Pharmaceutical trademarks—Japan—Q&A guide

The following Life Sciences practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Pharmaceutical trademarks—Japan—Q&A guide
  • 1. What is the primary law governing trademarks in your jurisdiction?
  • 2. Which agency is responsible for the grant and registration of pharmaceutical trademarks?
  • 3. What are the relevant national and international regulatory bodies and requirements that need to be considered when clearing a pharmaceutical trademark?
  • 4. What non-traditional trademarks are available in your jurisdiction and how are they registered?
  • 5. Does your jurisdiction allow the registration of cannabis-derived products?
  • 6. What are the rules governing parallel imports of pharmaceutical goods?
  • 7. What strategies are available to police and enforce against parallel imports?
  • 8. What types of legal or administrative proceedings are available to enforce against infringing products?
  • 9. What are the available remedies for infringement?
  • More...

Pharmaceutical trademarks—Japan—Q&A guide

This Practice Note contains a jurisdiction-specific Q&A guide to pharmaceutical trademarks in Japan published as part of the Lexology Getting the Deal Through series by Law Business Research (published: February 2021).

Authors: Shusaku Yamamoto Law Offices—Kensaku Yamamoto; Laarni Victoria Vinas; Masato Idaka; Kazuya Misaka

1. What is the primary law governing trademarks in your jurisdiction?

The Trademark Act is the primary law governing trademarks in Japan. Further, although the Unfair Competition Prevention Act does not govern Japanese trademarks, it is relevant for the protection of well-known or famous indicia including trademarks regardless of whether the mark is registered in Japan or not.

The Act on Securing Quality, Efficacy and Safety of Pharmaceuticals, Medical Devices, Regenerative and Cellular Therapy Product, Gene Therapy Products, and Cosmetics (the PMD Act) and its related regulations set out the legal requirements on the brand names of certain drugs.

2. Which agency is responsible for the grant and registration of pharmaceutical trademarks?

There is no dedicated agency responsible for exclusively granting pharmaceutical trademarks in Japan. The Japan Patent Office (JPO) is the primary agency responsible for the grant and registration of all trademarks in Japan, regardless of whether it classifies as a pharmaceutical trademark or not.

However, thorough investigation must be conducted when choosing pharmaceutical brand names since under the Notification No. 76 of the Chief of Pharmaceutical Safety and Environmental Health Bureau, brand

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