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Trademark Race in Japan

Zen International Patents and Trademarks In 2019, the new emperor of Japan will take the throne. And when the new emperor succeeds to the throne, the new era name will be adopted. Many companies consider this as a business opportunity and are trying to register trademark containing characters of the new era name. The trademark rights is granted to the company that applied for trademark registration earliest. Therefore, as soon as a new era name is announced, Trademark Race to gain trademarks related to new era name will start. By the way, the new era name itself can not be registered as a trademark.

illustration of race

A shoulder strap for canes

Zen International Patents and Trademark A shoulder strap for canes named “ARUKUTOMO” has been featured on TV in Japan. The biggest feature of the product is that a cane will not fall on the floor even if a cane user let go the cane. “ARUKUTOMO”’s shoulder belt does not slip off a user’s shoulder easily and it is designed to enable the user to hook the cane. Mr. Kazuyoshi Endo invented the product after a stroke left him paralyzed on his left side of the body. People in the same situation as Mr. Endo, are very worried about dropping their canes since picking up them is extremely difficult. – For …

Trademark for the Game Boy

Zen International Patents and Trademark It turned out that Nintendo Co., Ltd. (Nintendo) filed a Japanese trademark application with respect to the mark which includes an image of the original Game Boy. The original Game Boy was a portable game machine released in 1989, and with this machine people enjoyed playing popular games such as Pokemon-Green, Pokemon-Red. In recent years, Nintendo sold “Nintendo Classic Mini” and “Nintendo Classic Mini: Super Nintendo Entertainment System” which miniaturized game machines sold in the past. Therefore, there is a rumor that Nintendo is planning to sell portable game machines that miniaturized the original Game Boy in the near future.

Trademark for the Game Boy

Japanese Agricultural Product Name in China

Zen International Patents and Trademarks In recent years, it has become problems that trademarks related to Japanese agricultural product names were registered in China without permission. The other day, it turned out that a Chinese companiy registered trademark consisting of Kanji characters and having a meaning of “Sky berry” without permission. “Sky berry” is a popular large-sized strawberry breeded by Tochigi prefecture and traded at a high price. Tochigi prefecture is worried that this trademark may be an impediment to exporting “Sky berry” to China. Meanwhile, registered trademark “Iwate” was in the same situation revoked because an opposition made by Iwate Prefecture was approved. In this way, it may be possible …

illustration of strawberry

Instagram as a Marketing Tool

Zen International Patents and Trademark Nowadays, many Japanese companies try to use Instagram as a marketing tool. For example, a certain travel agency started to provide tours for people who want to visit ”photogenic places” in the world.  The tours are especially popular among young women. Some companies work on developing photogenic product labels (packages). The simple package of “THE chocolate” of Meiji Co., Ltd. released in September 2016 has become a topic in Instagram.  “The chocolate” has multiple lines and the package color is different depending on the taste of chocolate.  Some people enjoy producing bookmarks or accessories using the package and post on Instagram.  The sales of “THE chocolate” …

Scent Branding and Trademark

Zen International Patents and Trademark It is reported that only olfactory stimulation in our five senses is transmitted directly to the limbic system. A certain smell became a trigger for reviving old memories. – Everyone should have such experience. Some companies make use of the effect of scent for their branding. Singapore Airlines is famous for its sent branding.  It developed the original aroma and has kept using it for many years. Also, Hilton Tokyo in Japan uses original aroma produced by Air Aroma Japan. In the U.S.,  smell is registrable as a trademark.  However, in Japan, smell is not protected under the Trademark Law due to the difficulty of examination.

Name of Panda and Trademark

Zen International Patents and Trademarks In June of 2017, a Giant Panda baby was born at Ueno Zoological Gardens in Japan. The name of the cub born at a zoo is often chosen from submissions from the public. The panda cub’s name is also planned to be chosen from the public, and the candidates have already been narrowed down to eight. However, recently it has become a problem that trademark brokers register a famous name as a trademark for sale. Under this situation, the candidates have not been disclosed. What a hard world we are living in!

Golf Club Brand “XXIO”

Zen International Patents and Trademark Hideki Matsuyama, a Japanese young golf player, played active role and showed excellent form during 2017 PGA tour. The patter of “TP COLLECTION MULLEN” of Taylormade Golf that Matsuyama used during PGA tour is reportedly out of stock in Japan. By the way, the golf club brand that boasts most tremendous popularity in Japan is “XXIO” of DUNLOP SPORTS Co., Ltd. The word “XXIO” consists of “XXI” which indicates the number of twenty-one (21) by Roman numerals and “O” which is reminiscent of the shape of the golf ball. The name “XXIO” comes with a wish of  “Golf balls flying towards the 21st century”. The …

CM Animation about Soap Made in Japan 100 years ago

Zen International Patents and Trademarks A soap advertisement movie that had been sold by “Nakayama Taiyodo” (now CLUB cosmetics Co.,LTD.) , a cosmetics manufacturer in Kobe was discovered at KOBE PLANET FILM ARCHIVE. This is 1 minute and 30 seconds animation movie.  It is said that this movie was produced by Seitaro Kitayama, the pioneer of Japanese animation. In one scene of this movie, the process of writing the characters “カテイ石鹸商標 (which means Trademark of KATEI soap)” with a pen is drawn with animation.  The characters are placed in the lower part of the painting “Mother and child” by French painter Rubrand.     Animation has been familiar to Japanese since 100 …

One scean of CM Animation about Soap

Cooperation with Brazil in the Field of Industrial Property

Zen International Patents and Trademarks On August 1, 2017, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the National Institute of Industrial Property of Brazil (INPI) agreed on a memorandum of cooperation to expand cooperation in the field of industrial property. The outline of the memorandum is as follows:  Exchanging information on IP systems and practices at the Offices, such as IP strategy, IP international treaties, legislation, regulations, guidelines and manuals, as well as on statistical data on IP administration Cooperation on substantive examinations including the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) and the Examiner Exchange Program (enhanced initiative) Cooperation in the field of Information Technology Cooperation in the field of human resources development for the officials …

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