete it by mistake.
Electronic certificates wouldn't be re-issued, but paper certificates will be re-issued upon request.
If you have lost your registration certificate or spilled coffee on it, you can file a request for re-issuance of the certificate, and a fresh paper certificate will be delivered to you via mail.
The official fee for re-issuance of a registration certificate is 4,600 JPY.
In addition to the official fee, our service fees for requesting and forwarding the certificate will also be charged.
Please be aware that even if there are any changes to particulars of a trademark registration, such as change in registrant's name or address or change in ownership of a trademark registration, the same certificate that was issued at the time of registration will be re-issued.
Are there any circumstances in which we need to show a registration certificate in Japan?
No, we can't think of any circumstances in which you will be asked to show your registration certificate, regardless of whether you have an electronic certificate or paper certificate.
Registration certificates are more like honorable certificates awarded at the time of registration. It is just a sheet of paper with no property value under the Japanese laws.
All the updates and changes made to a trademark registration are recorded in the Trademark Register maintained by the Japan Patent Office. When we need a document to prove existence and/or the latest status of a Japanese trademark registration, we will normally show a copy (or certified copy) of the Trademark Register and not the registration certificate.
Does Japan Patent Office also start to issue electronic certificates for Japanese designations to International Registrations?
No. The above-mentioned new rules will apply only to locally-filed patent, and utility model, design and trademark registrations.
If you secure your design or trademark protection in Japan through Hague or Madrid system, you will still receive a registration certificate on paper via mail.