Registrable Trademark (Art. 2)

Any characters, figures, signs, or three-dimensional shapes, or any combination thereof, or any combination thereof with colors, can be registered as a trademark. Color, sound and smell cannot be registered as trademarks. A word mark which is comprised of texts only such as alphabet, numerals, and Chinese characters can be filed as a simple text trademark. A definition of […]

General Grounds for Refusal (Art. 4)

 Article 4(1) defines nineteen grounds for refusals. The followings are typical grounds for refusal for trademark applications, which a patent and trademark attorney often receives from the Japan Patent Office. Trademark which breach of the principles of ordre public or morality (Art. 4(1)(7)) Trademark which contains a portrait or name of a person other than an applicant […]

Similarity (Art. 4(1)(10) and (11))

According to the Japanese trademark Law Article 4(1)(10) and (11), the following trademark is unregistrable. (10) Trademark which is identical with, or similar to, another party’s trademark which is well known to consumers (11) Trademark which is identical or similar to prior registered trademark When determining similarity between trademarks, three factores which are appearance, sound and idea  are considered.  […]

Distinctiveness (Art. 3(1))

According to the Japanese Trademark Law Article 3(1), the following marks are unregistrable due to lacking of distinctiveness. Trademark solely consisting of a mark indicating the common name of the goods or services in an ordinary manner (a trademark “watch” for goods “watch”) Trademark traditionally used with respect to particular goods or services (a trademark […]