Due to the increase in the number of trademark applications, the regular term for examination of a trademark application at the Japan Patent Office (JPO) would be around 10 to 14 months, on average, from filing of the trademark application. Under this situation, the JPO has introduced the examination operation called “fast-track examination” since October 2018.
Now, the JPO announced that they will change the operation of “fast-track examination” for applications filed on or after February 1, 2020.
If an application*1 is subject to fast-track examination, a first official action (either of refusal or grant) will be issued approximately two months earlier than an application under normal examination.
If an application*2 is subject to fast-track examination, a first official action (either of refusal or grant) will be issued approximately six-months*3 from the filing date of the application.
*1 Applications filed prior to February 1, 2020.
*2 Applications filed on or after February 1, 2020.
*3 The length of time will be adjusted according to the status of commencement of normal examinations for other applications.
II. Requirements (No change)
If an application fulfills the requirements both of (a) and (b) shown below, the application will be automatically subject to fast-track examination.
*New types of trademarks (Color marks, Sound marks, Position marks, Hologram marks, and Motion marks) and applications filed under the Madrid Protocol are not subject to fast-track examination.
III. Other information
A filing of petition and payment of official fees are not additionally required.
If you have any questions regarding this matter or need any assistance, please do not hesitate to contact us.