IP Information

Intellectual Property News in Japan


The wait is over! The changes to the Trademark Law, Design Law and Unfair Competition Law that we previously announced earlier here took affect on April 1, 2024. Some ether recent changes are as follows:

Abolishment of Power of Attorney Signatures
In light of the pressures posed by the Coronavirus Pandemic and with the goal of adopting more flexible procedures to correspond with the changes brought about by Covid-19, the JPO requirement for signatures and seals (Asian style stamps used in lieu of signatures) was done away with. For international clients this means that handwritten signatures are no longer required for Power of Attorney forms, on which currently the name and title of the representative (signatory) need only be typed. However, it is important to note that some documents such as Deeds of Assignment or License Agreements still require traditional signatures so be sure to keep this in mind.

Move Toward Digital Formats
As of April 1, 2024, the JPO has started to send most Registration and Renewal Certificates etc. online in digital (PDF) format. This will lead to significant cost savings by doing away with the need to mail paper certificates. Please note, however, that Registration Certificates for International Registrations designating Japan will continue to be issued in paper format for the foreseeable future.

Online Submission of Priority Documentation
Since January 1, 2024, it is now possible to submit Priority Documentation electronically (online). This means that a clear color scan of the documents is acceptable, and there is no longer any need for submission of the original documents.