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Trademark Renewal
In Japan in order to maintain the validity of a trademark registration you must renew it every 10 years. The renewal process is fairly simple, you will need to provide trademark registration details and send us a power of attorney.
Fast and easy Process
Delivery of the official renewal acceptance receipt
Trademark attorneys in charge
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Our Service
Attorneys
Attorneys
Each application will be handled by experienced local Trademark Attorneys ensuring that all legal requirements are met.
Legal Defenses
Legal Defenses
In the event that your trademark is objected, our Attorneys will inform you and advise you on the best possible option path.
Communications
Communications
You will be assigned a dedicated Account Manager that will be your point of contact for all communications.
Tracking
Tracking
In our admin panel, you will able to track and review the status of process of any requested service.
 Frequently Asked Questions
Trademark Registration
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Should I file my trademark in local characters?

Yes, for a broader and stronger protection in Japan, we recommend registering your trademark in local characters.

If the trademark is registered only in its original version (Latin characters), the protection does not always properly protect its equivalent in the local language. This means that a third party could use or register the same trademark (or a similar one) in local characters.

In additional to the legal benefits, the registration and use of the trademark in local characters can also have commercial benefits. The public in Japan will recognize your brand more easily if they are able to read and correctly pronounce the mark.

Registering your trademark in its original version, as well as local transliteration/translation, will provide a greater protection from any possible infringements.

 
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How many applications should I file?

The answer to this question depends on the characteristics of your mark, your budget and the scope of protection that you would like to have in Japan.

If your trademark contains distinctive verbal elements (text) as well as design elements (graphics or logos) and you wish both to be protected, our recommendation is to file two trademark applications; one to protect just the verbal elements (the application will be filed as “Word Mark”) and another to protect just the design elements (the application will be filed as “Combined Mark”).

In this case, proceeding with two trademark applications has the following advantages:

  1. Broader and stronger protection. If a third party files a “Combined Mark” with very similar text to yours but different design, their “Combined Mark” could be accepted for registration if you only filed a “Combined Mark” and not a “Word Mark,” because in its entirety the third party’s mark is still considered different from yours.
  2. You will be protected if your logo evolves. It is common for companies to change the design of their logo with time. If you file a “Combined Mark” and not a “Word Mark,” your new logo will not be protected. You must use your trademark exactly as registered; if you don’t, your trademark may be subject to cancellation.
  3. Effective verbal and graphics protection. Filing a “Word Mark” application provides greater flexibility to use your mark in different ways, whether it is presenting it in stylized text or presenting it with different designs (as long as they are not too similar to registered trademarks that belong to third parties). At the same time, filing a “Combined Mark” allows you to protect the design elements of your mark.

If your trademark also contains a slogan or a distinctive design symbol, we suggest you file a specific application for each, as this will give you additional protection.

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Is there a time frame for the trademark registration approval?

The average time frame for the registration approval is 6 months, if no objections or oppositions arise.

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If I register my trademark in Japan, do I have protection in other territories?

No. The registered mark will be protected only in Japan.

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Do I need to sign a Power of Attorney?

Yes. A power of attorney is a requirement for completing the application.

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Are there any benefits from a pre-filing use of the trademark?

No. Applicants do not gain any benefit from pre-filing use of the mark.

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Will there be problems in case I don’t use my trademark after registration?

Yes. Non-use of a registered mark makes it vulnerable to cancellation.

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What are the types of trademark that can be registered in Japan?

Any sign or mark that can be replicated graphically and can distinguish a good/service from others is registrable:

  • Names
  • Words
  • Motion
  • Devices
  • Holograms
  • 3-dimensional shapes
  • Trade dress
  • Slogans
  • Colours
  • Sounds
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What are the phases of application after a trademark has been filed in Japan?

