Annual Technical Report 2007 on Trademark Information Activities submitted by Japan (SCIT/ATR/TM/2007/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

In 2007, the number of applications was 143,221 (up 5.5% from the previous year) and the number of registrations was 96,531 (down 6.7% from the previous year).

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

The number of applications in 2007 increased 5.5% compared with that of the previous year. This increase is presumably attributed to the effect of the trademark system for retail and wholesale services introduced in April 2007. 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 4.4% from the previous year, and it shows that an increasing tendency still continued.

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 2007.
- Publication of Registered Trademarks: 87,929 issues
- Publication of Reclassification on Registered Trademarks: 24,612 issues
- Publication of Unexamined Trademark Applications: 130,410 issues
- Publication of International Trademark Applications: 13,039 issues
- Publication of Registered International Trademarks: 6,322 issues
- Decision on Appeal/Trial Gazette: 5,610 issues

Main types of announcements of the Office in the field of trademark information

Nothing particular

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 compiles them in Trademark Gazette.

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 Applications 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 3,000 issues and they were issued 50 times in 2007.

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 2,300 issues and they were issued 50 times in 2007.

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, viewer software for using Publication of Unexamined / International Trademarks Applications 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.

Techniques used for the generation of trademark information (printing, recording, photocomposing, etc.)

Nothing particular

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

The following URL provides the public access to webpage including trademark information, however, no bulk data are available: (Industrial Property Digital Library (hereinafter referred to as 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 the sixth edition of the Nice Classification in April 1992 and migrated to the seventh edition of the Nice Classification on January 1, 1997, the eighth edition on January 1, 2002 and adapted the ninth edition of the Nice Classification in January 1, 2007. Starting from April 1, 1998, a “consolidation of classification” scheme has been implemented in order to reclassify the trademarks registered under old Japanese classification and to reregister them in accordance with the International 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 reference by the subdivided Vienna Classification (the fifth edition) has been provided since 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.

Obligation for applicants to use pre-defined terms of the classification applied

Nothing particular

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

File Building

Nothing particular


Nothing particular

Storage, including mass storage media

Nothing particular

Documentation from other offices maintained and/or considered part of the available search file

Nothing particular

V. Activities in the field of computerized trademark search systems

In-house systems (online/offline)

The JPO has electronically stored of trademark applications and examination-related documents for trademark examination. At the end of fiscal year 2007, trademark-related data for about 3.9 million 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 trademarks, a well-known / famous trademark database was constructed and the search system thereof was brought into operation in March 2001.

(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) Search System for Appeal/Trial and Court Decision (J-term search system)
Appeal/trial and court decisions are accumulated in the form of electronic data with search index, called “J-term”, and searching and screening for the appropriate appeal/trial and court decisions are conducted by using “J-term”.

In addition, full-text search service is available for appeal/trial and court 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 and administrative support)

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 2007, 84% on average were made by the electronic application. On the other hand, when Japan participated in the membership states of the Madrid Agreement and the Protocol, the Madrid Protocol system was developed, and put into operation in March 2000.

For an international registration application (an application filed at member states) and for an 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 an 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 the 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 JPO Library, as a branch library of the National Diet Library, is provided on the first basement of the JPO office building, and is operated in the following manner:.
(1) Users
- 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 of the 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 (IP) rights information via the Internet
The JPO has been providing the IPDL service since March 1999. This service is accessible through the Internet and covers 65 million items of IP 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 (hereinafter referred to as the “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 IP 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 Figures
Starting from April 2004, Subsection Table of Vienna Classification of Figurative Elements of Marks (the 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, the status information (for those filed in and after 1990) on application, registration and appeal/trial decision, are also provided.

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 the INPIT in October 2004, and the service has been provided to the outside users with a pace of every two weeks.

c) Reference to trademark gazettes, etc.
The INPIT has provided about 103 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 2007 was about 44,000.

d) Reference to examination and trial documents
The 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 for electronic filing of trademark applications

The INPIT has developed software for electronic application, enabling such administrative procedures, e.g., filing of applications for patents, utility models, trademarks and industrial designs, appealing for trial and payment of annual fee, to be conducted online. The software can be downloaded free of charge at:

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.


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) and trademark databases), as well as information on how to access and utilize them

The following URL provides the public access to webpage including Trademark Information, however, no bulk data are available: (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 exchanges official gazettes with 77 organizations (including international organizations) in 64 nations, out of which it sends CD-ROMs of Published registered trademarks and Reclassifications on registered trademarks and Published unexamined / international trademark applications 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) Workshop on IPDL
Workshops for trademark search using the IPDL were held for IP Information search beginners from individuals or medium and small enterprises concurrently on holidays (at a total of 6 places around Japan). The IPDL has been provided at the INPIT, an Independent Administrative Institution since October 2004. (Workshop program has been started since FY2006)

b) Patent Information Advisors
In order to realize effective use of IP information in SMEs and universities/research institutions, the INPIT dispatches Patent Information Advisors to prefectures in Japan to provide instruction on how to search for IP information, and they provide consultation services on how to utilize such information, as well as hold workshops in response to various requests related to IP information.
The URL providing information on the PI Advisors:

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
- In January 2008, in Laos (Lao People's Democratic Republic), a workshop on the theme "International Classification and Search Tools" was held and about 20 officials from 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region participated in the workshop.

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

b) Assistance to developing countries using other institutions
(1)Dispatch of Experts
Under the Japan International Cooperation Agency’s (JICA) scheme, the JPO had dispatched one expert official to the National Office of Intellectual Property (NOIP) in the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam and one expert official to the Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights (DGIPR) in the Republic of Indonesia as long-term experts.

(2)Modernization of Intellectual Property Administration
For the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam (National Office of Intellectual Property of Vietnam (NOIP)), under the 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 the NOIP, 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. In May, the JPO dispatched one official of the INPIT with the aim of guiding and advising about the Internet application operation. In July, with the aim of guiding and advising about the network operation and management and in September, with the aim of the guiding and advising about the IP information system renewal plan, the JPO dispatched one official respectively. In addition thereto, according to the JICA interim appraisal survey scheme, the application of the IPDL system and the search system for the examiner to the actual business have been started and the JPO has also dispatched inquiry team members to guide and advise about the application.

For the Republic of Indonesia (the Directorate General of Intellectual Property Rights (DGIPR)), since July 2007, the JPO has organized a workshop on the methods for establishing the organization/framework for the system development/operation and for maintaining and managing the system in the introduction of IT in the intellectual property field as "the Project for Intellectual Property Administration" Phase II, and has dispatched one official of the JPO as an instructor therefor.

(3)Training for government officials
The JPO invited three counterparts of the JICA experts (who have been dispatched from the JPO to Vietnam and Indonesia on a long-term basis) from both 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

contain the Annual Report of the Office

if necessary, provide further information related to the topics referred to in the current ATR

Nothing particular

provide open source codes related to trademark information systems

Nothing particular

contain trademark-related news regarding the Office

X. Other relevant matters

Nothing particular