Trademark Overview

2021 revision overview

This video is for 2021 revision overview for the granting of the relief procedures.
Japan’s intellectual property system has been revised four times so far with regard to relief after the expiration of the term. These amendments have relaxed the time and subjective requirements, increased the number of procedures covered, and ensured sufficiently protection of rights.
However, even with these amendments, there were still two issues: “strict interpretation of “legitimate reasons” and “procedural burden on applicants”.
In order to resolve the above two points, the fifth amendment was made in 2021, which included two amendments: “revise from Due care to unintentional”, and ” submit evidentiary materials from mandatory to voluntary”.

Reinforcement of Anti-counterfeiting Measures in Japan

Not a small portion of counterfeit products distributed in Japan appear to be produced overseas. It is important for the right holders to stop importation of counterfeits at the border. The statistics indicate that in recent years, more and more counterfeit products have been imported to Japan in smaller lots, claiming private use. The problem is that under the unrevised IP Acts, if a private user imports counterfeit products from an overseas vendor, it is not recognized as an act of infringement.
In order to address the issue, the Trademark Act and the Design Act were partially revised in 2021 to recognize sending counterfeit products to Japan as an act of infringement on a trademark right or a design right by overseas vendors, at the time when those products enter the territory of Japan, either if it is for business purposes or for private use.
The short video includes a brief explanation of the revisions as well as a tip for overseas right holders who wish to reinforce their anti-counterfeiting measures in Japan.

Overview of Trademark

“Trademarks” which are accepted in Japan, are letters, figures, symbols, three-dimensional shapes, combinations thereof, as well as colors with combinations thereof, which are to be used for business. For registration in Japan, there are two routes, one by filing national trademark applications with the Japan Patent Office and the other by filing international applications based on the Madrid protocol designating Japan.
It is required of applications to specify what goods and/or services the subject trademarks are to be used for. A single application may designate a plurality of classes if the goods and/or services to be designated take a wide variety. It is not necessary that the subject trademarks are in actual use at the time an application is filed, though the applicant’s intention to use the trademark in Japan in the near future is required.
Registration is valid for ten years from the registration date, and is renewable every ten years.

Trademark Procedures Route

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