When we file a trademark application before the Japan Patent Office (JPO), we used to receive a fist Office Action or a Decision to Grant in around 9 – 10 months. However, recently (over the past year in our cases), we receive first Office Actions in about 12 months or later after the filing and we thought the delay was temporal.
However, the JPO recently announced the permanent examination delay due to the increasing number of trademark applications in Japan.
According to the JPO, the number of trademark applications was more than double in 2018 compared to that in 2008. Please see the chart below showing the transition of number of trademark applications in Japan during 2013 – 2018 (data from the JPO trademark committee: https://www.jpo.go.jp/resources/shingikai/sangyo-kouzou/shousai/shohyo_shoi/document/t_mark_paper05new/shiryou1.pdf).
Under the circumstances, the JPO announced that the examination for each trademark application will be initiated in about 10 – 14 months after filing. Please note that the term is not for receiving a first Office Action and/or a Decision to Grant.
If you plan to file a trademark application in Japan, please consider the above situation. Meanwhile, it is possible to expedite the trademark examination under specific conditions. If you are interested in the expedited examination, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.