JPO Finds Applied-for Trademark “Skin Care Towel” Nondistinctive
October 5, 2022
|Appeal Number||Rejection 2021-7589（JP Appl.2019-166995）|
A trademark consisting of “Skin Care Towel” in Japanese katakana characters is merely indicative of a quality of products in relation to towels (as a product), and textile products made of towel cloth.
|Date of Decision||
May 13, 2022
Uchino CO., LTD.
（“Skin Care Towel” in Japanese katakana standard characters）
“Woven fabric made of towel [cloth]; woven textile goods for personal use made of towel [cloth]; mosquito net made of towel [cloth]; bed sheets made of towel [cloth]; bed quilts made of towel [cloth]; quilt covers made of towel [cloth]; unstuffed mattress made of towel [cloth]; pillowcases made of towel [cloth]; and blankets made of towel [cloth]; dish towels” in class 24
|Summary of Judgement||
The Trademark of this Application consists of Japanese katakana indicating the English phrase “Skin Care Towel” in standard characters. The terms “Skin Care” and “Towel” are both familiar to the general public in Japan, so from the entire phrase of “skin care towel,” ordinary consumers of the designated goods would merely understand the phrase to mean “a towel for skin care.”
In addition, in the field of woven fabric, there are (1) towels that contribute to skin care are sold under the name of “skin care towels,” (2) products that are used for skin care, and (3) websites in which introduce how to select and use towels for skin care.
Therefore, if consumers saw the applied-for trademark on the designated goods, they would merely consider the goods to be “for skin care,” generally. Thus, the applied-for trademark indicates a quality or purpose of goods and lacks distinctiveness.
There is no direct relationship between skin care and towels. However, “towels for skin care” are commonly sold under the description of “Skin Care Towel”. In conclusion, the examining board judged that the applied-for mark merely indicates a quality or purpose of goods in relation to towels.