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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. …

Sharp Plans to Launch High-end TV Brand in US

Zen International Patents and Trademarks Katsuaki Nomura, vice president of Sharp Corporation said that we were setting up new brand development for high-end TV in the United States. Sharp licenses trademarks such as “SHARP”, “AQUOS”, “Quattron” to Hisense in US until the end of 2020.  Under the trademark license agreement, Sharp is currently unable to use these trademarks in US. Therefore Sharp is planning to make a new brand for high-end TV such as 8K TV. By the way, Sharp is suing business partner Hisense, claiming the company is putting trademarks on low quality TVs.  

aquos 8K

Tombow Pencil’s New “Mono”

Zen International Patents and Trademark According to media reports on August 7, 2017, Tombow Pencil Co., Ltd. will release new erasers “Mono” with only blue-white-black striped pattern cases at the stationery stores and stationery corners nationwide.  On the case, no characters will not be depicted. Tombow Pencil’s standard type of “Mono” case design is as follows. On the other hand, New type of “Mono” case design is as follows.   The new type “Mono” are targeted for students who are restricted to bring belongings and clothes printed with characters, English letters, etc. at the test sites. Tombow Pencil’s blue-white-black striped pattern has been trademark registered as “Color per se mark” in Japan.   …

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

University decided to stop the use of it’s abbreviated name

Zen International Patents and Trademarks Japanese poeple become to pay more attention to the trademark rights after contravarsial issue that the logo for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Games designed by Mr. Sano was allaged to be plagiarised, occured. According to the news on 21st July 2017, Iwate prefectural university decided to stop to use it’s abbreviated name “IPU”, since incorporated school of Soshi Gakuen claimed trademark infringement. Soshi Gakuen is one of educational institutions and the owner of trademark “IPU”. This is a rare case that an educational institution claims based on trademark rights to a university, but such cases may often happen in the future.


Diapers for Pets

Zen International Patents and Trademark In Japanese aging society with declining birthrate, market share of disposable diapers for adults is bigger than that of disposable diapers for babies. To increase sales of disposable diapers for babies, each diaper manufacturing company has put emphasis on attracting foreign consumers. By the way, recently demand for other types of diaper has increased. That is a disposable diaper for an aging pet! Take Unicharm company for example, they have developed functional and fashionable diapers for dogs. (please see the image) The product name is “マナーウエア (manners wear)”, that is trademark registered in Japan. The concept is that pet owners enjoy going out with their …

Shrines and Trademarks

Zen International Patents and Trademark Most people do not intuitively think that shrines are related to trademarks. However, some shrines own trademarks in Japan. Looking at the website of Yushima Tenmangu which is one of the famous Japanese shrines, we can find the statement like “we are the owner of registered trademarks of 湯島天満宮(Yushima Tenmangu)”. All over Japan, each shrine sells small charm (omamori) or gifts such as stationery with shrine name. In that sense, trademark registration is necessary. Regarding Yushima Tenmangu, it owns more than 50 registered trademarks designating wide range of goods or services in Japan.   We do not know whether it is practically effective to designate widely, for …

Japan Character Award 2017ーThe grand prize was given to ”Pokemon”

Zen International Patents and Trademarks On June 28, 2017, Japan Character Award 2017 ceremony was held at Tokyo Big Sight.  The award is given to the most prominent character properties in Japan in the past year. The grand prize was given to “Pokemon”. Pokemon might be loved by people of all ages. Pokemon Go has been as big hit around the world, attracting not only kids but also adults. In addition, retail sales of Pokemon goods has increased steadily and gave a big influence to the market. By the way, according to the data provided by Character Databank Corporation, retail sales of character merchandise in Japan reached one trillion and six hundred billion yen in 2016. Japan …

“G-SHOCK” experiences a resurgence in popularity

Zen International Patents and Trademarks Casio G-SHOCK, which was released from Casio Computer Co., Ltd. in 1983, is now experiencing a resurgence in popularity. G-SHOCK shipments in fiscal 2016 was 8.5 million units and reached record high. Well-known brands like “G-SHOCK” are often targeted for imitation. In the past, a huge number of “G-SHOCK” counterfeit products including those with the mark such as “A-SHOCK” etc.  appeared in the markets. Casio owns 26 trademark registrations from “A-SHOCK” to “Z-SHOCK” as a countermeasure for imitation. By the way, “G” of the G-SHOCK is the word derived from “gravity”.

Welcome back ”Aiwa”

Zen International Patents and Trademarks Great but almost forgotten brand, ”Aiwa” reportedly will make a come back. In February, “Towada Audio” of Akita Prefecture in Japan was granted “Aiwa” brand license from Sony and established a new company to release CD boombox, 4K TV equipment and other equipment from September. Speaking of ”Towada Audio”, it has build a strong relationship with Sony for a long time as EMS (Electronics Manufacturing Services) supplier. This news is a hot topic among strong fan of ”Aiwa” brand in Japan.  

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