Japan Patent Office (JPO) announced that they will introduce a “fast-track examination” as a pilot program for the examination of trademark applications.
If an application is subject to a 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 fulfills the requirements both of (a) and (b) shown below, the application will be automatically subject to a fast-track examination.
a. Only designates the goods and/or services which are specifically shown in either one of “Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services” or “International Classification of Goods and Services (Nice Classification)” at the time of filing an application.
b. An amendment has not been made until the examination of an application is commenced.
*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 a fast-track examination.
*Applications filed only after October 1, 2018 is subject to a fast-track examination.
III. Petition and official fees
A filing of petition and payment of official fees are not additionally required.
IV. Other information
Whether an application is subject to a fast-track examination is not displayed in official gazettes.
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