The JPO appeal examiners concluded that “DURABLE PULLER” designating zipper pulls should be registered
March 30, 2022
|Appeal number||Rejection 2021-009638 (JP Appl. No. 2020-005010)|
|Case summary||The applied-for-trademark “DURABLE PULLER” is allowed to be registered because it does not indicate the quality of goods and because there is no likelihood of misleading as to the quality of goods.|
|Date of decision||February 15, 2022|
|Demandant (Applicant)||YKK Corporation|
|Designated Goods/Services and Class(es)||
Zipper pulls in class 26
The applied-for-trademark consists of the letter string “DURABLE PULLER”. The fonts and sizes of the letters are the same and the letters are integrated and harmonized with a spacing between “DURABLE” and “PULLER” in single row.
The English word “DURABLE” has a meaning of “long-lasting (clothing, materials, objects, and others); enduring;” and “PULLER” has a meaning of “the person [thing] that pulls”. The combination of “DURABLE” and “PULLER” does not form a set phrase. The combined meaning of the words is vague. Further, both words are not familiar foreign words in Japan. Thus, the specific meaning of “DURABLE PULLER” is not easily recognized.
The appeal examiners did not find that “DURABLE PULLER” or similar letters have been commonly used as indications of quality and other such characteristics in field of the designated goods. In addition, the appeal examiners did not find any circumstances to determine that traders and consumers should recognize “DURABLE PULLER” as indications of quality and other such characteristics of the goods.
Under the circumstances, the applied-for-trademark does not indicate quality and there is no likelihood of misleading as to quality in field of the designated goods because the meaning of the applied-for-trademark is not specifically and easily recognized.
The applicant limited the designated goods to “zipper pulls” at filing an appeal against the refusal decision to overcome grounds for refusal that the applied-for-trademark is likely to mislead as to quality of goods if it is used on goods other than “zipper pulls” because the applied-for-trademark is recognized as “durable pulls”.