The trademark “tomato in wonder sweets” (wordmark, in class 30) has been registered in Japan.
The Japanese examination guidelines for trademarks provides that trademarks by which consumers are unable to recognize the goods or services such as those pertaining to a business of a particular person are unregistrable.
Generally, mottos, such as catchphrases, fall under this provision.
The above-captioned trademark “tomato in wonder sweets” was rejected in the examination stage because the examiner asserted that the mark is only a catchphrase and that the trademark is indistinctive.
The applicant filed an appeal of the rejection. The three appeal examiners judged that it is difficult to consider “tomato in wonder sweets” as a catchphrase and that it is fully distinctive.