Annual Technical Report 2004 on Trademark Information Activities submitted by Japan (SCIT/ATR/TM/2004/JP)
Where URLs are requested below, it is preferred that either URLs which are likely to remain stable over time (three years or more) are provided, or home (main) page URLs are provided with a short explanation of how to access the corresponding information.
I. Evolution of registration activities
Changes experienced in terms of application filings and registrations with respect to the previous year
The number of applications in 2004 was 128,843. The number of registrations was 95,866.
Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year
The number of applications in 2004 increased by approximately 6,000 compared to the previous year.
The number of claimed classes has increased by approximately 13,000. Regarding the trend in each field, the number has increased slightly on the whole compared to the previous year, and the high proportion of the increase is shown in the fields of " services" and " textile".
There were 7,160 applications that specified Japan as the designated office in accordance with the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks. The number of applications has increased by approximately 1,800 from the previous year.
II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, and distribution of secondary sources of trademark information, i.e., trademark gazettes
Publishing, printing, copying techniques
Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of trademark information
The Japan Patent Office (hereinafter referred to as the ”JPO”) published the following trademark documents in 2004:
Publication of Registered Trademark 92,786 issues
Publication of Reclassification on Registered Trademark 65,018 issues
Publication of Unexamined Trademark Application 119,743 issues
Publication of International Trademark Application 6,620 issues
Publication of Registered International Trademark 3,116 issues
Decision on Appeal / Trial Gazette 5,564 issues
Mass storage media and microforms used
Word processing and office automation
Techniques used for the generation of trademark information (printing, recording, photocomposing, etc.)
Since January 2000, the JPO has been accepting on-line trademark applications (electronic application). The JPO electronically edits the collected data, acquired from electronic applications or electronic conversion of paper-based applications , and creates the Trademark Gazettes.
The Trademark Gazette contains mixed-mode type data, composed of text data and image data, thus text search using the text data part is available.
a) Unexamined / International Trademark Gazette
Starting from February 2000, the JPO has issued official gazettes that include Publication of Unexamined Trademark Application, Publication of International Trademark Application and Publication of Registered International Trademark on CD-ROM
A single-volume Unexamined International Trademark Gazette contains a total of about 2,600 issues and was published 50 times in 2004.
Publication of Unexamined Trademark Application enables a search by using 8 items, including application number, goods and/or service classification, designated goods and/or designated services, as search keys. Publication of International Trademark Application enables a search by using 7 items, including International registration number, Vienna classification, priority number, as search keys. Publication of Registered International Trademark enables a search by using 14 items, including International registration number, classification of goods or service classification of goods service similar group classification, as search keys.
b) Trademark Gazette / Publication of Reclassification of Registered Trademark
Starting from January 2000, the JPO has issued official gazettes that include Publication of Registered Trademark and Publication of Reclassification on Registered Trademark on CD-ROM.
By the Trademark Law revision in 1996, a scheme to reclassify designated goods was introduced. This scheme requires that the trademarks registered before March 31, 1992 to be re-classified and re-registered in accordance with the goods and services classification submitted in the application reclassify.
The JPO has been publishing Publication of Reclassification on Registered Trademark, containing the trademarks that were re-classified and re-registered.
A single-volume Trademark Gazette and Trademark Classification Reconsolidated Registration Gazette contains a total of about 3,100 issues. It was published 51 times in 2004.
Publication of Registered Trademark allows a search by using 16 items, including registration number, goods and/or services classification, designated goods and/or designated services, and appeal/trial number, as search keys. Publication of Reclassification on Registered Trademark allows a search by using 13 items, including goods classification before consolidation, designated goods before consolidation, goods and/or services classification after consolidation, and designated goods after consolidation, as search keys.
The JPO provides, free of charge, software for using Publication of Unexamined Trademark Application / Publication of Registered International Trademark and Trademark Gazette / Publication of Reclassification of Registered Trademark. This software is also operable on Windows of English edition so that it can be used by foreign Patent Offices.
III. Matters concerning classifying, reclassifying and indexing of trademark information
Classification and reclassification activities; Classification systems used, e.g., International Classification of Goods and Services for the Purposes of the Registration of Marks (Nice Classification), International Classification of the Figurative Elements of Marks (Vienna Classification), other classification (please indicate whether goods and services for the registration of marks and whether the figurative elements of marks are classified by your Office and, if so, which classification(s) is (are) used)
a) Nice International Classification
The JPO has adapted Nice Classification Version 6 in April 1992 and migrated to Nice Classification Version 7 on January 1, 1997, Version 8 on January 1, 2002. On April 1, 1998, a “consolidation of classification“ scheme was enacted. This scheme requires that to reclassify the trademarks registered under old Japanese classification and to reregister them in accordance with Nice Classification.
b) Vienna Classification
The JPO has used the Japanese original coding system to classify the figurative elements of marks.
In order to use the Vienna Classification, the JPO surveyed the relation between the Japanese original coding system and the Vienna Classification from April, 1999 to March, 2000 and has created the Vienna Classification Table, which has been subdivided according to the Japanese situation.
