(i) especially, “空調服”, or the EF Clothe, has been featured as a term indicating the Plaintiffs’ product, or as a product originated from the Plaintiff’s product “空調服”, many times in print media including national newspapers, magazines, and TV programs including national broadcast programs, “空調服” has been advertised by the Plaintiffs in various forms, and the number of companies which have introduced “空調服” has been increasing;
(ii) in addition to the term “空調服”, other general terms are used for the EF Clothe:
(iii) other manufacturers of the EF Clothe have been performing sales activities therefor under product names or brand names different from “空調服”; and
(iv) “空調服” sold by the Plaintiffs and their licensees still controlled about one-third (1/3) of the market of the EF Clothe in 2018 and 2019 even though many other companies had entered the EF Clothe market.
Considering the above-mentioned circumstances, it is acknowledged that the degree of recognition of “空調服” has been growing without loosing the function to indicate the source of the Plaintiffs’ product.
Therefore, at the time of the trial decision (rendered on April 30, 2020), as a result of the use of the Applied Trademark, consumers of the designated goods were able to recognize the goods as those pertaining to the business of the Plaintiffs. Therefore, the Applied Trademark falls under Article 3, Paragraph 2 of the Trademark Act.
【Keywords】Article 3, Paragraph 1, Item 3 of the Trademark Act, indication of the quality of goods, in a common manner, inherent distinctiveness, Article 3, Paragraph 2 of the Trademark Act, distinctiveness acquired through use
※ The contents of this article are intended to convey general information only and not to provide any legal advice.
Kei IIDA (Writer)
Attorney at Law & Patent Attorney (Daini Tokyo Bar Association)
Contact information for inquiries: firstname.lastname@example.org