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Intellectual Property

Trump Card for Countermeasures against Imitations

Zen International Patents and Trademarks Toppan Printing Co., Ltd. (TOPPAN) has developed the world’s first hologram that shines in pastel color when viewed from the front, and shines in monochrome when viewed from certain angles. And this hologram can be manufactured by only TOPPAN’s proprietary manufacturing method. Therefore, if this hologram is affixed only to a genuine article, we can easily distinguish authentic one.  


11 Countries Except the United States Agreed in Principal on TPP

Zen International Patents and Trademarks In a ministerial meeting held in central Da Nang in central Vietnam on 11th November 2017, Japan and Vietnam, the presidencies, announced that 11 countries participating in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreeded in principle about the content of the new agreement named “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTTP)”. However, regarding the extension of the duration of the copyright to 70 years, 11 countries decided to continue discussion further. Japan is aiming to conclude the new agreement at an early date.

Illustration of TPP meeting

GI Protection – Nishio Matcha

Zen International Patents and Trademark The Japan Geographical Indication (GI) Law takes effect only in Japan and basically GI are not protected overseas. However, if a bilateral agreement between a foreign country and Japan related to conditions of GI mutual protection is reached, GI will be protected in a partner country.  In this meaning, GI protection system is expected to boost export of Japanese agricultural products. In this connection,  GI registration of “Nishio Matcha,” the brand name of finely ground green tea in Aichi Prefecture of Japan, was accepted in March 2017. This summer, it turned out that a Chinese company had filed a trademark for the mark similar to “Nishio Matcha” in …

Miso and GI

Zen International Patents and Trademark Miso is Japanese traditional food and has been loved for more than 1300 years in Japan. Miso is made by fermenting soybeans with salt and Koji and sometimes rice, barley, or other ingredients. It is already known that miso is very effective for prevention of lung cancer or stomach cancer. Recently, researchers of Hiroshima University published that miso keeps blood pressure from climbing, which lowers the risk of developing health problems such as strokes. In relation to this, Hiroshima University’s Honorary Professor recommends to switch seasoning from salt to miso. By the way, on August 10, 2017, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries registered “Kishu …

Naming of “Tokyo Sky Tree”

Zen International Patents and Trademark Today’s topic is naming of “Tokyo Sky Tree”. “Tokyo Sky Tree” is a television broadcasting tower and landmark of Tokyo, Japan.  With a height of 634 meters, it is the world’s second highest structure, second only to “Burj Khalifa” of Dubai.  Lots of tourists of home and abroad visit here all through the year. With respect to the name “Tokyo Sky Tree”, more than 18,000 names were sought from the public in 2007, before starting construction. According to a book written by Asako Iida, a member of the Tokyo Sky Tree Review Committee, the name “Tokyo Sky Tree” was not ranked top 20 among all names. …

SWBS Overseas Business Comprehensive Exhibition 2017 in Japan

Zen International Patents and Trademarks In August 2, 2017, SWBS Overseas Business Comprehensive Exhibition 2017 (SWBS2017) sponsored by Organization for Small & Medium Enterprises and Regional Innovation, JAPAN was held. SWBS 2017 was a matching event between small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) planning to expand overseas and experts to support them. In SWBS 2017, 100 experts and over 700 SMEs participated. We also participated in this event and advised as an expert on intellectual property. Many SMEs are trying to find a way to enter foreign markets because of a domestic saturated market.  Since the Japanese government is also supporting SMEs’ overseas expansion, such events will be held in the future.  


Fuji Xerox New Technology “YoctraceNote”

Zen International Patents and Trademark Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. announced that it has developed “YoctraceNote”, an object recognition technology that recognizes inherent random patterns inadvertently generated on the surface of objects such as industrial products. Recently the business of counterfeit goods has been rapidly growing.   In addition, due to the development of technology for manufacturing counterfeit products, type and complexity of imitation has become more sophisticated. It is reported that by taking pictures with a smartphone equipped with this technology, it becomes possible to instantly distinguish counterfeited gift certificates, drugs of tablets, and the like. We hope that this new technology will help to resolve the issue of counterfeit goods.

JPO Gets First Female Commissioner

Zen International Patents and Trademarks The Japan Patent Office announced a new personnel affair on July 4, 2017. The most noteworthy personnel affairs is that Ms. Naoko Munakata was appointed as the first female Commissioner. She entered the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (now the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry) in 1984 and became the prime minister secretary in 2015. The share of female executives of Japanese listed companies is merely 3.4%, which is the lowest among developed countries. As the Japanese government aims for a society in which women’s participation will expand even further, she will be the symbol. Taking this opportunity, we hope that the number of female …

illustration of female

Energy and Power Saving Expo 2017

Zen International Patents and Trademark Energy and Power Saving Expo event was held on July 26, 2017 – July 28, 2017 at Tokyo Big Sight. (Please see the photos below.) We went to the event and had exposure to new technologies on July 28, 2017. There were many interesting products such as an automatic door without electric power. Energy and power saving technologies will cause a revolution in our way of living.    

The General Assembly Meeting of the Japan Seed Trade Association

Zen International Patents and Trademark Just one month ago, we attended the General Assembly Meeting of the Japan Seed Trade Association (JSTA) in Kochi prefecture. More than 200 representatives and senior executives of seeds & seedlings companies nationwide, including major companies such as Sakata Seed Corporation, attended. Putting effort into IP protection related to plants, we have became the supporting member of JSTA since this fiscal year and attended the General Assembly for the first time. We were surprised to know each of seeds & seedlings companies have a long history.  Some companies were established more than 150 years ago. It seems difficult to entry into the seeds & seedlings industry. …

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