In Japan, the trademark renewal period is six months before the end of each ten-year period after the date of trademark registration.
This article explains when the renewal period starts and ends in Japan, and what happens if you fail to renew your trademark right during the renewal period.
Trademark right is valid for 10 years from the date of registration, and will expire on its 10th year anniversary.
By filing a request for renewal of a trademark registration, the trademark right can be renewed for other 10 years.
Let's say the trademark is registered on October 24, 2014. The trademark right will expire on October 24, 2024.
If the trademark right owner would like to maintain the trademark right after the expiration date, they can renew it by paying the renewal fee.
Renewal period is within 6 months before the expiration date.
In the example above, the renewal period starts on April 25, 2024 and ends on October 24, 2024.
In the example above, the first expiration date is October 24, 2024, which is the 10th year anniversary of the trademark right.
And, the second expiration date will be October 24, 2034, which is the 20th year anniversary of the trademark right.
The third expiration date will be October 24, 2044, which is the 30th year anniversary of the trademark right.
And, so on...
After registration, the only maintenance you need for your Japanese trademark registration is renewal every 10 years.
No other document such as declaration or evidences of use of a registered trademark will be required after registration, UNLESS other parties demand a cancellation trial or other procedures against your trademark registration.
Even when you fail to complete a renewal request on or before its expiration date, the trademark right can still be renewed within 6 months from the expiration date, with an additional fee.
In the example above, the renewal period ends on the expiration date, i.e. October 24, 2024, and the grace period starts on the next day, i.e. October 25, 2024 and ends on April 24, 2025.
So, how much is the additional fee for late renewal?
The official fee for renewing a trademark right within the six-month grace period is DOUBLE the renewal fee.
Regular renewal fee is JPY 43,600 per Class.
The fee for renewing a trademark right within the grace period is JPY 87,200 per Class!
If no request for renewal of a trademark right is filed within the six-month grace period, the trademark right is deemed to have expired retroactively as of the original expiration date.
Yes, a relief procedure is available.
If you fail to request a renewal of the trademark right within the six-month grace period due to a justifiable reason or without intention, your trademark right, which is deemed to have expired, can be restored.
The time limit allowed to request a renewal after the grace period is within two months after the date on which it becomes possible to take the renewal procedure AND within six months after the six-month grace period.
FEES for RESTORATION
In addition to the additional fees for late renewal, the official fee for restoration of 86,400 Japanese Yen per trademark registration is needed.
You might be able to renew your trademark after the grace period, but it will cost you a lot.
On the other hand, if you have a justifiable reason for the delay, you might not have to pay the restoration fee.
You need to submit a document called a "Statement of Reasons for Restoration" indicating the justifiable reason.
Those who are not resident in Japan are required to appoint a representative to handle trademark proceedings as your trademark administrator in Japan. It means that normally speaking, you don't have to worry about the timing of the renewal period of your trademark right(s) since you have an appointed representative who have handled your trademark registration process, etc. Your Japanese representatives will normally send you reminders once the renewal period arrives.
Nevertheless, it is a good idea to mark the expiration date of your trademark rights on your calendar and set an alarm function on so that you will receive computer-generated notifications from the calendar, just in case.
If you notify us of the registration number of your trademark right, we will be more than happy to remind you of the arrival of the renewal period, free of charge.
The renewal fee can be paid in two installments.
The renewal period and grace period for the first five-year installment are the same as those for ten-year lump sum payment as detailed above.
In the example above, that is:
The second renewal fee for the remaining five years should be paid within five years from the registration date or previous expiration date.
In the example above, the payment for the remaining five years needs to be made:
on or before October 24, 2029
or within the grace period, which starts October 25, 2029 and ends April 24, 2030, with an additional fee.