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Annual Technical Report 2006 on Trademark Information Activities submitted by Japan (SCIT/ATR/TM/2006/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 2006 was 135,777 (no change in rate from the previous year). The number of registrations was 103,435 (up 9.5% from the previous year).

Trends or areas experiencing rapid changes with respect to the previous year

The number of applications in 2006 remained more or less flat in comparison with the previous year. However, the number of applications that specified Japan as designated office in accordance with the Protocol Relating to the Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks increased by approximately 2,000 from the previous year, exceeding 10,000 for the first time.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide statistics related to trademarks

http://www.jpo.go.jp/shiryou_e/toushin_e/kenkyukai_e/pdf/annual_report2006/part5.pdf

II. Matters concerning the generation, reproduction, and distribution of secondary sources of trademark information, i.e., trademark gazettes

Publishing, printing, copying techniques

The Japan Patent Office (hereinafter referred to as the ”JPO”) published the following trademark documents in 2006:
Publication of Registered Trademarks              96,009 issues
Publication of Reclassification on Registered Trademarks  30,007 issues
Publication of Unexamined Trademark Applications     124,406 issues
Publication of International Trademark Applications     11,200 issues
Publication of Registered International Trademarks      5,379 issues
Decision on Appeal/Trial Gazette                 5,350 issues

Mass storage media and microforms used

Since January 2000, the JPO has been accepting on-line trademark applications (electronic applications). The JPO electronically edits the collected data acquired from electronic applications or electronic conversion of paper-based applications and creates Trademark Gazettes.
The Trademark Gazette contains mixed-mode type data, composed of text data and image data, thus text search using text data part is available.

a) Publication of Unexamined / International Trademark and Registered International Trademark
Starting from February 2000, the JPO issues official gazettes in the form of a CD-ROM that include Publication of Unexamined Trademark Applications, Publication of International Trademark Applications and Publication of Registered International Trademarks.
A single-volume of Publication of Unexamined / International Trademark Applications and Registered International Trademarks contains a total of about 2,800 issues and they were issued 50 times in 2006.
Publication of Unexamined Trademark Applications enables search using 8 items as search keys, including application number, goods and/or service classification and designated goods and/or services. Publication of International Trademark Applications enables search using 7 items as search keys, including International registration number, Vienna classification, and priority number. Publication of Registered International Trademarks enables search using 14 items as search keys, including International registration number, classification of goods and/or services, translation of classification of goods and/or services and classification of similar-group.

b) Publication of Registered Trademarks and Reclassification on Registered Trademarks
Starting from January 2000, the JPO issues official gazettes in the form of a CD-ROM that include Publication of Registered Trademarks and Reclassification on Registered Trademarks.
By the Trademark Law revision in 1996, a scheme was introduced to reclassify and re-register designated goods of trademarks registered before March 31, 1992 in accordance with the goods and services classification in force at the time of the submission of a reclassification registration application. The JPO has been publishing Publication or Reclassification on Registered Trademarks, containing the trademarks that were thus re-classified and re-registered.
A single-volume Publication of Registered Trademarks and Reclassification on Registered Trademarks contains a total of about 2,600 issues and they were issued 50 times in 2006.
Publication of Registered Trademarks allows search using 16 items as search keys, including registration number, goods and/or services classification, designated goods and/or services, and appeal/trial number. Publication of Reclassification on Registered Trademarks allows a search using 13 items as search keys, including goods classification before reclassification, designated goods before reclassification, goods classification after reclassification, and designated goods after reclassification.
 
The JPO provides, free of charge, software for using Publication of Unexamined / International Trademarks and Registered International Trademarks. This software is also operable on Windows English Version so that it can be used by foreign Patent Offices.

Word processing and office automation

Refer to the third section of paragraph.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide access to online trademark gazettes and other sources of trademark information, including download of bulk trademark data

The following is the URL of a web page providing trademark information. However, information is not provided in bulk format.
http://www.ipdl.inpit.go.jp/Syouhyou/syouhyou.htm (webpage providing trademark information in the IPDL)

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 and will adapt Nice Classification Version 9 in January 1, 2007. 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 electronically by the names of goods and/or services classified according to the classes of Nice Classification recorded in the JPO computer system.

Bibliographic data and processing

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

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 2005, trademark-related data for about 3,650,000 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.
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.

External databases

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 2006, 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 information products and 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)

Planning, administration, automation, security

The Intellectual Property Related Materials Reading Room is provided on the first basement of the JPO office building, and is operated in the following manner. And it is a branch library of the National Diet Library.

(1) The user
- JPO workers and those who obtained permission from the Director of the Patent Information Division (inclusive of public users).
- Personnel of the National Diet Library and personnel of the branch libraries of each ministries and government offices.

(2) Open
- 9:30 to 18:00

Collection management, preservation

Books are added with the storage number and classification and put on shelves, while bibliographic information is inputted in the library system to construct a database for a collection of books.

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 61 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 (INPIT) 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) Search by trademark document number
Various trademark gazettes published after 1964 can be searched with the number of each type of gazettes.

(4) Trademark application and registration information search
Bibliographic particulars, legal status, etc. of a pending application or registration in force regarding a text trademark can be searched by using trademarks (for search purposes) or document number, etc. An English version is available.

