Coronavirus Impact on Trademark Procedures in Japan

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) has announced the measures it has taken to help foreign users for trademarks during the coronavirus outbreak.

Response to the office action

JPO takes flexible approaches to allow a delayed response on the condition that the applicant requests for remedy either in the following ways:

  1. To file a written request and its reason before the lapse of a deadline in advance.
  2. To file the response with an additional written explanation within a certain period after the deadline.
[Example of reasons]

Due to the negative effects of the COVID-19, Company ____ for which applicants work/Office ___ where representatives of applicants work had been closed from _____ to _____ in 2020, and the applicants/the representatives are (were) not able to implement the prescribed procedures. Nonetheless, since it has become possible to implement the procedures from ____, 2020, please accept ____ as a valid procedure.

Priority documents

JPO allows submitting priority documents within two months after deadline, namely five months from the application date, provided that the applicant simultaneously files a statement of reasons for the failure to meet its original deadline.

Appeal to refusal decision

JPO considers a request for appeal against the examiner’s decision of refusal valid if appealed within two months after foreign users go back to normal life impacted by COVID-19, but before the lapse of six months after the original deadline. It is required to state delayed reasons in the appeal brief.

Payment of registration fee

JPO considers payment of registration fee valid if appealed within two months after foreign users go back to normal life impacted by COVID-19, but before the lapse of six months after the original deadline. It is required to file a statement of delayed reasons simultaneously.

Application for renewal

JPO accepts application for renewal of trademark registration valid if appealed within two months after foreign users go back to normal life impacted by COVID-19, but before the lapse of six months after the expiry date. It is required to file a statement of delayed reasons simultaneously.

New transformed Application after revocation of international registration

JPO considers a newly transformed application for Japanese trademark application after the revocation of International Registration valid if appealed within two months after foreign users go back to normal life impacted by COVID-19, but before the lapse of six months after the original deadline. It is required to file a statement of delayed reasons simultaneously.

More and latest information is available on the JPO website. Click here.

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