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Significant change for foreign investors

Mar 19, 2015

Significant change for foreign investors

According to an Official Notice issued by the Ministry of Justice, a significant change for foreign investors was recently put into effect. It is no longer a requirement to have at least one representative director who is resident in Japan in order to incorporate a company here. This change, which makes it much easier for foreigners wishing to set up businesses in Japan, took effect from March 16, 2015.


Significant Change to trademark law

On May 14 last year, Act No.36 entitled “Partial Revision of the Patent Act and Other Acts” was promulgated. The motivation behind this amendment was to modify Japan’s IP system to become more consistent with those internationally.

Amongst other things, the Trademark Act has been amended to widen the scope of trademark protection. The following have now been specifically included in the definition of registrable trademarks (Article 2 of the Trademark Act)

  • Color marks (colors were previously only allowed in combination with e.g. a logo)
  • Sound marks

Additionally, changes will also allow registration of the following new types of trademark:

  • Motion marks
  • Hologram marks
  • Position Marks

It has been announced via Cabinet Order of the Ministry, Economy, Trade and Industry that these changes will take effect from April 2015.

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