“BON GOÛT” can be a valid trademark in Japan


Masaki MIKAMI  published an interesting article regarding the registrability of  “BON GOÛT” as a trademark in Japan.

This mark was filed for the following goods and services in Class 30 buns and bread, confectioneries, hamburgers, pizza, hot dogs, spices, noodles, pasta, coffee, tea, and Class 43 restaurant service, rental of cooking apparatus and microwave ovens.

Initially, the Patent Office refused this application based on absolute grounds, lack of distinctiveness for the specified goods and services due to the fact that “BON GOÛT” means good taste in French.

However, the Board of Appeal overruled this decision, stating that this sign can be a valid trademark because it has no meaning that can be understood by the relevant consumers in Japan who are not familiar with the French language as a whole.