The Japan Patent Office (JPO) released its 2021 Annual Report (in Japanese only) on July 14, 2021, which contain informative figures and statistics relating to IP applications in Japan and on all other activities of the JPO.
Trademark applications filed in 2020
Presumably because of the prolonged pandemic, the number of trademark applications in Japan decreased to 181,072 by 5 % in 2020. TM application via Madrid Protocol also decreased to 17,924 by 7.8% compared to the previous year. Direct application decreased to 163,148 by 4.7 %.
Pendency time for trademark prosecution
Regardless of the decreased number of trademark applications, first office action pendency, the average number of months from the date of application filing to the JPO examiner’s first office action, was getting longer for the last five years in a row. First Action Pendency was 10.0 months in 2020.
Total pendency, the average number of months from date of filing to registration in 2020 was extended to 11.2 months, two months longer than 2019 (9.3 months).
TM applications to JPO by Foreign Company/ Non-resident
45,697 trademark applications, which account for 25.2 % of the total, were filed by foreign company or non-resident in 2020. The ratio was increased by 3.3 % since last year.
The statistic shows China was leading the ranking with about 18,181 trademark applications in 2020, increased by 45 % from the previous year.
Masaki MIKAMI, Attorney at IP LAW – Founder of MARKS IP LAW FIRM