Are you planning to start a business in Japan?
Have you decided a product name, service name or logo etc.?
If you have already decided it, it is time to consider obtaining protection for the mark in Japan in order to secure a trademark right and prevent others from obtaining it.
In order to obtain a trademark registration in Japan, what you have to do first is to file a trademark application to the Japan Patent Office.
The application will be then examined by an examiner of the Japan Patent Office. As a result of the examination, if the examiner determines that the trademark should be allowed for registration, he or she will notify it to the applicant. The trademark will be registered after the registration fee is paid by the applicant.
Although not legally required, we strongly recommend a trademark search for the purpose of finding out registrability of a trademark BEFORE filing a trademark application. More information about trademark searches.
And, if you want to know what items of information are needed for filing a trademark application in Japan, please read Requirements for Filing a Trademark Application in Japan.
For more detailed information on trademark registration procedures in Japan, please read this.
If an examiner finds no reason to refuse a trademark, a notification called "Decision of Registration" will be issued and sent to the applicant.
The applicant has to pay a registration fee to the Japan Patent Office within 30 days from the date when you or your representatives receive the "Decision of Registration".
The due date can be extended for up to 30 days upon request, and in addition, for up to 2 months upon another request.
Registration fee can be paid either in a lump sum for 10 years or in 2 installments, one for the first 5 years and the next for the last 5 years.
Please be aware that if you choose installments as a payment method, the total amount of the registration fee for 10 years ends up higher than if it were paid in a lump sum.
Upon receipt of the registration fee, the Japan Patent Office will record the trademark right in the Trademark Register in approximately one or two weeks, and then will send to you rather thick sheets of paper called the "Certificate of Trademark Registration" in about two weeks after the registration.
Japan adapts post-registration opposition system.
After a trademark is registered in Japan, the trademark registration will be re-published in the Official Gazette in a week or so. Any third parties can file an opposition against the registration of the trademark within 2 months from the date of publication.
Nevertheless, the probability for an opposition to be filed is ralatively low in Japan.