JPO Finds Applied-for Trademark “” (Two-Sword Style) in Chinese Characters Not Merely Descriptive
August 29, 2023
|Appeal Number||Rejection 2022-14074 (JP. Appl. No. 2021-120080)|
A trademark consisting of the Chinese characters , meaning “two-sword style”, is not merely indicative of a quality or efficacy of products in relation to “Toothpaste, etc.” in class 3 and “Dental floss, etc.” in class 21.
|Date of Decision||
May 29, 2023
Kobayashi Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
“Antistatic preparations for household purposes; de-greasing preparations for household purposes; rust removing preparations; stain removing benzine; fabric softeners for laundry use; laundry bleach; adhesives for affixing false hair; laundry starch; seaweed gelatin for laundry use [funori]; adhesives for affixing false eyelashes; paint stripping preparations; shoe cream; shoe black [shoe polish]; polishing preparations; soaps and detergents; dentifrices; cosmetics; perfume and flavor materials; incense” in class 3“Dental floss [floss for dental purposes]; yukakibo [Japanese bath utensils for hot bathtub water]; bathroom stools; bathroom pails; heating or cooling packs filled with chemical substances ready to react when required” in class 21
|Summary of Judgment||
The trademark of this Application consists of Chinese characters (English translation: “two-sword style”) in standard characters, which means, “swordsmanship, a sword technique in which one sword is held in each hand” or referring, in Japan, to “playing in baseball as both a pitcher and a fielder.” However, it does not directly indicate the specific quality or efficacy of the goods in relation to the designated goods of the Application.
In addition, although the word “two-sword style” is used in the descriptions or explanations of products in the related industry, it is used in conjunction with other words or descriptions, not the phrase alone.
Therefore, the applied-for trademark does not indicate a quality or efficacy of goods and is not merely descriptive.
Shohei Otani’s success has led to the phrase “two-sword style” being widely used to describe products with two effects or functions. However, it was judged that it would be difficult to determine the specific quality and efficacy of the product based solely on this phrase.