When are the reception hours of Japanese trademark applications? Explanation of the different methods of submitting applications

Should I rush to file a trademark application?

I need to go file my trademark application in person at the Japanese Patent Office! How late do you think they will accept them?

What’s the matter? It’s quite a long way to the JPO from here.

I’m in a hurry because another person might file an application for a similar trademark. I need to file my application a minute or a second before that person does!

That’s a lot of work, isn’t it? However, you may not have to rush that much.

Depending on how you submit your trdemark application, your filing date may change, which I will explain in this article.
We will also explain whether the earlier or later time of filing an application has anything to do with whether the application is filed first or later.

In addition, if you came to this page to learn more about how long it takes from filing application to registration, how to shorten the examination period (accelerated examination, fast-track system), etc., please refer to this article.

目次 Index
    1. Should I rush to file a trademark application?
  1. How to submit trademark application documents to the JPO
    1. Bring in person
    2. Mailing
    3. Electronic Filing
  2. When is the filing date?
    1. If you bring your application in person
    2. If you file by mail
    3. In case of electronic filing
  3. When the application date is moved back
  4. What happens if the same trademark application is filed on the same day?
    1. The raffle
  5. For those of you in a hurry to file a trademark application

How to submit trademark application documents to the JPO

Bring in person

Office Hours

If you bring your application documents directly to the JPO, you may submit your documents during the following hours

Applications cannot be filed at the JPO office on Saturdays, Sundays, Japanese national holidays, and during the year-end and New Year holidays (December 29 through January 3 of the following year), as the office is closed during these periods.

In addition, a temporary pass is required to enter the JPO. In order to receive a temporary pass from the JPO, you will need to fill out a reception form, undergo a baggage inspection, and show identification.
If you are going to submit your application documents directly to the JPO, please allow plenty of time for your visit.
Also, please do not forget to bring your identification (personal number card, driver’s license, employee ID, basic resident registration card, student ID, passport, etc.).

For those who are going to the JPO counter

Reception area

The entrance reception desk is located at the south entrance (the main entrance). Please note that it is not the East Entrance.

Patent revenue stamps are also sold on the first floor of the JPO building.

For access to the JPO, please click here.
Access and Entrance Guide to the JPO

Mailing

Postal address

Please confirm the address here.
For those who file by mail, etc.

Method

Place the application documents in an envelope and write “Trademark Application Documents Enclosed” in red ink.
You may fold the application documents, but please do not fold the part of the “trademark for which registration is sought” (the part with the trademark written on it).

Patent revenue stamps are likely to be available at larger post offices such as the central post office.
Other post offices may not have them, so we recommend that you call to confirm in advance.

The letter must be sent by postal or by “letter delivery service” as defined in the “Law Concerning the Service of Letters by Private Business Operators”. You can also send it by other means,but the filing date will be pushed back, as described later in “When is the filing date?”

Items that are considered to be sent by postal or letter delivery service

Items not considered postal or letter delivery service

Electronic Filing

How to

It can be a challenge to set up an environment for electronic filing on your own.

You will need special software and an electronic certificate, and it will take a few days to set up an environment in which you can file electronically.
However, there are various advantages, so if you are interested, please refer to this article.

In addition, most Japanese patent firms are equipped to file electronically. If you wish to file electronically, it is quicker to ask the patent firm to do so.

When is the filing date?

If you bring your application in person

Basically, the filing date is the date you submit your application at the office.

If you file by mail

Article 19 of the Japanese Patent Law states as follows

Article 19 An application, a document or any other item submitted by mail or by service of correspondence delivery as provided Article 2 (2) of the Act on Correspondence Delivery by Private Business Operators (Act No. 99 of 2002; hereinafter referred to as the “Correspondence Delivery Act” in this Article) provided by a general correspondence delivery service provider as provided in Article 2 (6) of the said Act or by a specified correspondence delivery service provider as provided in Article 2 (9) of the said Act (hereinafter referred to as “correspondence delivery”) that is prescribed by Ordinance of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry to the Patent Office under this Act, or any order rendered under this Act, that is subject to a time limit, shall be deemed to have arrived at the Patent Office at the date and time when such application or item is presented to a business office of Japan Post Co., Ltd. (limited to those that conduct postal services) if such date and time are proven by the receipt of the postal item, at the date and time of the date stamp on the postal item or the letter item as provided in Article 2 (3) of the Correspondence Delivery Act (hereinafter referred to as the “letter item” in this Article) if such date and time are clearly legible, or at noon of the day of the date stamp on the postal item or letter item if only the day, but not the time, of the date stamp is clearly legible.

In other words, if the application is sent by postal or letter delivery service, the filing date is the date when the application is sent to the post office.

However, if the postmark (date stamp) at the post office is unclear and the date cannot be determined, the date of arrival at the JPO will be treated as the filing date.
Since there is a possibility that your application may be stolen from the mailbox, it would be safer to take it to the post office and file it at the counter.

If the application is sent by any other means that is not considered a postal or letter delivery service, the date of arrival at the JPO will be treated as the filing date.

For documents related to the international application (international phase), the date of submission of the document will be the date when the document reaches the JPO, regardless of the method used to send it.

In case of electronic filing

The date of electronic filing is treated as the filing date.