The JPO has assigned the subdivided Vienna Classification to the registered trademarks and the filed trademarks from April 2001 until March 2004. The JPO started the reference by the subdivided Vienna Classification (Version 5) in April 2004.
Use of electronic classification systems to check the classification symbols furnished by an applicant and which are contained in the lists of goods and/or services
The Classification Signs listed on the application filed by applicants are examined electoronically by the names of goods and/or services classified according to the classes of Nice Classification recorded in the JPO computer system.
Obligation for applicants to use pre-defined terms of the classification applied
Bibliographic data and processing for search purposes
Classification of goods and/or services can be searched for by using the “Check Table of names of goods and services”, which stores the names of goods and/or services previously adopted. This Check Table is also used to confirm the classification of designated goods and/or services that are described in filing documents.
The subdivided Vienna Classification (version 5) showing figure elements is used for figure classification, and is granted as a search key for retrieving the figure trademarks.
IV. Trademark manual search file establishment and upkeep
Storage, including mass storage media
Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file
V. Activities in the field of computerized trademark search systems
In-house systems (online/offline)
The JPO has stored of trademark applications and examination-related documents for trademark examination. At the end of fiscal year 2004, trademark-related data for about 3,480,000 documents was accumulated.
(a) On-line trademark search system
On-line trademark search system comprises phonetic search, character string search, and well-known / famous trademarks search. The phonetic search performs similar trademark search by use of sound (calling) generated from a trademark and similarity group codes (which represent similarity relationship of goods and/or services that are estimated to be identical or in similarity relationship with each other), as search keys. In 2004, new ponetic data were added for about 115,000 applications of character trademarks.
The character string search using character strings composing a trademark was commenced in 2000. For this system, “trademark for indication (text)” is produced from the application trademark (image) composed of characters, from which “trademark for search” is automatically produced to be stored in the database for search.
In order to protect well-known / famous trademark, well-known / famous trademark database was constructed and the search system thereof was brought into operation in March 2001. The database has been updated since then, although the frequency thereof is not as many as every year.
(b) Figurative trademark examination system
For the figure trademark search system, Japanese unique figure terms and similarity group codes were used as search keys, and the figure examination system according to the subdivided Vienna Classification (version 5) instead of domestic ones has been operated since March 2004.
(c) Appeal and trial decision search system (J-term search)
Gazettes and other documents on appeal and trial decisions are converted into electronic form and search keys, called J-term, are assigned to them; thereby enabling search and browsing by using J-term. A full-text search is available for appeal and trial decisions issued after January 2000.
Telephone directory database and newspaper article databases are used in the examination.
Administrative management systems (e.g., register, legal status, statistics, administrative support, etc.)
The trademark electronic application and trademark paperless system were started in January 2000. Administrative work and examination processing system based on the electronic data was constructed, namely, all works including filing, formality and substantive examination, sending, registration, gazette issuing, viewing, and certification request are processed electronically, thus remarkable improvement has been achieved on office working environment by efficiently improving office works, substantiating application and case management, and the like.
Further, with improved efficiency in works by the real time trademark search and the examination system actively using electronic information, and the downsizing of the retrieving systems, cost efficiency has been also improved. Of all the trademark applications filed in 2004, 83% in average was made by the electronic application.
On the other hand, when participated into the membership states of Madrid Agreement and the Protocol, Madrid Protocol system was developed, and put into operation in March 2000.
For international registration application (an application filed at member states) and for international trademark registration application (an application requesting the protection that specifies Japan as one of the member states or as an added member state after filing the original application), the Madrid protocol system performs information management, such as various notifications, ad interim documents and decisions, as well as time and progress management. Moreover, registration of application for international trademark registration application is controlled using the electronic register, thus the registration can be on-line referred to. The examination system for the examination of international trademark registration application was constructed, and the electronic transmission system to the International Bureau was commenced in April 2005.
Please note that the JPO’s system is an integrated system and that the trademark system is part of the integrated system. Thus for the overall system, please refer to the “Annual Technical Report on Patent Information Activities”.
Equipment used (hardware, including the types of terminal and network used, and software), carriers used
Please refer to the “Annual Technical Report on Patent Information Activities”.
VI. Administration of trademark services available to the public (relating to facilities, e.g., for lodging applications, registering trademarks, assisting clients with search procedures, obtaining official publications and registry extracts)
Information services available to the public (including computerized services and search files contained in libraries remote from your Office and trademark information posted by your Office on the World Wide Web)
a) Providing industrial property rights information via the Internet
The JPO has been providing the Industrial Property Digital Library service since March 1999. This service is accessible through the Internet and covers 54 million items of industrial property information by using document number and/or classification as search keys. This service was transferred to the National Center for Industrial Property Information and Training (NCIPI) in October 2004, and has been operated thereby.
Main services relating to trademark information that the JPO provides are as follows:
(1) Simplified search for beginners (trademark)
This search method is for beginners who are not familiar with industrial property information. A trademark whose registration is being applied for or one to which a certain right is already held by someone, can be searched by free-word search or by document number.
(2) Trademark Gazette database search
Trademark Gazettes published in and after 1885 can be searched by using document number.
