Trademark registration, explained 2

Trademark registration, explained 2

ArticleNo. 02_0006

Contents of this article

              In this article, a patent attorney who is trademark professional explains the trademark registration in simple terms. If you are running a business, trademark registration will always be with you.  This article will provide you with the advantages of trademark registration, points of concern, the registration flow, and the like.


Procedures of trademark registration in Japan

              The procedures of the trademark registration typically are as follows: - (1) Researching the third party's registered-trademark, - (2) Filing a trademark application with the Patent Office, - (3) Examination by a trademark examiner, and - (4) Registering a trademark.


(1) Researching the third party's registered-trademark

              In Japan, a trademark being similar to or the same as a trademark which is already filed with Japan Patent Office (JPO) and is registered thereto can no longer register it to JPO.  This is also referred to as a principle of first-to-file. Therefore, if you wish you register your trademark to JPO, it is preferable for you to research the third party's registered-trademark as whether or not a trademark which is similar to or the same as your trademark is already filed with JPO.  By conducting a trademark search, you can predict the future situation before you actually receive the results of the examination by the JPO, which makes it easier to make business plans and to correct your course as soon as possible by understanding the problems in advance. Of course, you can skip the search and file a trademark application, it is basically recommended to include the step of trademark search first.  A trademark search conducted by a patent attorney covers a wide range of topics, but the research will be mainly conducted for the following two points, which are the main requirements for trademark registration: (a) Similarity: Whether or not your trademark is similar to or the same as the third party's trademark; and (b)Distinctiveness: Whether or not your trademark is distinctive enough to be exclusive  (not commonplace)


(2) Filing a trademark application with the Patent Office

              After the research is completed, it is time to file an application for trademark registration (application procedure for registration) with JPO.  The application is filed by submitting a document describing your trademark as well as your goods and services which is used together with your trademark.  There are two ways of filing the application with JPO: (a) paper filing and (b) electronic filing. We recommend you to use (b) since it is easier for filing the application with low cost and from anywhere.


(3) Examination by a trademark examiner

              Once the application has been successfully filed, it will be examined by JPO to determine whether or not the trademark should be registered.  Only after passing this examination will your trademark be officially registered and you will be able to obtain trademark rights '(the registered trademark).  If this trademark does not pass this examination, you will receive a determination of rejection about your trademark application, but you can tell the Examiner of JPO to withdraw this determination by filing an argument and an amendment. In this case, the Examiner will re-consider this application whether or not the trademark should be registered. The reason of rejection includes, for example, your filed trademark being similar to or the same as the third party's registered trademark.


(4) Registering a trademark

              If the application passes the examination successfully, you will receive a notice of allowance (registration decision) from the JPO.  However, this is not the official registration.  In order to officially register your trademark, you need to pay the designated registration fee (official fee) to the JPO within 30 days of this notice.

              A characteristic feature of the trademark registration fee is that it is divided into two stages: the "application fee" at the time of application as explained above, and this "registration fee" which is paid after the application has passed the examination. Once the registration fee is paid, you will receive a "trademark registration certificate" from JPO in about three to four weeks. The trademark registration certificate shows the trademark registration number, "Registration No. 00000000".  This is the proof that your trademark has been officially registered, which means that you have legally acquired trademark rights.


Brand Shogun

              Brand Shogun Services enables you to file your trademark application with Japan Patent Office (JPO) at minimum cost and to register it because omitting a similar trademark search service and personnel costs.  For example, you can file a lot of trademark applications at a reasonable price.  Furthermore, Brand Shogun has Japan patent attorneys who are familiar with Japan Patent Article and Prosecution against JPO.  Therefore, Brand Shogun is the most recommendable service of a trademark application and please consider that. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.


ArticleNo. 02_0006



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