Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Trademark Application Reveals New TV Movie Hero!?

A name of new TV movie hero may have come to light before announcement. Toei Company, Ltd., a Japanese film, television production and distribution corporation, produces a series of special effects hero movies for children. Toei files a trademark application for the title of such a TV movie, because it produces much movie tie-in merchandise. A Japanese trademark application is usually publicly disclosed after about a month of filing date by Japan Patent Office. And now the name of the next hero is whispered by fans watching trademark applications. 

If you don't want your trademark to be disclosed before announcement, you have to delay trademark filing. However, if you do so, you have to take a risk of failing to get trademark registration, since Japanese trademark law adopts the first-to-file principle.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Catchphrase Will Be More Easily Trademarked in Japan

This year, new types of trademarks, i.e. Moving marks, Hologram marks, Color marks, Sound marks, and Position marks,  have become available for registration.  Next year, more catchphrases may become trademarked.

Japan Patent Office (JPO) will amend Trademark Examination Guidelines in April, 2016 to allow catchphrase to be registered in the examination phase.  Currently, as a general rule, catchphrase is not allowed for registration in the examination phase, and some catchphrases are allowed in the appeal board, depending on the situation. In the amendment next year, such catchphrases allowed in the appeal board are broken down into patterns to be registered in the examination phase.

Monday, September 28, 2015

NEC's Technology to Find Fake Products

Good news for genuine product manufactures.  NEC Corp. improved a technology to find fake products, called Object Fingerprint Authentication Technology.  It is realized by capturing surface of leather or fabric of a product on a smart phone and comparing with pre-registered data of the genuine product.  Impressed to know that such surface of product has uniqueness to differentiate a genuine product from a fake one.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Tokyo Walker v. Tokkyo Walker !?

Japan Patent Office (JPO) started to publish a public relations magazine to raise awareness of intellectual properties this year, and its Vol. 2 has become available on September 25.  The Vol. 2 features "Development of Region".

The title of the magazine is "Tokkyo Walker".  "Tokkyo" is the pronunciation of the Japanese word meaning "patent".  This title made me think of a famous town magazine "Tokyo Walker" published by KADOKAWA.  Only a single "k" of "Tokkyo" is outline character, and thus the JPO magazine obviously suggests the KADOKAWA's magazine.   Since the courts of Japan are intolerance in parody,  the court is likely to support KADOKAWA in the event of a dispute.

For this case, KADOKAWA is involved in producing and editing the JPO magazines.  So, we don't need to worry much about this.

The "Tokkyo Walker" is available on the JPO website.