Section 5. Trademark and Design Protection Systems

5.5 The registration process

5.5.1 Application and registration fees

Following a revision of the Trademark Law in 1992, Japan's trademark system has been operated under the same international classification system as other countries; there are 45 classes of goods and services although there used to be those for goods and services unique to Japan. Applications can be made for individual classes or in several classes at once (known as "multiple-class" applications).
It is always best to consult a professional advisor such as a patent attorney---known in Japan as a benrishi---when applying for trademark registration. Naturally, applying for and being granted registration of a trademark incurs fees. The fees for this process in Japan are as follows.

  1. (1)

    Application fees

    1. a.

      One trademark in one class: 12,000 yen.

    2. b.

      One trademark in multiple classes: 12,000 yen for the first class, and an extra 8,600 yen for each additional class.

    3. c.

      Note that the above amounts are official fees only, and do not include patent attorney's fees, etc.

  2. (2)

    Registration fees

    When filing an application, fees differ according to whether the application is for a single class or multiple classes. Registration fees, on the other hand, are 28,200 yen per trademark per class regardless of the type of application. Remember that, if you engaged a patent attorney, you will be charged fees in addition to the above registration fees; these may include fees for the work involved in paying the official fees.

  3. (3)

    Renewal expenses

    38,800 yen per class must be paid as a renewal registration fee at the time of renewal. As in the case of applications and registrations, you will also be charged other fees, such as a fee for the work involved in paying renewal registration fees, if you engaged a patent attorney.

5.5.2 From application to registration

If performed smoothly, the screening is usually completed in about 12 months, followed by another month or two months for registration, taking the whole registration process to approximately 14 months for completion.

However, a trademark registration application designating only the products and services published in the "Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services," "Regulations for Enforcement of the Trademark Act," or "International Classification of Goods and Services (Nice Classification)" at the time of filing is subject to the Fast Track Examination and can be notified of the results of the examination earlier (about six months from the application) than regular examination.

  1. *1

    Under revisions to the law in FY2008, the deadline for demanding an appeal was changed from 30 days to 3 months from the transmittal of the examiner's decision of refusal.

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