FAQ

January 17, 2018

Is it necessary to file a request for an examination in addition to a patent application in Japan?

In Japan, the a patent application merely starts the process of obtaining a patent and one of the most important steps following the application is filing a request for examination of the patent.  The Japan Patent Office will not examine a patent without being requested to do so and if the applicant does not submit a request within 3 years of filing his or her application the application will be considered withdrawn and no patent will be granted.
January 1, 2018

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

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 […]
December 7, 2017

What are an author’s moral rights?

Moral rights differ from normal rights to a copyright in that they serve to protect an author’s image even in cases where there is otherwise no infringement.  For example, an author’s moral rights might be violated when his or her work is used in a way that damages the author’s reputation, such as if a composer’s religious hymn is used as the background music for a pornographic movie.  Even if this behavior would otherwise not infringe on the author’s copyright, the author may claim that his or her moral rights have been infringed by use of the work.
November 17, 2017

Can I prevent a third party from filing for a patent in Japan?

When someone is trying to patent something in Japan that is not unique or for some other reason should not be patentable, third parties are allowed to intervene in the patent application process to argue against granting the patent.  These interventions can even be filed anonymously and, if successful, will prevent the granting of a patent for products that are not unique or not patentable for some other reason.