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Q. Is it possible to obtain trademark rights for a trademark that has been registered in Japan but that has been abandoned by the registered owner?


Until March 31, 2013, Japan’s Trademark Law Article 4(1)(xiii) provided that a trademark that was registered in Japan but that had been expired for a period of less than one year could not be registered to a different party, but that limitation was deleted when Japan’s Trademark Law was revised effective April 1, 2013. As a result — and unlike a registered patent or design — a trademark that once was registered but has expired or has been cancelled or invalidated can be registered to a different party that files an application to again register that trademark.
However, if a previously registered trademark is well-known, or if use of the trademark by a different party might cause confusion for consumers regarding the origin of goods or products, the trademark may not be registered. Please contact us here if you want to register a trademark that has already been registered in Japan by another party but whose registration you believe might no longer be valid.



If you have any question about any IP matter that you would like us to answer, please send it to us here.









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