JPO’s appeal examiners concluded that is similar to and (Canon in Japanese Katakana characters) with regard to baseball bats
Japanese trademark law provides that if a mark is identical/similar to another person’s registered trademark that has been filed prior to the filing date of an application for registration of the mark, and if the designated goods/services of the registered trademark are identical/similar to the designated goods/services of the mark, the mark shall not be registered.
The appeal examiners considered that the trademark (BLACKCANNON and BLACKCANNON in Japanese Katakana characters) consists of two words, “BLACK” meaning a type of color and “CANNON” meaning a very large gun and that the word “BLACK” is used for specifying a color with regard to the designated goods, baseball bats. And the appeal examiners considered that consumers and traders recognize that the word “BLACK” indicates only a color description, but not distinctiveness.
Meanwhile, and (Canon in Japanese Katakana characters) are famous as indications of goods made by Canon Inc. between consumers and traders.
In light of the above, it is appropriate to judge similarities between the subject trademarks based on “CANNON” of , “ (CANNON in Japanese Katakana characters)“ and /.
Although and are different in number of characters and uppercase/lowercase characters, both have “CAN”/”Can” and “ON”/”on” in common. Further, they have common sounds and concepts.
Although the element of and are different in existence of and the proportions of characters, specifically , both have approximate impressions. Further, they have common sounds and concepts.
Under the circumstances, the appeal examiners concluded that and / are similar since they have common sounds and concepts and approximate impressions in appearance.