Doing business abroad: Protecting your IP in Japan

From: Canadian Intellectual Property Office

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Doing business abroad: Protecting your IP in Japan

Intellectual property (IP) is a valuable asset that can support your business expansion abroad. A Canadian patent, trademark or industrial design does not secure your rights outside Canada. You should consider obtaining IP protection in the countries where you plan on doing business, including selling products online or manufacturing products overseas.

Japan is one of Canada's most important economic partners, with trade relations continuing to deepen between the countries.

There are important differences between Canada and Japan in the protection and registration of IP. In Japan, you can apply for trademark, patent, utility model, design, copyright and geographical indication protection.

Where is IP registered?

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) is the Japanese government agency responsible for granting trademark, patent, utility model and design rights. The agency is composed of a number of departments, including the Trademark, Design and Administrative Affairs Department. Copyright registration is administered by the Japan Copyright Office.

If you do not have an existing business entity in Japan, you will be required to obtain the services of a local IP expert to conduct any procedures with the JPO. In addition to helping you with the IP processes, experts can also assist in understanding local culture to prevent misunderstandings that could become obstacles for businesses expanding into Japan.

Applications for IP rights can be filed electronically through the JPO website. A good first step is to search existing IP to check whether your anticipated IP use may conflict with or infringe on someone's prior rights. A Canadian IP professional may be able to coordinate work with an IP professional in Japan.

Trademarks

Patents

Utility models

Designs

Geographical indications

IP enforcement

There are several ways to enforce your rights against unauthorized use of your IP in Japan:

Tips: Important notes

*The information provided above is meant as an educational resource only and should not be construed as legal advice.


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Aussi offert en français sous le titre Protéger votre PI au Japon.

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