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Home > Obtaining IP Rights > Trademarks > Effects of Trademark Rights

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Effects of Trademark Rights

1. When trademark rights arise

Trademark rights are established based on the Trademark Act in order to maintain business reputation of a person who uses trademarks and protect the interest of consumers.

When a person files an application for trademark registration to JPO and pays registration fee after the registration is decided to be granted through examination, the registration is established on the trademark register and a trademark right arises.

2. Effects of trademark rights

An owner of a trademark right has an exclusive right to use the registered trademark in connection with the designated goods or designated services (right of exclusive use, Trademark Act, Article 25). Furthermore, an owner of a trademark right is allowed to exclude the use of the scope of similarity by another person (prohibitive right, Trademark Act, Article 37).

An owner of a trademark right can require a person who is infringing the right to discontinue the infringement, and demand compensation for damage.

Effects of trademark rights extend nationwide in Japan (they do not cover foreign countries; therefore, it is important to obtain rights in the country when conducting businesses in foreign countries).

Scope of effects of trademark rights
Scope of effects of trademark rights Goods or services
Identical Similar Non-similar
Trademark Identical Exclusive right Prohibitive right ×
Similar Prohibitive right Prohibitive right ×
Non-similar × × ×

×: Not covered by effects of trademark rights

3. The scope not covered by effects of trademark rights

Trademark right is a right to monopolize the use of registered trademarks in connection with designated goods or designated services, and exclude the use of the scope of similarity by another person. However, cases where smooth economic activities are likely to be interfered by expanding the effects of trademark rights indiscriminately (e.g. the following cases) are not covered by the effects of trademark rights (Trademark Act, Article 26).

(1)Cases where indicating names, etc. of an applicant in common ways

For example, even a case where an identical registered trademark with a person’s company name exists is not subject to the infringement of trademark right, as far as using the name as that indicating the person’s own company name.

(2)Cases where indicating common names, qualities, etc. of goods or services in common ways

Even a case where letters, etc. indicating common names and qualities of goods and services are registered is not subject to the infringement of trademark right, because such letters are permitted to be used by the third party freely as far as using them as those indicating common names and qualities of goods and services.

*For search of trademarks for which application is filed or registered trademarks:
Simple search for trademarks can be made by means of “trademark search” at the Japan Platform for Patent Information(J-PlatPat)( External link ).

[Last updated 8 April 2015]

Contact

Trademark Division, Japan Patent Office

Trademark Examination Standards Office

TEL :+81-3-3581-1101 ex. 2807

E-mail: PA1T00@jpo.go.jp

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