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The Trademark Examination Manual

March 2013
Japan Patent Office

The Trademark Examination Manual is based on the understanding that in order to ensure the smooth administration of the trademark system, it is necessary for the examination to follow a certain standard in a uniform, fair and appropriate manner. Based on this perception, the trademark manual has been organized into categories of laws and regulations, handling and material/evidence that are required for the daily administration of examinations. It supplements the Trademark Examination Standards, and as such, both the Trademark Examination Standards and the Trademark Examination Manual prescribe the administration and operation/handling of trademark examinations.

It is from this perspective that the Trademark Examination Manual was prepared by the Trademark Examination Standards Office in March 1981 with the cooperation of related organizations, after studies on the practical operations of the examination, and documents were created by the Trademark Examination Standards Committee established inside the Trademark Division. Since then, in line with the amendments that were made to the Commercial Code, the Trademark Examination Manual has been revised whenever necessary.

Until now, the Trademark Examination Manual was only available to JPO examiners for use as examination material to be used in executing their practical duties. In the view of the need to promote a common understanding both inside and outside the JPO regarding the administration of practical trademark examinations in order to promote the smooth operation of the trademark system, and in response to demands from third parties, the JPO has decided to publicly disclose the Trademark Examination Manual.

The administration of trademark examinations must accommodate the changes in the way goods and services are traded in a society, and must be conducted in a fair and appropriate manner. We will continue to study the current Trademark Examination Manual, while reviewing and adding contents as necessary.

Followings are the English texts of The Trademark Examination Manual in Japan. When any ambiguity of interpretation is found in this provisional translation, the Japanese text shall prevail.


Notes (PDF:28KB)

13. Representative

13.71 Drafting in a Case Where an International Trademark Application Does Not Have a Domestic Representative (PDF:17KB)

15. Priority Right

16. special provisions concerning time of filing of an application

17. New Application Pertaining to Division, Conversion and Declining of Amendment

18. Re-filings after Central Attack

19. Procedures Concerning Standard Characters, etc.

20. Examination

25. Trademark Subject to Trademark Registration

26. Defensive Mark

27. Collective Trademark, Regional Collective Trademark

28. Trademark Used for Services or Retail Services

31. Change of Gist

40. Notification of the Reasons for Refusal

41. Article 3 of the Trademark Act

41.100 Main Paragraph of Article 3(1) of the Trademark Act

41.101 Article 3(1)(ⅰ) of the Trademark Act

(41.101.51)Trademarks Related to Foreign Geographical Names →41.103.01 (PDF:33KB)

41.103 Article 3(1)(ⅲ) of the Trademark Act

41.105 Article 3(1)(ⅴ) of the Trademark Act

(41.105.51)Specific Handling Concerning Examination on Distinctiveness of a Three-Dimensional Trademark →49.02 (PDF:770KB)

41.106 Article 3(1)(ⅵ) of the Trademark Act

41.200 Article 3(2) of the Trademark Act

(42.200.51)Handling Concerning Examinations on the Capability to Distinguish Three-Dimensional Trademarks →41.100.02 (PDF:485KB)

42. Article 4 of the Trademark Act

42.101 Article 4(1)(ⅰ) of the Trademark Act

42.101.01 Handling of Foreign National Flags (PDF:158KB)

42.103 Article 4(1)(ⅲ) of the Trademark Act

42.103.01 Interpretation of Article 4(1)(ⅲ) and (ⅴ) of the Trademark Act (PDF:20KB)

42.104 Article 4(1)(ⅳ) of the Trademark Act

42.104.01 Emblems of the Red Cross and Others Stipulated in Article 4(1)(ⅳ) of the Trademark Act (PDF:27KB)

42.105 Article 4(1)(ⅴ) of the Trademark Act

(42.105.51)Interpretation of Article 4(1)(ⅲ) and (ⅴ) of the Trademark Act →42.103.01 (PDF:20KB)

42.106 Article 4(1)(ⅵ) of the Trademark Act

42.106.01 Handling of Universiade Marks, etc (PDF:75KB)

42.107 Article 4(1)(ⅶ) of the Trademark Act

42.108 Article 4(1)(ⅷ) of the Trademark Act

42.110 Article 4(1)(ⅹ) of the Trademark Act

42.111 Article 4(1)(xi) of the Trademark Act

42.114 Article 4(1)(xiiii) of the Trademark Act

42.115 Article 4(1)(xv) of the Trademark Act

42.116 Article 4(1)(xvi) of the Trademark Act

42.117 Article 4(1)(xvii) of the Trademark Act

42.118 Article 4(1)(xviii) of the Trademark Act

42.119 Article 4(1)(xix) of the Trademark Act

44. Applications Filed on the Same Date

45. Overlapping Application

46. Article 6 of the Trademark Act

47. Article 7-2 of the Trademark Act

48. Renewal

49. Three-Dimensional Trademark

52. Motion Trademark

54. Color Per Se Trademark

55. Sound Trademark

56. Position Trademark

85. Laying Open of Applications

88. Agreements between Foreign Governments, etc. and Japan

88.01 Agreements between Foreign Governments, etc. and Japan (PDF:226KB)

89. Offering Information

A1.Basic Registration or Basic Application

A1.01 Handling of Two or More Basic Trademark Registrations or Trademark Applications (PDF:17KB)

A2. Trademark Claimed in International Application

A3. Goods or Services Claimed in an International Application

A8. Notification to the International Bureau


[Last updated 15 April 2024]

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