JPO – Examination Guidelines for Trademarks

Examination Guidelines for Trademarks

The basic concepts (including interpretation and operation) of the application of the Trademark Act in the performance of practical duties in trademark examination are summarized in the Trademark Examination Guidelines, which are classified as general guidelines for trademark examination and are broadly used in order to deepen trademark applicants' and their representatives' understanding of the practical duties performed at the JPO.
The current Trademark Examination Guidelines have been partially revised many times since the first version of the Guidelines was issued in 1971, in order to respond to revisions of laws, societal changes, and changes in the needs of users. However, extensive overall reviews and revisions of the Guidelines had not been made. In recent years, users have been requesting that the Guidelines be made clearer and more understandable, and the environment surrounding commercial transactions has been changing substantially. Therefore, an overall review and revision of the Guidelines has been deemed important, and the JPO is making efforts for such reviews and revisions under a two-year plan for FY2015 and FY2016. After that, the JPO has revised the Guidelines to make it more clear and useful for users in FY 2018 and FY 2019.

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