HomeNews & EventsJPO introduces fast-track examination for trademark applications
October 09, 2018

JPO introduces fast-track examination for trademark applications

On October 1, 2018, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) has launched a fast-track examination of trademark applications on a pilot basis. The fast-track examination offers less strict requirements and a six months term for the issuance of the first Office Action. The fast-track option reduces the time of considering trademark applications by two months.

The fast-track examination is free of charge, and there is no need to file a corresponding request. It will automatically start for the applications that are filed on or after October 1, 2018, and meet the following requirements:

-         the list of goods or services, designated in a trademark application at the filing stage, is taken from the Examination Guidelines for Similar Goods and Services, the Ordinance for Enforcement of the Trademark Act, or the International Classification of Goods and Services (Nice Classification). In case of even slight differences, the application will not undergo the fast-track examination;

-         the list of goods or services has not been amended upon filing and prior to the commencement of the examination by the JPO;


-         the trademark is traditional;

-         the trademark application is not an international one.

Depending on a particular case, the JPO may still consider an application over a longer period, even if it meets all of the requirements set forth above.

The JPO has not yet decided whether to introduce the fast-track examination officially. However, if permanently implemented, the examination of the traditional trademarks will be carried out much faster and in a more convenient way for the applicants. 

Author: Lynda Miller