Electronic filing is available 24 hours a day.
It is also convenient because applications can be filed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Japanese national holidays.

Please take your documents to the Japanese central post office and have them mailed by registered mail.
Then your application date will be today.

I see. At the central post office, the counter is open until late, and they are sometimes open on weekends, so you may be able to make it in time.

Just be sure to fill out the application form without omission. Even if you can bring it to the post office today, your application date may be moved back if your documents are incomplete.

When the application date is moved back

Article 5-2 of the Japanese Trademark Law provides for the certification of the filing date of trademark applications.

Article 5-2 (1) The Commissioner of the Patent Office shall accord as the filing date of an application for trademark registration the date of submission of the application relating thereto, unless the application for trademark registration falls under any of the following items:
(i) the statement of intent to register a trademark is unclear;
(ii) the name of the applicant for trademark registration is not stated or the statement thereof is not sufficient to identify the applicant;
(iii) the trademark for which a registration is sought is not stated in the application; and
(iv) the designated goods or designated services are not stated.
(2) Where an application for trademark registration falls under any of the items of the preceding paragraph, the Commissioner of the Patent Office shall require the person who desires to register the trademark registration to supplement the application, designating a reasonable time limit for such purpose.
(3) Supplement of an application for trademark registration shall be made by submitting a document with respect to the supplement (hereinafter referred to as a “Written Supplement”).
(4) Where an applicant who was required to supplement an application for trademark registration under paragraph (2) supplements the said application within the designated time limit as provided in the said paragraph, the Commissioner of the Patent Office shall accord the date of submission of the Written Supplement as the filing date of the application for trademark registration.

In other words, if an important part of the trademark application is not stated or is not clear, you will be contacted by the JPO to submit a procedural supplement.
If the submission of the Statement of Completion resolves the defects in the trademark application, the filing date will be the date of submission of the Statement of Completion.

In the case of an international application under the Protocol to the Madrid Agreement, there is another provision, which we will not go into here.

What happens if the same trademark application is filed on the same day?

Article 8 of the Japanese Trademark Law states.

Article 8 (1) Where two or more applications for trademark registration relating to identical or similar trademarks which are to be used in connection with identical or similar goods or services have been filed on different dates, only the applicant who filed the application for trademark registration on the earlier date shall be entitled to register the trademark in question.
(2) Where two or more applications for trademark registration relating to identical or similar trademarks which are to be used in connection with identical or similar goods or services have been filed on the same date, only one applicant who is to be determined by consultations among the applicants who filed such applications shall be entitled to register the trademark in question.
(3) Where an application for trademark registration is abandoned, withdrawn or dismissed, or an examiner’s decision or a trial decision on an application for trademark registration becomes final and binding, such application shall, for the purposes of the application of the preceding two paragraphs, be deemed never to have been filed.
(4) In the case of paragraph (2), the Commissioner of the Patent Office shall require the applicants for trademark registration to arrange consultations among the applicants as set forth in the said paragraph and to report the result thereof, designating a reasonable time limit for such purpose.
(5) Where no agreement is reached in the consultations held pursuant to paragraph (2) or no report is submitted within the designated time limit set forth in the preceding paragraph, only one applicant, selected by a lottery in a fair and just manner conducted by the Commissioner of the Patent Office, shall be entitled to register the trademark in question.

If identical or similar trademarks are filed on different days for identical or similar goods or services, the applicant who filed the application on the earlier date may obtain a trademark registration.

On the other hand, if the applications are filed on the same day, the applicants may consult with each other and only the applicant who has been decided upon may obtain the trademark registration.
In cases such as when no agreement is reached, a lottery will be used to determine who is eligible to receive the trademark registration.

So if the applications are filed on the same day, it doesn’t matter if the time of filing is earlier or later, and the parties will decide who will receive the trademark registration after consultation.

That is correct. In the case of a trademark application, it is not necessary to file even a minute earlier than the other party. It would be good if you could file your application today.

The raffle

The Patent Law states that neither applicant may be granted a patent in the event that discussions on same day applications are unsuccessful (Article 39(4) of the Japanese Patent Law).

On the other hand, under the Trademark Law, if neither applicant can obtain a trademark registration, it would be unreasonable to assume that a subsequent applicant would obtain a registration for a similar trademark, so the decision is made by lot.

A similar example of legislation that uses a lottery to determine the antecedent is the Mining Law, but it is a rather unusual provision to use a lottery to determine the antecedent.

The JPO conducts about 5 to 10 lotteries every year to determine the priority of trademark applications.

If you would like to know more about lotteries, please check the Trademark Examination Handbook on the JPO website for detailed rules and examples.
44.01 Handling of raffles stipulated in Article 8(5) of the Japanese Trademark Law
44.02 “Lottery” in relation to Article 8(5) of the Trademark Law with complex conflicts. Implementation (Examination Cases)

For those of you in a hurry to file a trademark application

Amazing DX accepts application requests during business hours (Japan time: 8:00 – 16:30).
After reviewing the draft of your application, we will file your application electronically, generally within 24 business hours of your final filing instructions.

We hope you will take advantage of this service. Amazing DX Trademark Search
If you have any questions or concerns about the operation of Amazing DX, please feel free to contact us via chat.

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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