Article 4(1) defines nineteen grounds for refusals. The followings are typical grounds for refusal for trademark applications, which a patent and trademark attorney often receives from the Japan Patent Office.
- Trademark which breach of the principles of ordre public or morality (Art. 4(1)(7))
- Trademark which contains a portrait or name of a person other than an applicant (Art. 4(1)(8))
- Trademark which causes confusion with regard to goods or services pertaining to a business of another person (Art. 4(1)(15))
- Trademark which misleads as to a quality of goods or services (Art. 4(1)(16))
In general, the above four grounds are difficult to overcome by filing amendments or arguments. Before filing of the trademark application, consulting with a Japanese patent attorney is recommended to prevent an owner of the trademark from receiving the rejection. Article 4(1)(10) and (11) are also typical grounds for refusals based on similarity between trademarks or goods/services, which are discussed in another section in our website.