Brief IP news

briefs_1131.    Anti-Scam Network Meeting – 19 April 2018. For more information here.

2. Carr J in Conversant v ZTE. For more information here.

3. Key elements of the EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement. For more information here.


The Japanese Patent Office refused “JUST DO IT” trademark


Masaki Mikami reports about an interesting news for a refusal of Nike’s application for a trademark “JUST DO IT” in Class 3. This application relies on the so-called defensive trademark, a concept in trademark law in Japan, according to which an owner of a trademark with reputation can file an application to unrelated goods and services.

Nike did that, however, The Japanese Patent Office refused the application due to lack of evidence whether this mark is well-known for the goods in class 25, on which it is based.

The Board of Appeal upheld this decision. Although the Board admitted a certain degree of reputation on the term “JUST DO IT”, there is no sufficient evidence which to show clearly that this sign serves as a trade origin for the goods in Class 25.

“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.

Registration of trademarks in Japan – a Guidance

japanese-flagThe Japanese Patent Office published a very useful Guidance for registration of Japanese trademarks. The good news here, for all foreign practitioners, is that the paper is translated into English which is really helpful.

More information can be found here.

Patent enforcement in Japan

1280px-Flag_of_Japan.svg“Patent enforcement through the courts in Japan” is an interesting article in Lexology by  Rebecca Chen, Tetsuo Tsukanaka and Tatsuya Sawada.

The article covers the main moments typical for the patent enforcement in Japan, which courts are responsible for such cases and some characteristics of the enforcement process in the country.

More information here.