The sequence of trademark application in Japan is as follows: 

  1. Examination – The trademark office will examine the application in terms of:
    • Deceptiveness
    • Distinctiveness
    • Clarity
    • Classification
    • Formalities
    • Conflict with earlier registrations
    • Violation of morals or public policy
    • Unauthorized use of a stage name, pen name, or portrait of a person
    • Similarities with a mark that has recently expired (within one year)
    • Marks that mislead the consumers about the good’s or service’s quality
    • Conflict with a name that is being used for rice
  2. Registration – A registration certificate will be granted if the application passes the examination phase.
  3. Publication – The following details will be made available to the public so interested parties can oppose if need be. Note that there will be no print version of the publication rather it will be saved in a DVD format.
    • Mark
    • Goods/services
    • Name and address of applicant
    • Citizenship and country of incorporation of the applicant
    • Date and number of application
    • Date when the mark was first used
    • Trademark representation
    • Information about priority claim
    • Specimen
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What type of trademark is non-registrable?

These marks are non-registrable according to Japan’s trademark laws: 

  • Marks that are against the principles of morality or signs that oppose public policy
  • Generic words or marks with common meaning
  • Marks that consist of flags, emblems and names of states, regions, nations and international organizations
  • Marks that are lacking in acquired distinctiveness
  • Marks that are primarily used as a surname
  • Marks that are primarily used as a name of a geographical location
  • Marks that use a signature, portrait or name of a person without authorization
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Does Japan use the "Nice Classification" system?

Yes. Nice Classification us being used in Japan. One application suffices for all the classes of goods/services that the trademark will cover. Multiple applications are also allowed.

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Is there any possibility to claim priority in Japan?

Yes. The filing date in home country can be used as the filing date in Japan if:

  • Home country is a Paris Convention member
  • Filing date in home country does not exceed 6 months prior to filing date in Japan
  • Home country is a WTO (World Trade Organization) member
  • International registration can be based in Japan
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What do I need to do to satisfy the use requirement?

The mark must be used within 3 years after the registration date and within any 3 consecutive years during its term of validity. Minimal use is necessary and it must occur in this jurisdiction.

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Once my trademark has been registered, for how many years will it be valid?

The registered mark is valid for 10 years starting on the registration date.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal date will be 10 years from the date the registration was granted.

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Is it legal to use my trademark even if it is not yet registered?

Yes, it is legal to use a mark for goods/services even if it is not yet registered.

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Does having a registered trademark in Japan afford me any right?

Rights are established through registration. However, a well-recognized mark is still protected in Japan even if it is not registered.

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What is the web address of the trademark national office?

Japan’s trademark office is available online at: http://www.jpo.go.jp/

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Is there any need to use my trademark before I apply for registration?

Yes. Before you can apply for registration, it is mandatory that there is actual use of the mark or at least an intention to use the mark.

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What are the grounds for a Trademark Application to be opposed?

Applications can be opposed based on:

  • Rules regarding registrable marks
  • Rules regarding non-registrable marks
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Who can contest my trademark registration?

Any interested party may initiate the opposition.

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Is it possible to cancel a registration?

Cancellation against registration is possible on the following grounds: 

  • Marks is disparaging to a person’s dignity
  • Bad faith
  • Prohibited marks
  • Mark is used in a deceptive or misleading manner
  • Mark uses a protected badge or emblem
  • Mark contradicts moral standards or opposes public order
  • Geographical indication
  • Mark uses a protected armorial bearing, flag or state emblem
  • Generic or too common marks
  • Functional, misleading, deceptive, disparaging, non-distinctive, or descriptive marks
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Are there any rights established by having a registered trademark?

Yes. Owners of a registered mark in Japan obtain these rights: 

  • Exclusive right to use the mark
  • Right to object to succeeding conflicting applications
  • Right to petition for the cancellation of a succeeding conflicting registration
  • Right to take a legal action against third parties for infringing the sign
  • Right to obtain payment or damages from third parties due to infringement
  • Right to authorize third parties to use the mark
  • Right to petition for the confiscation (by customs authorities) of counterfeit goods
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How long is the opposition period?

The opposition period will begin on the date the Official Gazette was issued and will end two months after that date.

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Is Japan a member of the Madrid System?

