Region: Japan

New commissioner at Japan’s trademark office promises faster prosecution and greater focus on licensing

The Japan Patent Office has a new commissioner, and he has indicated that building an environment conducive to IP licensing and sales in order to exploit the country’s “brand power” will be at the top of the agency’s agenda for the foreseeable future.

29 July 2016

Top trademark and design registrants in Japan revealed

The most recent edition of the JPO’s annual Status Report indicates that 2015 was a bumper year for trademark filings in Japan. The JPO received 147,283 applications during the year, representing a year-on-year increase of 18.4%. Trademark registrations themselves, on the other hand, were slightly down, from 99,896 in 2014 to 98,085 in 2015.

01 July 2016

Filings expected to plummet as Japanese companies streamline portfolios and focus on utilisation of existing rights

The Japan Patent Office recently published an overview of its 2015 IP activity survey findings. Highlighting trends in trademark strategy among Japanese organisations, the survey suggests that brand owners in the country are becoming increasingly selective when it comes to filing applications and are seeking ways to extract added value from their portfolios. Such a trend could have a direct impact on law firm revenues and strategies.

08 June 2016

Preliminary injunctions: a comparative global overview

Preliminary injunctions can be a valuable tool for rights holders, but they are not always straightforward to obtain. Lawyers from Hogan Lovells provide a comparative global overview of strategies for obtaining them in different jurisdictions

29 April 2016

IP High Court rejects non-use cancellation action for EUROPEAN mark

The IP High Court has upheld the Japan Patent Office trial decision that rejected the non-use cancellation action sought against the registration for the trademark EUROPEAN (in Japanese katakana) with respect to the designated goods "coffee and cocoa, coffee beans" in Class 30.

07 March 2016

Imitation of product configuration held to constitute act of unfair competition

In a case involving two rival clothing companies, the Tokyo District Court has held that the defendant's sale of ladies' apparel with a similar configuration as that of the plaintiff constituted an act of unfair competition under Article 2(1)(3) of the Unfair Competition Prevention Law. The court ordered the defendant to pay compensation to the plaintiff under Article 4, but refused to order the defendant to advertise an apology under Article 14.

04 January 2016

Own name defence: a global perspective

In many countries people or even companies have a defence to trademark infringement when using their own names. In this article Baker & McKenzie’s global IP team outlines where an own name defence exists and whether this extends to company names

01 January 2016

IP High Court rejects action for cancellation of footwear trademark

The IP High Court has upheld a decision rejecting an action for the cancellation of the mark SENTCOMEX for clothing and footwear, holding that the defendant's use of its SENT COMEX marks did not cause confusion with the plaintiff's COMEX shoes. Among other things, the court found that, although there was a space between 'SENT' and 'COMEX' in the marks used by the defendant, they were the same in practice as the registered SENTCOMEX mark.

28 October 2015

Rumoured changes to Japan’s Trademark Law highlight uncertainties created by TPP agreement

Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun has reported that the completion of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) meant changes were in the offing for the country’s Trademark Law. Specifically, the newspaper claimed that policymakers were poised to boost the amount of damages available in trademark infringement litigation. But as the days have passed, no further details have emerged and it is the latest example of the uncertainty created by the TPP.

26 October 2015


The Trademark Law and its related regulations govern the registration and protection of trademarks in Japan.In addition, the Unfair Competition Prevention Law protects well-known trademarks, both registered and unregistered, as well as certain configurations of goods, from unauthorised use.

18 September 2015

Unlock unlimited access to all WTR content