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General Election for Outstanding Regional Brands in Tokai and Hokuriku Regions to be Held

University students will take the initiative to discover and promote the attractiveness of new regional brands

July 31, 2018

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) and the regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry, i.e. METI Kanto Bureau, Chubu Bureau and Kansai Bureau, will hold an event titled “General Election for Outstanding Regional Brands in the Tokai and Hokuriku Regions,” aiming to further popularize the Regional Collective Trademark System, an initiative contributing to establishing and protecting regional brands, and to encourage organizations to utilize the system.

In this event, university students in the regions will hold interviews with organizations that have registered their goods/services under the Regional Collective Trademark System, and will use their Instagram accounts to promote the products. In addition, these students will hold brainstorming discussions on new products or new business.

1. Purpose

Regional collective trademarks aim to appropriately protect regional brands, contributing to supporting the consolidation of the industrial competitiveness and the revitalization of regional economies by promoting the trustworthness of businesses. As of the end of June 2018, 631 regional collective trademarks have been registered.

The JPO and the METI Kanto Bureau, Chubu Bureau and Kansai Bureau will hold an event titled “General Election for Outstanding Regional Brands in the Tokai and Hokuriku Regions,” aiming to further popularize the Regional Collective Trademark System with general consumers and organizations that intend to acquire a regional collective trademark and to further encourage organizations to utilize such trademarks.

2. Outline of the event

(1) Participating associations and universities

The following organizations and universities will participate in the event.

Prefecture Organization Title of the goods/services registered under the Regional Collective Trademark System University
Aichi Prefecture

Minnade Toyokawa Shi wo Moriage Tai (NPO for uniting everyone’s efforts to vitalize Toyokawa City)

Toyokawa Inarizushi (rice-ball type sushi)

Nagoya University

Aichi Ken Tokigawara Kogyo Kumiai (industrial association for manufacturers of ceramic tiles for roofing)

Sanshugawara (tiles for roofing)

Toyohashi Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Toyohashi Curry Udon (noodles)

Ishikawa Prefecture

Noto Fugu Jigyo Kyodo Kumiai (cooperative association for balloon fish businesses in the Noto area)

Noto Fugu (glovefish)

Kanazawa Seiryo University

Komatsu Udon Tsurutsuru Soken (NPO for popularizing Komatsu Udon)

Komatsu Udon (noodles)

Gifu Prefecture

Minowashi Brand Cooperative Society

Minowashi (traditional Japanese paper)

Gifu University

Japan Agricultural Cooperatives, Megumino

Hirugano Kogen Daikon (radish)

Hida Woodworking Federation

Hida no Kagu / Hida Takayama no Kagu (wooden furniture)

Shizuoka Prefecture

Kannami Tobu Nogyo Kyodo Kumiai (agricultural cooperative for the eastern area of Kannami)

Tanna Gyunyu (milk)

College of International Relations, Nihon University

JA Topia-Hamamatsu

Mikatahara Bareisho (potatoes)

Shizuoka University of Art and Culture

Yuiko Gyogyo Kyodo Kumiai (fisheries cooperative in the Yui area)

Yui Sakuraebi (spotted shrimp)

Shizuoka University

Toyama Prefecture

Uozu Gyogyo Kyodo Kumiai (fisheries cooperative in the Uozu area)

Uozu Bai Meshi (steamed rice with small water snails)

Toyama University of International Studies

Dento Kogei Takaoka Doki Shinko Kyodo Kumiai (cooperative for vitalization of Takaoka copperware as traditional craft)

Takaoka Doki (copperware)

Toyama University

Fukui Prefecture

ObamaShi Shokuhin Kako Kyodo Kumiai (cooperative for food processing businesses in Obama City)

Wakasa Karei (flatfish)

Fukui Prefectural University

Awara Onsen Ryokan Kyodo Kumiai (cooperative for hotel businesses in the Awara hot spring area)

Awara Onsen (hot springs)

Fukui University

Mie Prefecture

Mie Ken Kumihimo Kyodo Kumiai (cooperative for braided cord businesses in Mie Prefecture)

Iga Kumihimo (braided cords)

Mie University

Mie Ken Imono Kogyo Kumiai(Mie Ken Cast Metal Industrial Cooperative)

Kuwana Imono (cast metal)

Ise Katagami Kyodo Kumiai (cooperative for kimono-pattern businesses in the Ise area)

Ise Katagami (paper patterns)

Suzuka University

(2) Interviews to be held by university students

Near the beginning of August, students from the above universities will start holding interviews with participating organizations. Following this, these students will hold brainstorming discussions on new products or new business, based on which the interviewees may develop new businesses.

Near the beginning of September, these students will start communicating information collected from the interviews to the public. They will make use of their Instagram accounts to promote the interviewees to the public.

Note: Pictures posted on the SNS will include the official watermark below representing the mark of the Regional Collective Trademark System.

(3) General Election for Outstanding Regional Brands in Tokai and Hokuriku Regions

The JPO will examine the teams of participating organizations and universities and select 10 or so outstanding teams based on certain criteria (e.g., quality of information conveyed via the Instagram account, the number of “Likes” of the Instagram account and ideas on new products or new business). The selected teams will go on to the final.

In the final, these selected teams will make a presentation. The JPO will examine the details of the presentation and determine winners for the Grand Award (tentative title) and other awards.

Outline of the final:

Scheduled date: December (week day) 2018
Venue: Nagoya City, Aichi Prefecture

3. Reference: Outline of the system

Under the Regional Collective Trademark System, regional business cooperatives, industry associations, chambers of commerce and industry, NPOs and other associations are able to register their own trademarks using a combination of the name of the region and the name of the product or service, if they satisfy predetermined requirements.

Note: For the summary of the system and details of the regional collective trademarks that have been registered across Japan, visit the following JPO website:

Division in Charge

Trademark Division, Trademark and Customer Relations Department, JPO