The Japan Patent Office Annual Report (特許行政年次報告書) of 2022 (JPOAR 2022), issued late last month, sums up trends through 2021 in particular with a variety of data (including comparisons with other patent offices). The JPOAR 2022 is quite detailed, so we cannot cover everything, but this caught attention:
Trademark Applications Increasing, and JPO’s Examination Speed Improving
The Nikkei Shimbun, Japan’s leading economic paper, pointed out that the JPOAR 2022 shows definitely increasing filings for trademarks across the five major intellectual property offices (SIPO, USPTO, EUIPO, JPO, KIPO) over the past five years 2016-2020. Filings in Japan reached about 185,000 in 2021, over 160,000 in 2016. Meanwhile, in 2021 the number of applications from foreign entities in Japan reached 28% of the total, with 52,000 applications from abroad–an increase from 19% in 2017.[1 pp. 30-31]
The swelling filings led to increases in pending times, from 2017’s 7.7 months average from examination to registration up to 11.2 months in 2020, but greater investment in AI examination support and outsourcing brought that back down to 9.6 months, the JPO and Nikkei Shimbun report.[1 p. 29; 2]
Japanese aesthetics and emphasis on image will keep good trademark ideas viable and important for those trying to spread their products in Japan, and the improved examination times are a welcome trend. Filing for Accelerated Examination (trending upward in the past few years) is also possible for Japanese trademark filings .[1 p. 63]
If you are interested in details on a particular section of the JPOAR 2022, please let us know.
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 Japan Patent Office. “特許行政年次報告書2022年版 [Japan Patent Office annual report 2022 edition].” PDF. https://www.jpo.go.jp/resources/report/nenji/2022/document/index/all.pdf Available in parts as well at “特許行政年次報告書2022年版 [Japan Patent Office annual report 2022 edition],” updated July 27, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022.
 Nikkei Shimbun. “21年の商標登録、最多の17万件超 登録まで2カ月短く [2021’s trademark registrations all-high, over 170,000, with pending period cut by 2 months].” https://www.nikkei.com/article/DGXZQOUA273ZB0X20C22A7000000/ July 27, 2022. Accessed August 4, 2022.