(5) 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).

(6) Japanese figure trademarks search
 Bibliographic particulars, legal status, etc. of a pending application or registration in force regarding a figure trademark can be searched by using subdivided Vienna Classification. An English version is available.

(7) List of Vienna Classification of Figure
Starting from April 2004, Subsection Table of Vienna Classification of Figurative Elements of Marks (2nd edition prepared in accordance with the fifth edition of the Vienna Classification) can be referred to. An English version is available.

(8) List of Goods and services
Goods and services, classification, designated goods and/or services, similar group codes, etc. based on the 8th and 9th edition of the Nice Classification can be searched and referenced. An English version is available.

(9) International Classification of Goods and Services
International Classification of Goods and Services on Nice Agreement (8th edition and 9th edition) together with similar-group code can be referred to.

(10) Japanese Well-known trademark search
Registered trademarks, registered as defensive mark or certified as Japanese Well-known trademark by decision on opposition, appeal/trial decision or court decision can be searched. 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 INPIT 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.
INPIT has provided about 145 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 2006 was about 53,000.

d) Reference to examination and trial documents
INPIT 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.

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide information on business procedures such as: filing, publication, examination and registration procedures related to trademarks; opposition and appeal procedures related to trademarks; etc.

http://www.jpo.go.jp/tetuzuki_e/t_gaiyo_e/tr_right.htm

URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that provide a description of information products and services offered by the Office (e.g., trademark search service(s), trademark databases, etc.), as well as information on how to access and utilize them

The following is the URL of a web page providing trademark information. However, information is not provided in bulk format.
http://www.ipdl.inpit.go.jp/Syouhyou/syouhyou.htm (web page providing trademark information in the IPDL)

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 87 organizations (including international organizations) in 74 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 (please indicate URLs of web pages of the Office’s website wherever appropriate)

Promotional activities (seminars, exhibitions, visits, advertising, etc.)

a) Briefing sessions
(1)Workshop on IPDL
Workshops for patent search using the Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL) were held for individuals and medium and small sized companies on holidays.
July 2006           Tokyo
September 2006       Tokyo
November 2006       Osaka
December 2006       Tokyo
                Nagoya
February 2007        Sendai
                Fukuoka

The above services have been provided at the National Center for Industrial Property Information and Training (INPIT), an Independent Administrative Institution since October 2004.

b) Patent Information Advisor
In order to realize effective use of IP information in medium and small-sized enterprises and universities/research institutions, INPIT dispatches Patent Information Advisors to each prefecture to give advices on how to search and use IP information and to hold workshops, 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 Holding of Workshops
The JPO supported the workshop on “Automation of Intellectual Property Offices and the Development of Intellectual Property Databases” held by WIPO in Indonesia in July 2006. The JPO will also support to hold a workshop on the theme of the “The Role of Automation Process in Effective Management of Intellectual Property Offices and Their Services” in Vietnam in March 2007 to conduct exchanges of opinions on efforts to address computerization-related problems and successful examples of computerization.

② Training for government officials
In cooperation with WIPO, the JPO held the training course on the Use of Information Technology for about 2 weeks in Japan.

b) Assistance to developing countries using other institutions
①Dispatch of Experts
Under the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) scheme, the JPO sent an official as a long-term expert to the National Office of Intellectual Property of Viet Nam (NOIP) and an official to the Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights, Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Government of Indonesia (DGIPR) as a long-term expert. The JPO also sent 3 officials as short-term experts to the NOIP. The JPO sent an official as a short-term expert to the DGIPR to provide advice and guidance in establishing the trademark examination standard.

②Modernization of Intellectual Property Administration
From May 1999 to May 2003, the “Modernization of Industrial Property Administration Project” at the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines (IP-Phil) to establish patent administration system was carried out by JICA. The JPO dispatched long-term experts for technology transfer and human resource development. The follow-up cooperation project has been carrying out from November 2004. The project will be completed in March 2007.
From April 2000 to June 2004, the “Modernization of Industrial Property Administration Project in Viet Nam”, at the NOIP was carried out by JICA. This project was aimed at developing human resources through the automation of administrative work in the NOIP. Since January 2005, the project for establishment of IPDL system and e-fling system has been carrying out. The JPO has dispatched long-term experts and has supported the project.
In Indonesia, under a JICA development study scheme, the JPO has been supporting the establishment of Intellectual Property Digital Library (IPDL) system at the DGIPR from June 2005. This project will be completed in March 2007.

③Training for government officials
The JPO invited 3 counterparts to the JICA experts, who have been dispatched from the JPO to Vietnam and Indonesia on a long-term basis, respectively from Vietnam and Indonesia, to provide them with lectures/on-site training on computer-related technology and other technological fields.

IX. Other general information related to the Office that is available on the Internet -- URLs of web pages of the Office’s website that:

provide information on legislation related to trademarks

http://www.cas.go.jp/jp/seisaku/hourei/data/TA.pdf

contain the Annual Report of the Office

http://www.jpo.go.jp/cgi/linke.cgi?url=/shiryou_e/toushin_e/kenkyukai_e/annual_report2006.htm

contain trademark-related news regarding the Office

http://www.jpo.go.jp/torikumi_e/index.htm

X. Other relevant matters