(3) Trademark application and registration information search
Bibliographic particulars, legal status information, etc. regarding a trademark whose registration is being applied for or one to which a valid right is held by someone can be searched by using free-word or document number. An English version is available.
(4) Search by use of title
Bibliographic particulars, legal status information, etc. regarding a trademark whose registration is being applied for or one to which a valid right is held by someone can be searched by using a title (pronunciation).
(5) Figure trademark search
Bibliographic particulars, legal status information, etc. regarding a figure trademark whose registration is being applied for or one to which a valid right is held by someone can be searched by using the figure term. An English version is available. From April 2004, search has been performed by use of the subdivided Vienna Classification (version 5).
6) Well-known/famous Japanese trademark search
Registered trademarks, registered as defensive mark or certified as well-known and/or famous trademark by appeal/trial decision, can be searched. An English version is available.
7) Goods and/or services list
Classification, designated goods and/or designated services, similar group code and others can be referred. An English version is available.
In addition, as related information, progress information on application, registration and appeal/trial decision, are also available.
b) Providing JPO data
In March 1999, the JPO began providing the JPO’s bibliographical and progress information to outside users by organizing and converting it in the standard format for better usability for the users. Further, the service was transferred to NCIPI in October 2004, and the service has been provided to the outside users with a pace of twice a month.
c) Reference to trademark gazettes, etc.
NCIPI has provided about 150 devices for search for the gazette access room on the second floor of the JPO office building to allow the public access to the “IPDL Service,” “CD-ROM”, etc. free of charge.
At the same time, in eight places (Sapporo, Sendai, Nagoya, Osaka, Hiroshima, Takamatsu, Fukuoka, and Naha), such devices are provided for giving search service. The number of the users of the services at the above devices in 2004 was about 72,000.
d) Reference to examination and trial documents
NCIPI is collecting various technical documents (books, etc.), which are used in the examinations and trials by the JPO, widely from inside and outside of Japan and made available to the public.
e) Intellectual Property Center
59 Intellectual Property Centers throughout the nation have widely implemented support operations for users including regional companies and applicants etc. They have given advice to the users, provided them guidance in retrieval methods of IP information(trademark information), etc. according to their purposes, regularly conducted workshops and prepared booklets relating to retrieval methods of IP information etc.
In addition, in order to support the above project, NCIPI dispatches Patent Information Advisers, experts of the IP information, who give the users advices so that they can perform technical development, and IP right obtaining/management through effective use of the IP information.
VII. Matters concerning mutual exchange of trademark documentation and information
International or regional cooperation in the exchange of trademark information, e.g., in the form of official gazettes
The JPO mutually exchange official gazettes, etc. with 102 organizations (including international organizations) in 83 nations, out of which it sends the CD-ROM Trademark Gazette to 18 organizations.
Exchange of machine-readable information
In CD-ROM format, the JPO has sent “Trademark Gazette and Trademark Classification Reconsolidated Registration Gazette” since January 2000 and “Unexamined Trademark Application Gazette and International Unexamined Trademark Application Gazette” since February 2000.
VIII. Matters concerning education and training including technical assistance to developing countries
Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)
a) Industrial Property Right Seminar
The JPO held briefing sessions as follows to explain how to conduct trademark search referring to the Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL) to the users of industrial property information. These seminars were held as follows:
October 2004 Fukuoka
November 2004 Tokyo, Osaka, Aichi, Hiroshima, and Kagawa
December 2004 Hokkaido and Miyagi
b) Patent Information Active Application Support Adviser
In order to realize effective use of IP information in medium and small-sized enterprises and universities/research institutions, NCIPI dispatches Patent Information Advisers to each prefectures to give advices for IP information search method, and to hold training courses, thus responding to various demands regarding the use of the IP information.
Training courses for national and foreign participants
See previous/next items
Assistance to developing countries (sending consultants and experts, receiving trainees from developing countries, etc.)
a) Activities and assistance through WIPO Funds-in-Trust/Japan
1) Training for government officials
In cooperation with WIPO, the JPO held training course on the Use of Information Technology.
b) Assistance to developing countries using other institutions
1) Dispatch of Experts
Under the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) scheme, the JPO sent 2 expert officials to National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) and 1 expert official to the Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights (DGIPR) as long-term experts. The JPO also sent 1 short-term expert official to the DGIPR to provide advice and guidance in establishing the trademark examination standard.
2) Modernization of Intellectual Property Administration
The Socialist Republic of Viet Nam: Under JICA scheme, from April 2000 to June 2004, the JPO carried out the "Modernization of Industrial Property Administration Project", a project for the modernization of administrative procedure at NOIP, a developing human resources was performed through the automation of administrative work.
Since January 2005, “The Project for Utilization of Intellectual Property Information” has been carried out, which aims at construction of a search system and an information system as well as human resources development by use of the systems in order to realize modernization of the industrial property operation.
3) Training for government officials
The JPO invited counterparts, 2 from Indonesia and 1 from the Republic of Malaysia, to give them lectures/on-site training on computer-related technologies and other technological fields.
IX. Other relevant matters