Appeal decision report (AI EXPO) | ONDA TECHNO Intl. Patent Attys.[Japan Patent Firm] | Gifu City

Appeal decision report (AI EXPO) | ONDA TECHNO Intl. Patent Attys.[Japan Patent Firm] | Gifu City

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Appeal decision report (AI EXPO)

July 28, 2021
Noriko Yashiro

Appeal number Rejection 2020-011745 (JP Appl. No. 2018-125342)
Case summary “AI EXPO” is allowed to be registered because it is unreasonable to say that it consists solely of a mark indicating quality and other such characteristics in the fields of the designated services in a common manner.
Date of decision June 10, 2021
Demandant (Applicant) Reed Exhibitions Japan Ltd.
Trademark(s)

AI EXPO

Designated Goods/Services and Class(es)

Arranging and conducting of trade fairs in class 35 and others.

Judgement

The applied-for-trademark consists of the letter string ”AI EXPO”. It is unreasonable to say that it should be perceived as indications of quality directly and specifically in the fields of the designated services, even if it is commonly known that “AI” means “artificial intelligence” and that “EXPO” means “1. international exhibition; international trade fairs, 2. fairs” and if ”AI EXPO” might be perceived as “expo for AI” as a whole. 

The appeal examiners did not find that ”AI EXPO” has been commonly used in trading to indicate specific quality in the fields of the designated services through ex-officio searches. In addition, the appeal examiners did not find any circumstances to determine that traders and consumers should perceive ”AI EXPO” as indications of quality of the services.

With the above in mind, it is unreasonable to say that it consists solely of a mark indicating quality and other such characteristics in the fields of the designated services in a common manner.

Thus, the refusal decision in the examination stage should be withdrawn.

Comments

The applicant argued that the applied-for-trademark ”AI EXPO” does not fall under indication of “quality of the services” because of its language structure, suggestion of understandable meanings, actual trade situations in adopting a trademark for exhibition, and others. In addition, the applicant argued that there is no valid argument that the applied-for-trademark ”AI EXPO” lacks distinctiveness because the letter string ”AI EXPO” has not been commonly used in terms of actual use.