Investing in Japan
How to Set Up Business in JapanSection 5. Trademark and Design Protection Systems
5.3 Validity and term of trademark registration
5.3.1 Validity of registration
When a trademark is registered, that trademark is protected against unauthorized use of identical or similar trademarks by any other person; such use may constitute a breach of civil or criminal law. Trademark owners are disadvantaged by the illegal selling of fake brand-name goods. The trading of such bogus items is severely punishable under Japanese law, and in many cases, illicit sellers of fake brand-name goods are charged with criminal (as opposed to civil) offences.
Once registered, a trademark is protected for 10 years starting from the registration date, assuming that the trademark is not subsequently invalidated or cancelled. Protection can be renewed for further 10-year periods.
5.3.3 Protection of world famous trademarks
Because Japan's trademark system is generally operated on principle of registration, therefore, if the owner of the trademark wishes to protect his trademark legally, it has to be filed an application for registration to Japan Patent Office and to be registered in principle. However, famous or known trademarks without taking any procedures for filing are protected exceptionally assuming that they are only famous or known in Japan but also in foreign countries.