The use of the marks (ALPHA in Katakana characters plus GPC), and/or (ALPHAGPC in Katakana characters) is considered as the use of the registered trademark (ALPHAGPC in Katakana characters and ALPHA GPC) in a non-use cancellation request
Japanese trademark law provides that a mark deemed identical from a common sense perspective with a registered trademark, a mark consisting of characters identical with a registered trademark but in different fonts, a mark that is written in different characters, Hiragana characters, Katakana characters, or Latin alphabetic characters, from a registered trademark but identical with a registered trademark in terms of pronunciation and concept, and a mark consisting of figures that are considered identical in terms of appearance as those of a registered trademark are included in a registered trademark in non-use cancellations.
The appeal examiners considered that in the above-captioned registered trademark (ALPHAGPC in Katakana characters and ALPHA GPC) it should be considered that the portion shows the transliteration of the portion rather than a repetition of the word because the types of characters between and are different.
In this regard, the appellant contended that the above-captioned registered trademark should be considered as a whole and that the sound should be considered only “ALPHAGPC ALPHAGPC”. However, the appeal examiners considered that the sound “ALPHAGPC ALPHAGPC” is redundant and that the portions and are recognized separately in appearance and that the sound of the portion is clearly identical with and that it is natural to understand that specifies the sound of .
Meanwhile, it is clear that the sound of (ALPHA in Katakana characters plus GPC) is “ALPHAGPC”. The spelling of is identical to that of the latter portion of the registered trademark as well. Also (ALPHAGPC in Katakana characters) is identical to the former portion of the registered trademark .
And the sounds of the three marks, (ALPHA in Katakana characters plus GPC), and (ALPHAGPC in Katakana characters) are “ALPHAGPC”.
Under the circumstances, the appeal examiners concluded that the three marks are substantially the same as the registered trademark from common sense perspective since they have common characters as well as sounds and that the registered trademark should be maintained