Text size
S
M
L

Home> Systems/Procedures> Trademarks> Examination> Q&A: Fast Track Examination for Trademarks

Main content starts here.

Q&A: Fast Track Examination for Trademarks

Contents

  1. What is fast track examination for trademarks?
  2. Is fast track examination different from accelerated examination?
  3. Where can I find whether the specific goods and/or services are listed on the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc.?
  4. There are no appropriate goods and/or service in which my goods and/or service best fit on the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc. Is there any other way for me to quickly obtain the first notice of examination?
  5. Why are “goods and services accepted at examination” excluded from the condition eligible for fast track examination?
  6. I already filed an application for trademarks using goods and/or services not listed on the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc. Can I attain a qualification for fast track examination by submitting an amendment to adjust the goods and/or services before the examination starts?
  7. Is my trademark application excluded from fast track examination if it does not fulfill the requirements for accelerated examination Case 3?
  8. Is it possible to exclude my trademark application from fast track examination?
  9. Does the JPO let me know if my trademark application is eligible for fast track examination or not?

Q&A

1. What is fast track examination for trademarks?

Fast track examination for trademarks is JPO's system that expedites the commencement of an examination under certain conditions. Applications that meet the conditions will be examined in about 6 months from the filing date.

Fast track examination is only applied to applications in which goods and/or services listed on the following publications are designated at the time of filing: (i) “Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services”; (ii)“Regulation for Enforcement of Trademark Act”; or (iii) “International Classification of Goods and Services (Nice Classification)” (hereinafter referred to as the “Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc.”).

→ Contents

2. Is fast track examination different from accelerated examination?

Both fast track examination and accelerated examination are systems that expedite the commencement of an examination. Differences between the two are first action pendency and their requirements.

The list below shows the first action pendency and the requirements for each system.

  Fast Track Examination Accelerated Examination (Case 3)
FA Pendency

Approximately six months from the date that the application for trademark registration was filed.

1.8 months on average from the date that accelerated examination was requested. (2017 results)

Request Unnecessary Necessary
Requirements

Applications in which goods and/or services listed on the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc. are designated

(Reference)
Fast Track Examination for Trademarks

Both of two requirements below must be met.

  1. Applications that the trademark is already used in designated goods and/or designated services, or preparations for use of the trademark are considerably advanced
  2. Applications in which goods and/or services listed on the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc. are designated

(Reference)
Outline of Accelerated Examinations and Accelerated Appeal Examinations for Trademarks

  • * The FA (first action) pendency is the period from the time of filing to issuing the first notice of examination (which are mainly notices of grant or notices of reasons for refusal) by an examiner to the applicant.
  • * “Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc.” are the goods and/or services listed on the “Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services,” “Regulation for Enforcement of the Trademark Act” or “International Classification of Goods and Services (Nice Classification).”

→ Contents

3. Where can I find whether the specific goods/ service names are listed on the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc.?

J-PlatPat (External Link) is available to check whether the specific goods/ service names are listed on the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc.

1. Click the link to J-PlatPat on our top page.

(image-1) Click the link to J-PlatPat

2. Click on [Trademark]

(image-2) Click on Trademark

3. Click on [Goods/Service Name Search]

(image-3) Click on Goods/Service Name Search

4. Check only on [G] (Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services) and [N] (International Classification Table of Goods and Services (Nice Classification)). Type in Goods/Service name(s) and/or Class. Click on [Search].

(image-4) Check only on G and N

* Only goods and/or services listed in [G] and [N] meet the requirement of Fast Track Examination. Neither [T], [E], [M], nor [F] should be selected.

  • [G] Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services
  • [N] International Classification Table of Goods and Services (Nice Classification)
  • [T] TM5 ID list
  • [E] Goods/Service name (only Japanese or English) adopted by examination
  • [M] WIPO Madrid Goods and Services Manager
  • [F] Goods/Service names that cannot be adopted

→ Contents

4. There are no appropriate goods and/or service in which my goods and/or service best fit on the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc. Is there any other way for me to quickly obtain the first notice of examination?

Check if your application satisfies the requirements for the accelerated examination Case 1 or Case 2.

Outline of Accelerated Examinations and Accelerated Appeal Examinations for Trademarks

To enhance the convenience of Fast Track Examination, the JPO will consider adding the goods and/or services on the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc.

→ Contents

5. Why are “Goods and Services Accepted at Examination” excluded from the condition eligible for fast track examination?

“Goods and Services Accepted at Examination” are renewed consistently and changing continuously. To make the requirements absolutely clear for the applicants, only goods and/or services listed on the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc. are eligible for fast track examination.

To enhance the convenience of Fast Track Examination, the JPO will consider adding the goods and/or services on the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc.

→ Contents

6. I already filed an application for trademarks using goods and/or services not listed on the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc. Can I attain a qualification for fast track examination by submitting an amendment to adjust the goods and/or services before the examination starts?

No. The appropriate goods and/or services have to be designated at the time of filing.

In the same way, even the case of amendments submitted to avoid reasons for refusal in accordance with Article 4-1(16) of the Trademark Act and the goods and/or services turn to be goods and/or services listed on the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, etc., this application is still ineligible for fast track examination.

→ Contents

7. Is my trademark application excluded from fast track examination if it does not fulfill the requirements for accelerated examination Case 3?

No. Requirements for each system are different. Therefore, your application is eligible as long as it meets the requirements for fast track examination.

It should be noted that it is unnecessary to make any requests for fast track examination while request for accelerated examination is necessary.

See Q&A 2: “Is fast track examination different from accelerated examination?

→ Contents

8. Is it possible to exclude my trademark application from fast track examination?

No. All the applications that meet the requirements are included in fast track examination operation.

→ Contents

9. Does the JPO let me know if my trademark application is eligible for fast track examination or not?

No. The JPO does not inform you of the eligibility for fast track examination. Please check whether your application meets the requirements of fast track examination or not.

→ Contents

[Last updated 6 February 2020]

Contact

Trademark Division
Trademark and Customer Relations Department
Japan Patent Office

E-mail:PA1400@jpo.go.jp