The trademark “ ” (T-9 and its transliteration in Japanese Katakana, in classes 5, 30 and 32) has been registered in Japan.
Japanese trademark law provides that a trademark that consists solely of a very simple and common mark cannot be registered.
The above-captioned trademark “” was rejected in the examination stage. The examiner asserted that this trademark consists of the words ”T-9” in the upper line and “its transliteration in Japanese Katakana” in the lower line in a common manner. “T” is one of the alphabetic characters used broadly and typically as codes or signs for trade to show models, specification and the like and the above-captioned trademark is a combination of hyphenated of the alphabetic character and the number and its transliteration in Japanese Katakana. Thus, it should be considered to be a trademark consisting solely of a very simple and common mark.
The applicant filed an appeal of the rejection. The three appeal examiners judged that it is difficult to say that the above-captioned trademark consists solely of a very simple and common mark because the examiners did not find any facts that a trademark consisting of a hyphenated combination of an alphabetic character and a number is generally used as a code in the field of its designated goods. Besides, the above-captioned trademark consists of ”T-9” as well as ” transliteration of T-9 in Japanese Katakana”. Thus, it should not be considered to be a trademark consisting solely of a very simple and common mark. Thus, the trademark “” can substantially fulfill the requirement of distinctive character.