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  5. Regional Collective Trademark Guide Book Issued

Regional Collective Trademark Guide Book Issued

- Collection of ten stories about successful regional brands -

March 30, 2020

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) issued a Regional Collective Trademark Guide Book, a compilation of: case examples of leading regional associations that have succeeded in vitalizing their regional brands by taking advantage of the Regional Collective Trademark System; and descriptions of the overview of the system.

1. Outline

The JPO prepared this guide book aiming to encourage regional associations to make use of the book as a reference in creating attractive regional brands.

The guide book features a section titled “Ten Stories about Successful Regional Brands” and explains the latest case examples of regional associations taking advantage of the Regional Collective Trademark System through their respective stories.

In addition, it also presents a variety of topics, such as “overview of efforts for creating regional brands,” “significance of regional brands and approaching to creating them,” “methods to be taken for acquisition of regional collective trademark rights” and “measures for supporting associations: consultations on how to file applications for regional collective trademarks and subsidies for filing such applications with offices in overseas countries.” These contents make the book an optimal compilation for readers that intend to engage in efforts for vitalizing regional brands.

2. Details of the section “Ten Stories about Successful Regional Brands” (case examples of leading associations taking advantage of regional collective trademarks)

The guide book provides efforts taken by ten associations for protecting and developing their regional brands, in particular, their actions against counterfeit products and those for maintaining and improving the trust in businesses and enhancing the collaboration among people in regional areas.

Front cover of the guide book

Case example of associations utilizing regional collective brands (excerpts from the guide book)

Regional collective trademarks explained in the section “Ten Stories about Successful Regional Brands”

A. Case examples of actions against counterfeit products
“Honba Oshima Tsumugi” (pongee) in Kagoshima Prefecture and “Kutaniyaki” (pottery) in Ishikawa Prefecture

B. Case examples of actions for improving the superiority of regional brands
“Gosen Knit” (knitted textile) in Niigata Prefecture and “Ibara Denim” (denim) in Okayama Prefecture

C. Case example of actions for improving trust in businesses
“Imakane Danshaku” (potatoes) in Hokkaido Prefecture

D. Case examples of actions for organization reinforcement
“Echizen-Wakasa no Jizake” (sake) in Fukui Prefecture and “Shuriori” (textile) in Okinawa Prefecture

E. Case example of actions for developing business overseas
“Kiryuori” (textile) in Gunma Prefecture

F. Case examples of actions for vitalizing regional areas
“Awajishima Sannen Torafugu” (globefish) in Hyogo Prefecture and “Yokote Yakisoba” (fried noodles) in Akita Prefecture

3. Distribution of the paper booklet announcement of the electronic booklet

The JPO has been distributing paper and electronic booklets of the guide book free of charge. If you wish to access the paper booklet, contact the division in charge shown at the end of this press release or your nearby Intellectual Property Office of the Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry or the Regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and the Okinawa General Bureau.

Please note that the number of paper booklets is limited. The electronic booklet is available free of charge. For details, visit the following websites.

Regional Collective Trademark Guide Book (on the JPO website)

Reference: Explanations of Intellectual Property Offices under the Regional Bureaus of Economy, Trade and Industry and other authorities (on the JPO website)

4. Outline of the Regional Collective Trademark System

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

Regional collective trademarks aim to appropriately protect regional brands, thereby contributing to supporting the consolidation of the industrial competitiveness and the revitalization of regional economies by maintaining the trust in businesses. As of the end of February 2020, 679 regional collective trademarks have been registered.

5. Renovation of the website for regional collective trademarks

On March 26 (Thur.), 2020, the JPO renovated its website for regional collective trademarks to provide an overview of the Regional Collective Trademark System and information on registered regional collective trademarks, measures for supporting associations, case examples of leading associations taking advantage of regional collective trademarks and other topics.

METI hopes that many of you will make use of the website.

Website for regional collective trademarks (on the JPO website)

Key points of the renovated website are as follows:

(1) Improving smooth access to desired information by streamlining and providing information by category of target user

Top webpage of the website for regional collective trademarks (excerpts from the website)

(2) Improving user-friendliness in searching registered regional collective trademarks (searches by combining names of prefectures, terms representing regional specialties and keywords are available.)

Top webpage of the website for regional collective trademarks (excerpts from the website)

Division in Charge

Trademark Division, Trademark and Customer Relations Department, Japan Patent Office