On February 6, 2017, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) revised the Guidelines for Accelerated Trademark Examination with an attempt to meet the public needs for expedited examination proceedings and to encourage efficient and frequent use of accelerated examination by newly adding two types of trademark applications to the Guidelines.
Presently, following trademark applications are allowed to take the fast-track path on demand from applicant.
[Case 1] Applicant is in use of or likely to use an applied mark on more than one of goods/services in the designation, and in urgent need of registration.
To meet an urgent need requirement, applicant is required to demonstrate ; (i) unauthorized third party uses an applied mark, (ii) any third party request a license to use the applied mark, (iii) any third party demand applicant to cease a use of the applied mark , or (iv) applicant filed the identical mark to foreign country.
[Case 2] Applicant is in use of or likely to use an applied mark on every goods/services in the designation.
NEW ACCELERATION EXAMINATION GUIDELINES
New acceleration examination guidelines admit “Case 3” in addition to the above.
[Case 3] Applicant is in use of or likely to use an applied mark on more than one of goods/services in the designation, and description of goods/services are all in conformity with that of listed in the Examination guidelines for similar goods and services.
Besides, (v) where applicant seeks to apply for an international registration of trademark identical with the applied mark through the Madrid Protocol, it is also admitted to meet an urgent need requirement for Case 1.
Below lists acceleration conditions to each case under the new guidelines.
New guideline for accelerated examination is in force on February 6, 2017.
Referential information is available at the website of:
News release from JPO – http://www.meti.go.jp/english/press/2017/0206_003.html
Examination guidelines for similar goods/services – http://www.jpo.go.jp/tetuzuki_e/t_tokkyo_e/goods_services_10-2015.htm
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