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Registration of Two Color-per-se Trademarks as the First Case in Japan

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) began accepting applications for registering new types of trademarks in April 2015. Among these types, the JPO decided to approve the registration of two trademarks consisting of colors alone (color-per-se trademarks) as the first case in Japan of an approval of color-per-se trademarks.

Aiming to support the diversity of corporate branding strategies, the JPO, on April 1 2015, started accepting applications for registering new types of trademarks, such as sound, motion and color-per-se trademarks, in addition to the traditional trademarks consisting of letters and drawings. As of today, the JPO has accepted applications for registering approximately 1,500 trademarks of these new types, and of these, over 200 applications (other than color-per-se trademarks) have already been registered (for details, see the Appendix).

Concerning these applications for registering color-per-se trademarks, the JPO decided to approve two such trademarks on February 28, 2017, as the first case in Japan (see the Appendix). These approved trademarks will be officially registered after the applicants complete the registration payment procedures.

The new types of trademarks are expected to contribute significantly in the development of corporate branding strategies as non-alphabetical or non-character-based means of representing corporate brands throughout the rest of the world. The JPO will continue to endeavor to conduct appropriate examination practices for applications for registering these new types of trademarks and to support companies in establishing their branding strategies.

Appendix

Release date

March 1, 2017

Division in Charge

Trademark Division, Trademark and Customer Relations Department, JPO

Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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