Yes. Japan is a Madrid Protocol signatory.

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Do I need to present periodic statement of use?

No, it is not necessary to submit periodic statement of use.

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When should I renew my trademark?

You must renew the mark every 10 years.

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What will be the renewal date of my trademark?

The first renewal date will be 10 years from the date the registration was granted.

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Is there any documentation that should be presented when renewing a trademark?

No documentation is needed for renewals.

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If my trademark expires, do I have a grace period?

You have 6 months to renew the mark after its expiration date.

Basic Questions
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What is a trademark?

A trademark identifies products and services in order to distinguish them in the market. The name, the verbal element, is not the only component that distinguishes a trademark; figurative elements such as logos, design, images, colors and sounds also create an identity that can be protected through trademark registration.

 With the registration, the owner (person or company) becomes the owner of the trademark. The registration is given for a particular country/territory, for certain products or services and for a specific term. While the registration is in force, only the owner may use the trademark in the market where the trademark is registered.

 Some symbols to consider:

® Means the trademark is registered.

TM Some countries use this symbol to show that the trademark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.

SM Some countries use this symbol to show that the service mark has been filed at the trademarks office and is still undergoing the registration process.

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What is the difference between a trademark, patent and copyright ?

There are many ways to lay claim to your work. Trademarks, patents, and copyrights offer protection for owners of intellectual property. A trademark helps people find your goods and services. When recognized as a registered mark, it protects your right to exclusively use the image, logo, phrases, or words to distinguish your goods or a service in the market.

patent safeguards ideas and inventions. It gives a creator or inventor exclusive rights that prevent other people from making, using, or profiting in any way from an invention or creative innovation without the consent of the inventor.

You cannot patent an idea because we all have them. You must materialize your concept into a tangible invention, innovative product, device, or process that offers new solutions to a problem to secure a patent.

Copyright protect published, performed, or printed creative works. People who produce artistic or musical work seek to protect their “right” to stop others from “copying” what they do. Copyright protection protects any original creative works of authors including:

  1. a) artwork (2 or 3 dimensional),
  2. b) photographs, graphic drawings, and designs as well as other forms of creativity;
  3. c) songs, music, and sound recordings of all kinds;
  4. d) books, manuscripts, publications, and another written work; and
  5. e) plays, movies, shows, and other performance arts.

 

A trademark, patent, or copyright are all examples of ways you protect your intellectual property. Your right to control and benefit from your efforts are increasingly important in our global economy. Registering a formal claim to your property is a critical step in protecting what you own.

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What is the difference between TM, SM, ® and other symbols?

You recognize a registered trademark by the symbol of a circle-R following the trademark name or graphic image. Various typographic symbols show copyrights and patents. The presence or absence of a symbol does not change the validity of the registration, but a best practice is to use a circle-R or circle-C for copyrights every time you mention your intellectual property in print. These symbols give legal grounds for claiming damages in trademark litigation. The following is a list of some typical marks you can use on a web page, in written content, or even in a marketing letter.

  • TM: The TM sign shows the brand name for an unregistered trademark classified as a product (classes 1 to 34). The owner uses this sign to mark what they believe is their brand mark.
  • SM: The SM sign is identical to the TM sign except it designates a service mark (classes 35 to 45).
  • ®: ®: Use the ® symbol once you register a trademark or service mark. It shows that the country authority has approved the registration.
  • ©: Use the © symbol to mark a copyright. The word copyright is substitute sign for Follow it with the year of the publication and owner's name. Use it whether the work has obtained copyright registration or not.
  • Patent Pending: The phrase Patent Pending shows that you filed a patent application but cannot guarantee the application's approval.
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What are trademark classes?

Trademark Offices around the world use classes to divide commercial products and services into defined categories.  When you apply for your trademark to protect your brand, you must define the class or classes that you believe are best describe your business activity. 

There are 45 classes – 34 for products and 11 for services – which countries from around the world have standardized for international use under the "Nice International Classification".

