Upon filing of a trademark application, the formality division of the Japan Patent Office examines formality requirements of the trademark application. After the formality examination, the examining division of the Japan Patent Office examines the trademark application
The examining division examines whether the application has grounds for refusal. Usually the substantial examination takes 6-8 months to forward a first Office Action to an application. When there is no reason for refusal with the application, a decision of registration is issued. In case which the application is granted without any office action informing the applicant of the reason for refusal, the examination takes 8-10 months. When the application has the reason for refusal in the application, the examiner issues a notification of reasons of refusal to the applicant. The applicant has an opportunity to amend the application and/or to file his arguments against the refusal within a time period specified by the examiner. The time period for response is set to three months for foreign applicants. This period can be extended by one month upon requst from the applicant.
When the applicant receives the decision of registration, the applicant needs to pay a registration fee within a specified time period. Upon payment of the registration fee, the Japan Patent Office registers the trademark and notifies the applicant of the date of registration. The term of the trademark right is 10 years from a registration date.