JPO: Trademark “THE TONKATSU” Registrable – Distinctive and Not Misleading
August 31, 2022
|Appeal number||Rejection 2021-013544 (JP Appl. No. 2020-008193)|
|Case summary||It is unreasonable to say that the applied-for-trademark “THE TONKATSU” consists solely of a mark indicating quality of the designated goods “batter mixes for pork cutlets” in a common manner. It is reasonable to say that “THE TONKATSU” could be distinctive and unreasonable to say that it misleads as to quality of the goods.|
|Date of decision||July 19, 2022|
|Demandant (Applicant)||Nisshin Seifun Group Inc.|
THE TONKATSU (Standard characters)
|Designated Goods/Services and Class(es)||
Batter mixes for pork cutlets in class 30
The applied-for-trademark consists of letter string “THE TONKATSU” in standard characters. “THE” of the applied-for-trademark is a plain word known as a definite article in English and is used to indicate a specific noun, etc. “TONKATSU” could be understood as a word meaning “pork cutlets” in Latin alphabet. Thus, it is difficult to say that “THE TONKATSU” indicates quality or intended purposes of the amended designated goods “batter mixes for pork cutlets” directly and specifically because “THE TONKATSU” is implied from the trademark as a whole in meaning.
The appeal examiners did not find that “THE TONKATSU” has been commonly used in trading to indicate quality or intended purposes in the fields of the designated goods through ex-officio searches. In addition, the appeal examiners did not find any circumstances to determine that traders and consumers should perceive “THE TONKATSU” as indications of quality or intended purposes of the goods.
With the above in mind, it is unreasonable to say that the applied-for-trademark consists solely of a mark indicating quality of the designated goods in a common manner. It is reasonable to say that the applied-for-trademark could be distinctive and unreasonable to say that it misleads as to quality of the goods.
Thus, the applied-for-trademark should be registered.
The applicant limited the designated goods from “wheat flour; flour; and batter mixes” to “batter mixes for pork cutlets” in class 30 to overcome the Grounds of misleading as to quality.