These classes group all known products and services. You can register the same trademark if there are similar classes, for example, you may register the trademark KING for computers in class 23, and you can also register the same trademark in class 24 for cosmetics. 

Trademark protection only extends to commercial use within your specified classes.  It is possible, then for two entities conducting business in different classes to use the identical or similar trademarks and for each entity to enjoy full trademark protection in their respective classes. You can choose multiple classes under which to conduct business if you feel the protection must extend beyond only one class.

You can perform a search of your class with the following tool Trademark Class Search

 
Trademark Search
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Why do I need to perform a trademark search?

Once you have a product or service and think you have a name for it, how do you know you can use it as your own? What happens if you unintentionally use a registered trademark name? In the United States, under what common law, people can lay claim to a mark if they use it. It is not necessary to formally register a trademark. This fact and the sovereignty states have over the creation of chartered business entities and trade names, makes a trademark search imperative before one spends time and money registered a trademark.     

Too many people use a name without knowing if they have legal coverage, and they put up big marketing campaigns with names that later they find they cannot use. Performing a Comprehensive Search Study before you decide to register your brand mark is a wise decision especially when you consider future risks of litigation. 

It is a good idea to conduct a Study before you start doing business with a trademark.  It may not be in your best interest to use a mark if another company is already actively conducting business in the same class.  That company may be able to object to your use of the trademark and prohibit you from using the mark in a court of law.

 
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What is a preliminary trademark search?

Your preliminary trademark search is an important first step before you spend time and money considering whether to apply for a potential trademark or not.

If you have trademark experience, you can use free online resources like our Trademark Searchengine, or the Trademark Electronic Search System(TESS) offered to the public by the US Patent and Trademark Office(USPTO) to search for existing marks that are identical to your planned trademark. While preliminary trademark searches are a critical part of your registration process, a successful search that show no conflicts with identical marks does not necessarily mean the Trademark Office will not reject your registration application. 

if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you find a professional help. Our company offers the offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where might want to register your trademark, it will also list of identical and similar trademarks, and finally it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.

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How do I perform a trademark search?

First, we recommend your start by defining the class you want to register. You can find your class, using our Trademark Class Search tool. Using this tool you enter your product/service, and it will tell you the class or classes you should register.

After you have found your class(es), you can go directly to your country's Trademark Office and perform the search there. You can also try our Trademark Search engines. 

When searching, try different combinations of your name. For example, if you are searching for AMAZON, look for AMASON, HAMAZON, or similar word patterns. Try several different combinations of words and spellings.

Notice that several countries do not have online trademarks databases. You must go to local Trademark Office and ask for a list of trademarks.

Trademark Search may be challenging and time-consuming and, if you do not have the time or experience, our company offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where you might want to register your trademark, it will also include a list of identical and similar trademarks, and finally it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.

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Do I need an Attorney to perform a Trademark Search?

No, you don’t, but if you have little or no experience dealing with trademarks, we suggest you find a professional help. Our company offers the offers the service Trademark Comprehensive Study. The Study will give you details about the classes where might want to register your trademark, it will also list of identical and similar trademarks, and finally it will provide you an Attorney's recommendation about registration possibilities and use of your trademark.

 
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Where can I perform a trademark search?

If you have some knowledge about trademark registration, you can search using our Trademark Search engine. If not, we recommend hiring a trademark attorney or trademark service like Marcaria.com to handle your trademark registration requirements, especially a trademark search because the entire process is complex and takes time.

Notice that if you do not complete the application process carefully, the registration process could be extended many months and cost far more than you intended to pay. The trademark search is a critical part of the process.

A broad trademark search is essential in today's marketplace given the increasing number of unregistered and common law marks. Globalization of markets also raises the question of entering international markets and registration of marks in foreign countries to protect your brand and your property rights.

You need to understand that even a completed comprehensive trademark search does not guarantee acceptance and registration of your mark. A Marcaria.com Trademark Comprehensive Study includes a more extensive review process and, more significantly, a formal opinion estimating the probability of your application's acceptance.

 

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