Why am I writing this post?
I imagine that many foreign applicants often meet the refusal based on the main paragraph of Article 3(1) of the Trademark Act for their Japanese trademark applications through international registrations.
I really hope that this post can help you to learn how to overcome such refusal.
What is the refusal based on the main paragraph of Article 3(1) of the Trademark Act?
As you might know, Japanese Trademark Act adopts “Registration Principle”.
So, we are not required “actual use of mark” to obtain a trademark registration basically.
However, Trademark Act does not hope that the mark which will not be used is registered.
Therefore, the main paragraph of Article 3(1) of the Trademark Act prescribes that an Applicant should have “intent-to-use” of an applied mark for designated goods/services.
In examination of trademark applications, Examiners require us by issuing a refusal to prove that an Applicant is using or has a plan to begin using an applied mark for all of designated goods/services if the examined application designates too wide scope of goods/services within one class.
What is “too wide scope”?
Examiners deem that the application designates too wide scope of goods/services if the number of similar codes to which the designated goods/services belong is more than eight in total within one class.
How to overcome such refusal?
In conclusion, I would like to say that it’s not difficult to overcome such refusal. Please rest assured.
You are able to overcome the refusal by any of the following ways:
- You may simply delete the designated goods/services for which you do not have a plan to begin using the applied mark if you could.
- If you hope all the designated goods/services are granted, you should submit either A) evidences to show that you are doing the business in terms of the designated goods/services or B) both a signed document to state that you have a plan to begin using the applied mark for the designated goods/services within three or four years from the filing date and a document to show your simple business plan to starting the business in terms of the designated goods/services.
The document B is just simple and a formality in fact. An example of the document form is quoted below from the official website of the Japan Patent Office.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you for reading!