What is the most common reason for rejecting a trademark application in Japan?

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When applying for a trademark, it is very important to provide an accurate and detailed description of the designated goods or services related to the trademark.  The trademark should either be already in use or there should be plans to use it in the future relating to these goods or services.  A majority of trademark applications that are denied are rejected for an inadequate description of the goods or services.  This specific ground for rejection is especially common for foreign applicants for trademarks and as much as 70% of rejected foreign trademark applications are due to unclear descriptions of the goods or services.

In order to increase the likelihood of a successful application, foreign companies and trademark holders should work with local Japanese counsel to translate their application into Japanese and craft descriptions detailed enough to satisfy the requirements for a trademark application.

If you have any questions about trademark law in Japan, please contact our office for a legal consultation.