After trademark registration, it’s important to manage the expiration date! Know your trademark expiration date!

Know the expiration date of your registered trademark!

I applied for a trademark, it has been registered! I’ve heard that trademark is “semi-permanent use,” but what does that mean?

A registered trademark has a term of validity, the so-called expiration date.
Within the term of validity, the trademark can be used with certain protections under the Trademark Law.
The duration can also be extended by “renewing” the trademark before it expires, i.e., before the expiration date.
There is no limit to the number of times a trademark can be renewed, which is why it is said that it can be used semi-permanently.

I see! So there is a duration of the right, and the renewal is repeated. Then, how long exactly is the duration of the right?

Duration of trademark right

Article 19(1) of the Trademark Law provides that “the duration of a trademark right shall expire after ten years from the date of registration of establishment. In other words, the trademark right expires in 10 years.
Article 19(2) and (3) of the Trademark Law provide for “renewal,” meaning that the trademark right shall be deemed to be renewed at the expiration of the initial term of duration if the owner of the trademark applies for renewal.

Therefore, once a trademark application has been filed and registered, it is necessary and important to start managing the expiration date.
Some applicants who have applied for and registered their trademarks on their own, later ask a patent firm or a patent attorney to manage their trademark rights, which shows how important the duration of a trademark is.

What is the renewal?

It is possible to renew the duration of a trademark six months before the expiration of the 10-year duration (Article 20(2) of the Trademark Law) or within the period provided by the Ordinance of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry after the expiration of the duration (Article 20(3) of the Trademark Law).

Registration date of the trademark

When is the registration date?

If the examiner does not find any reasons for the refusal within the period provided by Cabinet Order, the examiner must issue an examiner’s decision to the effect that the trademark is to be registered (Article 16 of the Trademark Law). This decision is called a “decision to grant a trademark registration.” The trademark right will become effective upon payment of the registration fee within 30 days of receipt of the decision to grant a trademark registration (Article 18(2) of the Trademark Law).
The registration date will be indicated on the registration certificate, so do not forget to check it.

Point 1
The date of the decision to grant a trademark registration or the date of payment of the registration fee is not the trademark registration date.
In addition, since the systems related to trademarks differ between Japan and foreign countries, when applying for trademark registration in foreign countries, be sure to understand the trademark system of the country in which the application is filed.

Point 2
Trademark registration fees have changed as of April 2022 in Japan.

[Schedule of fees (on or after April 1, 2022)]

Make effective use of J-Plat Pat.

A tool that anyone involved in intellectual property rights is sure to find useful is the Japan Platform for Patent Information, “J-Plat Pat” (JPP) operated by the National Center for Industrial Property Information and Training (INPIT). The JPP allows anyone to search and view information on patents, utility models, designs, and appeals, as well as trademarks, free of charge. JPP is a free platform for searching and browsing information on patents, utility models, designs, and trials.
[J-Plat pat]

For trademarks, detailed information is available for each trademark, including the most recent status (under examination, registered, etc.), procedural history, filing date, registration date, expiration date, and so on.
This is an indispensable item to know the information about your trademark, so please make the most of it.

If you have registered trademarks…

It’s important to “keep” renewing it. However, I feel that 10 years is likely to be forgotten.

Our firm also offers a service to manage the expiration date and renewal of registered trademarks on behalf of the applicant.
You can do so through our “Amazing DX” chat, so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about deadline management.

Thanks. I’ll consult with them.

Supervisor for the article:
大阪法務戦略部長 八谷 晃典
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