We open the duration of registered trademarks and the reasons why there is a renewal system in place!

The duration of a trademark right is 10 years, right? Unlike patent rights, trademark rights are supposed to be semi-permanent, but why is there a renewal system in place?
When you learn the purpose of the renewal registration system, you will understand why.

This article explains the duration of trademark rights and the purpose of the renewal registration system.

Duration of trademark right

As introduced in another article, Article 19(1) of the Trademark Law stipulates that “A trademark right expires after ten years from the date of registration of establishment of the right”. In other words, the trademark right will expire after 10 years.
In addition, Article 19(2) and (3) of the Trademark Law provides for “renewal”, and by filing an application for registration of renewal, it is deemed that the trademark right has been renewed at the expiration of the initial term of duration.

There is no limit to the number of times this “renewal” can be made on a trademark, and it can be renewed as many times as desired.

At the time of renewal, payment of the renewal fee and submission of an application for registration of renewal of the trademark right duration will enable the trademark right to continue to exist.

Renewal Registration System

There is no renewal system for patent, utility model, and design rights like there is for trademarks, and these rights expire after a specified period of time.
Trademark rights, on the other hand, can be used semi-permanently as long as renewal procedures are filed with the Patent Office. The renewal registration system is one of the points where trademark rights differ from patent rights.

Why is the trademark only renewable and can continue to be used semi-permanently?

The purpose of a trademark right is to protect the credit embodied in the trademark. Therefore, there is no need to limit the duration of a trademark right, as is the case with patent rights, etc. Limiting the duration of a trademark right would fundamentally conflict with the legislative intent to protect the trust accumulated as a result of the use of the trademark over a long period of time.
Therefore, it is desirable for trademark rights to be perpetual in nature. However, allowing a trademark right that is not in use to continue indefinitely would have the adverse effect of depriving a third party who desires to use the trademark of the opportunity to select it.
Therefore, the Trademark Law sets the duration of trademark right at 10 years, and allows the applicant to apply for renewal registration if he/she wishes the right to continue to exist.

Reference:[Industrial Property Law (Industrial Property Law) The explanation of article by article [21st Edition] Trademark Law] (Japanese)

I see. So, a period of time for the right to continue to exist is purposely established because it would be inconvenient to make the trademark right that is not in use permanent?
You should also carefully consider whether you really need to renew your company’s trademark. Maintaining a trademark also requires a reasonable amount of procedures and costs.
In addition, having too many similar trademarks can make it more difficult to establish a brand image.
Why not consult with a patent attorney to determine which of your company’s trademarks should be renewed?
I need to determine which trademarks need to be renewed and which don’t. Then I’d feel safer consulting an expert!

Should I renew all my registered trademarks? When in doubt, consult an expert!

Having many similar trademarks can make it difficult to establish a brand image for your primary trademark. Therefore, it is a good idea to renew only those trademarks that you really want to establish a brand image for. On the other hand, some trademarks should be kept renewed for the sake of business strategy.
If you are not sure which trademark to renew, please feel free to contact us!

Supervisor for the article:
Osaka Legal Strategy Department General Manager Akinori HACHIYA
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