Appeal decision report (kojifujita)
July 2, 2020
|Appeal number||Rejection2018-15972（JP Appl. No. 2017-52718）|
|Case summary||A trademark that represents “kojifujita” in Roman letters is “a trademark that contains the name of another person.”|
|Date of decision||January 20, 2020|
|Demandant (Applicant)||Cool Japan K.K.|
|Designated Goods and Class(es)||Cakes; (the rest is omitted) in Class 30|
A person whose name is “Koji Fujita” actually exists and the name is often written in Roman letters in Japan. Even if it is written in lowercase Roman letters without a space between the first name and the last name, it is natural to assume that the applied-for-mark is easily recognized as a person’s name “Fujita Koji” written in Roman letters.
Therefore, the applied-for-mark should be “a trademark that contains the name of another person” (Trademark Law Article 4-1-8).
The purpose of the Trademark Law Article 4-1-8 is to protect the moral interests of the person (including organizations such as corporations), names, names, etc., that is, without their consent.
In the past, when the applicant was a celebrity and another person was unknown, there was a decision to grant the registration that there is no risk of damaging the moral interests, but the protection of moral interests is not relevant to whether the person is well-known or unknown. As long as another person with the same name actually exists, there is almost no room for registration without the consent of the other person.
However, for relatively recent ones such as “MASASHIYAMAGUCHI” (Appeal No. 2015-15023) and “junhashimoto” (Appeal No. 2014-16939), which are represented in series without spaces, it was difficult to recognize it as a “last name” and “first name”, and it was natural to consider it as a kind of coined word. The rejection in this case may be due to the increasing number of cases where names are displayed in series, such as domain names.
In addition, “Takuya Yokozawa” (Dissatisfaction 2017-5040) was not found on the “Hello Page” nationwide, and the fact that it was possible to identify a real stranger with the same name was not found, and registration was accepted.
Therefore, if the spelling or notation is unique, the possibility of registration will increase.