How long does it take to register a trademark? How long from filing to registration?

How long does it take to register a trademark?

I’m planning a new product! Once we have a name for the product, we will apply for a trademark, but will we be able to register the trademark in time for sales?
If we know the approximate time frame for registration, we can calculate backward when we should file the application. Keep in mind that Notification of Reasons for Refusal may be issued, delaying the examination process.

You want to consider applying for and registering a trademark in accordance with your commercialization schedule.
So be strategic in your filing by knowing how long it takes to get your trademark from the time you file to the time it becomes registered!

Time from application to trademark registration is approximately 7-12 months

As of March 2022, the time from application to trademark registration is approximately 7-12 months.
After a trademark application is filed, the JPO conducts an examination. In recent years, the examination period has become longer due to the increase in the number of applications filed with the JPO.

Examination period

After filing a trademark application, the JPO conducts the following two stages of examination

Formal Examination (~approx. 1 month)

This is the examination of whether the application has been filed correctly.
– Is the application document complete?
– Have the necessary fees been paid?

Substantive Examination (approximately 6-11 months)

This is an examination to determine whether the trademark itself is registrable.
– Is the trademark not a common name?
– Is the trademark similar to other people’s registered trademarks?
– Is the description of the designated goods and/or services, and classifications correct?

* The above is just one example. Various other examination items are also used.

time-frame

(Reference: JPO “Procedures for Obtaining a Trademark Right”)

Status of trademark examination initiated by the JPO (cases not yet started)

The JPO website provides information on the status of trademark examination initiation. Examination times also vary slightly from examination department to department.
If you would like to know when the examination of your trademark application will be started, please check the following link.

Japan Patent Office: Status of Trademark Examination (cases not yet started)
https://www.jpo.go.jp/system/trademark/shinsa/status/cyakusyu.html *Japanese

Caution! If there is a reason for refusal, the time for registration will be extended

If the JPO finds reasons for not allowing registration (reasons for refusal) during the examination as explained above, a “Notification of Reasons for Refusal” will be issued. If the reasons for refusal are not resolved, the application will not be registered.
You will be given an opportunity to respond to the JPO, but the time required to submit written arguments, amendments, etc., and the time required for the JPO to re-examine the application in response to those submissions will extend the time required for the re-examination.

However, it does not mean that the application cannot be registered, so don’t worry!

Even if everything goes well, it takes about a year to register a trademark. That seems like a long time… I can’t always have a trademark application for a product name ready a year in advance…
For those seeking early rights, there is also a system to shorten the examination period!

How to shorten the examination period

(1) Accelerated Examination

By applying for Accelerated Examination, you will receive your first notice of examination results in approximately two months from the date of application for Accelerated Examination.
However, there are requirements for requesting an Accelerated Examination. For more information, please refer to the guide page on Accelerated Examination ((*Japanese) 「商標を早く登録させたい!早期審査とは )or on our website(Description of the early examination system).

(2) Fast Track Examination

If an application meets certain conditions, the applicant can receive the first notice of examination results within approximately six months from the date of filing the application.
The conditions are that the description of the designated goods and services in the application must match the description specified goods and services by the JPO.

(Reference: JPO “Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services”) https://www.jpo.go.jp/e/system/laws/rule/guideline/trademark/ruiji-kijun/ruiji_kijun11-2022.html

If these conditions are met, the application is automatically applied as Fast Track Examination and no other procedure or fee is required.
Although it takes a little longer than (1), Fast Track Examination is probably the easiest to use.

I see there’s a way to shorten the examination period! Let’s take advantage of that to fit our merchandising schedule!

Summary

Although it is first important to apply for a trademark as early as possible, there are ways to shorten the examination period for those who are in a hurry to obtain rights.
Strategically apply for the trademark you plan to use in accordance with your planned business!

If you have any questions about how to shorten the examination period, etc., please feel free to contact us via chat. Our patent attorneys specializing in trademarks will be happy to answer your questions.

Also, by utilizing Amazing DX, you can search for other people’s registered trademarks and select the description designated by the JPO for Fast Track Examination.
We hope that Amazing DX will help you to eliminate the causes of examination delays and to obtain examination results more quickly. Link to Trademark Search

supervisor
Supervisor for the article:
HARAKENZO WORLD PATENT & TRADEMARK
大阪法務戦略部長 八谷 晃典
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