Trademark decision report (the thermochromic sign “Ready to drink”)
June 1, 2020
|Registration No.||JP Reg. No. 6241211|
|Case Summary||The color and design of the graphic displayed on the package of the product (liquors) changes due to the temperature change by using thermochromic ink, and the sign “Ready to drink” appears in the trademark is registered as a hologram trademark.|
|Registration Date||March 31, 2020|
|Applicant||Takara Holdings Inc.|
Package in use
|Designated Goods and Class(es)||Sake, Japanese white liquor [Shochu], Sake substitute, Japanese sweet rice-based mixed liquor [Shiro-zake], Naoshi [Japanese liquor], Japanese Shochu-based mixed liquor [Mirin], Japanese sake [Nihonshu], effervescent Sake, unrefined sake, Awamori [distilled rice spirits], effervescent Japanese white liquor [Shochu], unrefined sake, effervescent unrefined sake, western liquors in general, alcoholic fruit beverages, Japanese Shochu-based beverages [Chuhai], Chinese liquors in general, flavored liquors, alcoholic beverages [except beer] in Class 33|
|Detailed description of mark||The trademark (henceforth a “trademark”) which is going to receive trademark registration is using reversible heat-sensitive ink, and some contents displayed by the temperature of the goods which attached the trademark are eggplants hologram trademarks about change of an appearance and disappearance. The number displayed on the lower right corner of each figure expresses the turn of the figure, and is not an element which constitutes a trademark. Although how for it to be visible by conditions differs, It is visible as the temperature of about 20 degrees C or more is shown in Fig.1, it is visible as how for it to be visible as temperature falls changes, the temperature which is about 16 degrees C shows to Fig.2 and the temperature of about 13 degrees C shows to Fig.3, and at the temperature of about 10 degrees C or less, it is visible as shown in Fig.4.|
“Hologram mark” means “words, devices, symbols, three-dimensional shapes or colors of the trademark that change, and that change by holography or other methods, other than the trademark that change over time (motion mark).
Therefore, the trademark changes by other methods than holography (the trademark changes depending on the viewing angle) and not a “motion mark” is included in the “hologram mark.” In this case, a trademark in which the displayed content changes depending on the temperature of the product bearing the trademark by using thermochromic ink is recognized as a “hologram mark” (a part of the trademark disappears or appears depending on the temperature).
A hologram mark is a type of changing mark, but it is considered that the state of change itself is not an element that constitutes the trademark. Rather the characters and figures before and after the change are the elements of the trademark. Therefore, it is considered that the change itself is not protected by the trademark law (indicating that the temperature at the time of drinking is indicated by the temperature indicating ink is an idea, and the trademark law does not protect the idea). The trademark right does not have the effect of displaying the drinking time itself, if the shape or design of the trademark is changed. Even so, the publicity value is great as a topic of a new type of trademark, which suggests a new possibility of protection by a trademark.
A hologram mark is a type of “changing mark” that is a “trademark consisting of characters, figures, symbols, three-dimensional shapes or colors or combinations thereof before and after the change” and it is considered that the state of change itself is not an element of the trademark, but the characters and figures before and after the change are the elements of the trademark. Moreover, indicating the temperature at the time of drinking by thermochromic ink is an idea and the trademark law does not protect the idea. Therefore, the change itself is not protected. If the shape or design of the trademark is dissimilar even it indicates the drinking time by thermochromic ink, it should be out of the scope of the trademark right. Even so, this topic is sufficiently newsworthy as a way of the use of a new type of trademark and suggests a new possibility of protection by a trademark.