IP registration in Japan
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the word “TOKYO 2020”

Zen International Patents and Trademarks A citizen of Aichi Prefecture, selling pin badges with the word “TOKYO 2020” has been arrested. The word “TOKYO 2020” is a registered trademark owned by the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. According to the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department, the detection of infringement of the word mark “TOKYO 2020” is the first case in Japan. The suspect denied the charge and told he did not think the word “TOKYO 2020” is a trademark. Brand Protection Standers of the Tokyo Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games specifies that all intellectual properties including emblems, logos and designations relating to the Olympic and Paralympic …

iTQi – The International Taste & Quality Institute

Zen International Patents and Trademarks Recently, lots of Japanese food and beverage companies have tried to win iTQi award. iTQi, “the international taste & quality Institute”, based in Brussels is the world’s leading organization dedicated to testing and promoting superior food and drink products. Taste and Quality of food/beverage is judged by food and drink opinion leaders such as Michelin starred Chefs and Sommeliers. One of our clients won the iTQi “Superior Taste Award 2017” and earned three stars, which is the highest mark. (We assisted them to file iTQi.) iTQi will grant a free license of use of iTQi related marks, such as logos and graphics, to the awarded companies for …

Status of non-traditional trademarks in Japan

Zen International Patents and Trademarks Almost 2 years have passed since the Japan Patent Office (the “JPO”)  started accepting applications for non-traditional trademarks, such as sounds, holograms, colors (without delineated contours), positions and moving images. According to the JPO’s database as of June 7, 2017, the JPO received 1,276 applications for non-traditional trademarks and among them, 252 have been registered for now. The breakdown of no. of registration is as follows: Sound marks : 133 Holograms: 10 Colors:2 Positions: 33 Moving images: 74 With respect to color marks, only 2 have been registered among 406 applications. Registration of color trademarks becomes a challenge since JPO requires high level of awareness to …

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Zen International Patents and Trademarks It turned out that Toyota Motor Corporation filed a trademark application for its new SUV car name in the U.S. in May 25, 2017. The trademark is “TJ CRUISER” and its application number is 87464145. Toyota discontinued the production of popular SUV “FJ Cruiser” at the end of August 2016. It is rumored that “TJ CRUISER” is the name of successor SUV to “FJ Cruiser”.   

Cooperation with India in the Field of Industrial Property

Zen International Patents and Trademarks On 24th May 2017, the Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the Intellectual Property India (IPI) signed a new action plan on the industrial property field. The outline of the action plan is as follows: Human resource development in industrial property field Training for new patent examiners in India Follow-up training for new patents examiners in India Dispatch of experts on Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) from Japan to India Holding seminars on Indian intellectual property system in Japan Cooperation in raising awareness about intellectual property and promoting innovation Based on the action plan, JPO will strengthen cooperation with IPI and support the speeding up of patent examination in India (IPI aims …


Examples of Bad Faith Trademark Filing

 Zen International Patents and Trademarks TM5 has released 50 examples of trademak applications which registrations were canceled as “bad faith filing” in each country such as the United States, China, Japan and so on. ※TM5 is a cooperative framework that is comprised of the Japan Patent Office (JPO), the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market (OHIM), the State Administration for Industry & Commerce (SAIC) and the Korean Intellectual Property Office (KIPO). Part of the examples are shown as below. 【Source: http://www.meti.go.jp/press/2017/05/20170522001/20170522001.html】 As Japanese example, “KUMA vs. PUMA case” is cited. The trademark “KUMA(which means “bear” in Japanese) + bear’s silhouette design” was cancelled since the mark was likely to cause …

Brand Protection related to Tokyo Olympic Games-Paralympic Games

Zen International Patents and Trademarks Himeji City of Hyogo Prefecture announced on May 12, 2017  that it will remove the term “2020 Tokyo Olympic-Paralympic” from the mark which was designed to promote Himeji sports, culture and tourisum activities, looking ahead to Tokyo Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games. Please see the image: The left one is the logo with the term “2020 Tokyo Olympic-Paralympic” & “Himeji Project”. The right one is the mark after removing the term “2020 Tokyo Olympic-Paralympic”.           (Image Source: https://mainichi.jp/articles/20170513/k00/00e/040/273000c)   According to the media report, Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games requested Himeji City not to use the term “2020 Tokyo Olympic-Paralympic”. Brand Protection Standers of …

Cartoon characters as promotion tool

Zen International Patents and Trademarks The Ministry of the Environment of Japan has released animation on the web to promote their “Cool Choice” campaign which aims to call young people’s attention to environmental issues. In the animation, two cartoon characters appeare and tell us how to prevent global warming.  For the Ministry of the Environment, it is a new attempt in terms of using cartoon characters. By the way, the name of two cartoon characters are “Kimino Ima” (which means “your present”) and “Kimino Mirai” (which means “your future”). Those charcters were chosen from submissions from the public.   The character designs of “Kimino Ima” and “Kimino Mirai”  have been filed for trademark applications in the name of the Minister …

Logo mark and Trademark research

Zen International Patents and Trademarks The Attraction Committee, which plans to invite the 2025 International Exposition in Osaka, pays close attention to the task of selecting symbol marks (logo marks) used for the attraction activities. The task of selecting logo marks used for the 2020 Olympic Games in Japan caused various problems such as allegations of plagiarism. Some of them were brought to court. From such experiences, The Attraction Committee will ultimately decide the logo mark after confirming the results of the trademark search so that problems do not arise.

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The number of PCT applications has reached a record high

Zen International Patents and Trademarks The number of PCT applications received by Japan Patent Office (JPO) in 2016 was 44,495, a record high. On the other hand, the number of patent applications filed with JPO have been gradually decreasing in recent years. This indicates that Japanese companies focus on selection and concentration of business operations, and promote business overseas. Besides, the number of design applications was 30,879, and the number of trademark applications was 161,859, both of which increased from the previous year.

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