Speed Up Trademark Examination Process in Japan

 

There are mainly 2 routes to speed up examination process available for trademark applications filed to the Japan Patent Office.

How sooner will you receive the outcome of the first examination if your trademark application takes these expedited examination routes?

What are the requirements?

We answer these frequent asked questions.

 

There are 2 Routes to Speed Up Trademark Examination Process Available.

Speed up examination process available for trademark applications in Japan

1. Fast Track Examination

One of the routes is what is called the "Fast Track Examination".

It is the easiest route for applicants to make trademark applications take prioritized routes, but not the fastest route. It will allow the length of application pending period to be shortened only by 2 months as against the normal route. If you would like to obtain the outcome of an examination faster than this, it is worth considering the next option "Accelerated examination" route.

 

How sooner will we receive the outcome of an examination?

When a trademark application takes this Fast Track Examination route, the applicant will receive the outcome of the examination two months faster than the normal route.

Under the current normal examination speed, it takes about 10 to 14 months from filing a trademark application until an applicant receives the examination outcome. If your application meets the requirements for the Fast Track Examination process as detailed below, the examination outcome will be delivered to the applicant within 8 to 12 months from the date of filing.

 

Cutting down 2 months might not sound too worthy of trying to meet the requirements of the Fast Track Examination. 

 

What are the requirements?

No additional document is needed. 

What you have to do is simply choosing identifications of goods and/or services from

 

the latest version of NICE CLASSIFICATION (International Classification of Goods and Services), based on the Nice Agreement

 

That's it. It is easy, isn't it?

 

There are 2 other lists of identifications, which are acceptable for Fast Track Examination. Yet, as the lists are prepared and adopted solely by the Japan Patent Office, it is more time-efficient to choose identifications from the Nice Classification.

 

Other requirements?

There is one more important rule.

The list of goods and/or services must remain unchanged from the filing until issuance of the first examination outcome. It means that if you want your trademark application to take the Fast Track Examination route, the requirements must be met at the time of filing.

 

 

2. Accelerated Examination

The second option is called the "Accelerated Examination".

Meeting the requirements is not as easy as the Fast Track Examination. There are more requirements, and the procedure will be initiated only when a request for the Accelerated Examination is submitted along with additional documents and information.

 

If the Accelerated Examination is permitted for a trademark application, it is as if your application rode a bullet train. The outcome of an examination comes out within approximately 2 months from submission of the request.

 

How sooner will we receive the outcome of an examination?

You will receive the outcome of an examination in about two months from submission of a request for the Accelerated Examination. If the request is found inadmissible based on the evidences, the request will be rejected. In such cases, the trademark application will go back to the normal waiting queue. Another request for the Accelerated Examination with different evidences could be a possible action, if needed.

 

What are the requirements?

In order for the Accelerated Examination to be permitted, there is one essential requirement, which is:

  • you must have been using or prepared use of the applied-for mark with regard to at least one of the designated goods and/or services, and
  • a copy of the evidential materials of such use or preparation of use of the mark by its applicant(s) and/or licensee(s) must be submitted.

In addition to that, there are other requirements as well.

There are different sets of requirements that you might choose from, depending upon your situations. Please ask your local patent attorneys for further details.

 

The Faster, the Better? - Sometimes Being Tortoise is Better for your Brand.

As the number of the Fast Track or Accelerated Examination increases, the waiting period of the rest of the trademark applications becomes longer and longer over the last few years. It is definitely worth checking out the requirements of these examination process and pursuing one of these faster examination processes if the requirements can be met.

 

When you select the identifications of goods and/or services only from the Nice Classification, there might be a possibility that a range of goods and/or services might be limited and not sufficiently cover the goods and/or services of your interest. In such case, even if you feel happy at the beginning of the process because the trademark examination will be completed 2 months faster than the normal, you might regret it in the long run.

 

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