Is there “disclaimer” in the Japanese trademark system?

Is there “disclaimer” in the Japanese trademark system?

The answer is “No” although I don’t know whether it is good or not for you.

What is “disclaimer”?

I can imagine that many visitors to this blog know what “disclaimer” is.

But, I now explain that just is case.

The “disclaimer” in the field of trademarks means the system to specify the part having an exclusive right in a trademark.

A trademark sometimes has a non-distinctive part in itself.

For example, in the mark “ABC light” used for the goods “pen”, the part of “light” is not distinctive because the term indicates a quality of the goods.

In the country adopting the “disclaimer” system, the Applicant of the application for the trademark “ABC light” is required by the IP Office to disclaim the exclusive right of use of the term “light” apart from the entire mark.

In such case, the application is not granted unless the Applicant accepts the disclaimer.

How about in Japan?

In Japan where the disclaimer system is not adopted, the above-mentioned “ABC light” mark is interpreted to be distinctive as a whole without being required to disclaim.

Do you prefer the “disclaimer”?

In the disclaimer system, it is clear which part has an exclusive right in a combined mark.

It means that a third party who wants to use and/or register the mark “DEF light” goes to bed with a relief in spite of the registration of “ABC light”.

In Japan, on the other hand, it is possible that he cannot do so.

That’s because it is not easy for him to judge whether the exclusive right of “ABC light” covers his mark “DEF light”.

Therefore, it could be said that the system in Japan is not friendly for the public.

In other words, however, it may be good for the trademark owner.

Which do you prefer?


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ブランド弁理士。「ブランディング × 知財」を探求・推進しています。

株式会社Toreru/特許業務法人Toreru のCOO(最高執行責任者)兼パートナー弁理士。(一財)ブランド・マネージャー認定協会1級資格&認定トレーナー。日本ブランド経営学会運営委員。日本弁理士会所属。

株式会社アルバック知的財産部にて、企業目線からの知的財産保護に従事。その後、秀和特許事務所にて、商標・意匠分野のプロフェッショナルとして、幅広い業界のクライアントに対し国内外のブランド保護をサポート。2018年9月より、株式会社Toreru/特許業務法人Toreru に移籍し、2019年1月より現職。「知財の価値を最大化させる」新しい知財サービスをつくっている。 | Linkedin | メールはこちらへ

April 2009 - August 2012 株式会社アルバック 知的財産部 | ULVAC, Inc.

September 2012 - August 2018 秀和特許事務所 | IP Firm SHUWA

September 2018 - 特許業務法人Toreru | Toreru, Inc.