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Overview of Petition System

Petition System Related to Intellectual Property Rights Violations Abroad (Petition System Overview)

April 2005
Office of Intellectual Property Protection
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)


If a Japanese private company suffers intellectual property rights (IPR) violations abroad, the government of Japan (GOJ) will investigate the petition and if necessary utilize bilateral negotiations, the WTO and other international agreements to resolve the issue.

In accordance with the Intellectual Property Strategy Headquarters (with Prime Minister Koizumi, serving as its chief) the following set the stage for the Office of Intellectual Property Protection: May 2004 [an order requiring implementation of necessary measures by the end of 2004]; December 2004 [requirement to establish a system to effectively work with all concerned ministries by March 2005 and execute that plan by April 2005].

  • A petition can be filed by a Japanese company, Japanese association, etc., along with applicable evidence.
  • The petition should be filed with the Office of Intellectual Property Protection, METI, established in August 2004.
  • The GOJ, as a rule has 45 days to determine whether an investigation is warranted; and as a rule six months to report the investigation results to the claimant.
  • The GOJ is responsible for an after-action report.

2.Investigation Flow

In cases where there is an inherent problem in a foreign government’s system’ and process’ preventing the protection of intellectual property rights

Claimant (Japanese company, organization, etc.)

Petition : Evidence reviewed to determine the necessity of bilateral negotiations

GOJ (Office of Intellectual Property Protection, METI)

Determination of whether an investigation is warranted

(As a rule, determination of the need for an investigation within 45 days)


↓ (When an investigation is warranted)
Investigation based on claimant’s petition

(Provide investigative findings to claimant within six-months or provide reason for the delay)


(If bilateral negotiations will take place)

Correspondence by the GOJ

Resolve in accordance with bilateral /international agreements (WTO dispute settlement procedures, etc.)

Create a report based on the investigation

The Hong Kong Trade Name Issue

1.Summary of Petition

In April 2005, the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA) filed the following petition with the Office of Intellectual Property Protection, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.

[A third party in Hong Kong had the trademarks of six well known and widely recognized Japanese electronics manufacturers registered without obtaining appropriate permission.  Furthermore, products were being manufactured, sold and advertised in China utilizing the falsely registered trademarks.  In Hong Kong, while registering a company in very easy, due to the legal system, the rightful owners of the trademarks cannot effectively change or expunge the illegally registered trademarks.]

2.Measures taken by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry

Based on the petition received, in May 2005 an investigation concerning the systems and processes within the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (hereinafter referred to as “Hong Kong”) was initiated.  [Wherein, in October 2005 the findings revealed that due to inadequacies in the systems and processes in Hong Kong, unauthorized use of trademarks or trade names had taken place.] Thus these findings were reported to the claimant.

Since November 2005, METI has met with Hong Kong a total of four times to discuss implementation measures.


The list on infringing companies which have lost passing off lawsuits filed by the members of the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association

Division in Charge

Office for Intellectual Property Right Infringement and International Trade, Manufacturing Industries Bureau
Tel: +81-3-3501-1701
Fax: +81-3-3501-6588

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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