Managing IP is part of the Delinian Group, Delinian Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX, Registered in England & Wales, Company number 00954730
Copyright © Delinian Limited and its affiliated companies 2023

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Trademark trends in Japan

Speaking at the JPO Users’ Meeting, Kazuhiro Kimura gave an update on application figures and how the Office is improving its service

There have been 1,291 applications for the new types of non-traditional trademarks accepted in Japan beginning April 2015.

As of April 30 2016, 66 of these have been registered, according to figures provided by Kazuhiro Kimura, Director of the Trademark Policy Planning Office at the Japan Patent Office.

Speaking at the JPO Users’ Meeting, Kimura said that the 66 registrations comprised 32 sound marks, 28 motion marks, five position marks and one hologram mark. There had been some applications for single colors, he added, but none has yet been granted: “We are still carefully examining whether the applied-for marks are distinctive.”

Kimura also provided the audience of Japanese and foreign practitioners with data on trademark trends in Japan, noting that the number of applications has been increasing steadily since 2011, with China being the biggest driver of growth.

The Office has taken a number of steps to improve its service to users, including shortening the period of time to first action, revising the Trademark Examination Guidelines and clarifying the classification of goods and services. Last year, trademark registration fees were reduced by about 25% and renewal fees by about 20%.

The Office is involved in international cooperation, including through the TM5 framework and with the ASEAN region. In the TM5, Japan is responsible for projects on bad faith trademark filing, image search for figurative trademarks and improving the user-friendliness of international trademark applications.

Another area it is focused on is anticounterfeiting. Recent surveys of businesses and consumers have been carried out and show, said Kimura, that: “We need to work on trademark awareness.” To this end, a Manga cartoon contest has been run.

Junichi Honda of Otsuka Pharmaceutical Co elaborated on what Japanese industry is doing to tackle counterfeiting, providing case studies from Toshiba, Toyota, Asics, Sumitomo and Lixil. These demonstrated the value of various strategies, including Customs seizures, effective labelling, anticounterfeiting technology and Internet ­monitoring.

The case studies showed, said Honda, that “Japanese companies take aggressive actions against counterfeits, but there is a restriction placed by [factors such as] budget and human resources.”

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

Patient groups and generics makers may have to bear the brunt of India’s latest attempt at patent reform
Each week Managing IP speaks to a different IP lawyer about their life and career
Paolo Tavolato, who will share the role, said private equity support would help the IP consultancy achieve its ambitious M&A plans
Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas has hired former Anand & Anand partner Swati Sharma and hopes to compete with specialist IP firms
Rapporteur-Judge András Kupecz ruled that education and training weren’t legitimate reasons for a member of the public to access documents
Searches for comparison prior art will be a little easier, but practitioners will have to put more thought into claim construction and design patent titles
The Helsinki local division rejected AIM Sport’s request for a preliminary injunction in a dispute with rival Supponor
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis coverage from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
The FTC’s plans to scrutinise improperly listed Orange Book patents could make these listings more important in litigation, but firms should be looking at this anyway
Counsel at Debevoise & Plimpton explain how they helped food delivery business Grubhub avoid a preliminary injunction at the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit