The JPO appeal examiners concluded that DNZ is dissimilar to DMZ
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 subject trademark DNZ is pronounced as “D” ”N” ”Z”, does not have any specific meaning, and is unfamiliar. Thus, the subject trademark DNZ should be considered a coined word without any specific concept.
Meanwhile, the cited trademark DMZ is pronounced as “D” ”M” ”Z”, does not have any specific meaning, and is unfamiliar. Thus, the subject trademark DMZ should be considered a coined word without any specific concept.
As to appearance, both trademarks are composed of only three Latin alphabetic characters. Thus, consumers and traders can readily distinguish DNZ from DMZ by the difference of the second character, “N” and “M”.
As to sound, both trademarks are likely pronounced clearly by each character. Thus, the difference between “n” and “m” will be distinguished readily.
As to concept, both trademarks are coined words. Thus, there is no likelihood of confusion.
Under the circumstances, the appeal examiners concluded that DNZ and DMZ are dissimilar.