Caution for Bad Faith Trademark Applications

In Japan, there is a big problem caused by so-called “bad faith” trademark applications.

It means that there are some applicants who continuously file a lot of applications for registration of any kinds of mark, which are popular words or something like that, also in Japan.

The applicants that we have to pay special attention to are the Japanese company named “Best License Co., Ltd.” and the person named “Ikuhiro Ueda”.   He is actually a representative of the company, so they are substantially the same entity.

They are filing a huge number of bad faith trademark applications really.   That’s why we often face the objections caused by their applications in our filing cases.

What is the worst point of their actions is that they do not pay the official fees for filing applications to be paid to the Japan Patent Office (JPO).   Of course, the JPO require them to pay the fees by issuing the Office Action and make their applications lapse if no fee is paid within the prescribed term.   However, they divide their applications objected, which means that they file divisional applications, to save the early filing dates of their original applications and keep the examinations of their applications pending without paying any fees.

Such strategies have caused the big problem that our applications for registration of the marks, which are identical or similar to those of their bad faith applications, are rejected or kept pending for a long time due to them.

However, the JPO recently announced its policy that it indicates in the Office Action Letters which cite their bad faith application as a bar that the cited application has a lack of formality (no fee is paid) so it will lapse and be no longer a obstacle if the lack is not resolved.  Furthermore, the JPO shows its opinion that even their bad faith applications with the payment of fees can be rejected in accordance with the Trademark Law in Japan.   That’s why the JPO saids that we do not need to give up our trademark applications conflicting with their bad faith applications.


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株式会社Toreru/特許業務法人Toreru のCOO(最高執行責任者)兼パートナー弁理士。(一財)ブランド・マネージャー認定協会1級資格&認定トレーナー。日本ブランド経営学会運営委員。日本弁理士会所属。

株式会社アルバック知的財産部にて、企業目線からの知的財産保護に従事。その後、秀和特許事務所にて、商標・意匠分野のプロフェッショナルとして、幅広い業界のクライアントに対し国内外のブランド保護をサポート。2018年9月より、株式会社Toreru/特許業務法人Toreru に移籍し、2019年1月より現職。「知財の価値を最大化させる」新しい知財サービスをつくっている。 | Linkedin | メールはこちらへ

April 2009 - August 2012 株式会社アルバック 知的財産部 | ULVAC, Inc.

September 2012 - August 2018 秀和特許事務所 | IP Firm SHUWA

September 2018 - 特許業務法人Toreru | Toreru, Inc.