Evaluation criteria for similarity of trademarks in Japan Vol.1 | Pronunciation is important



What determines similarity of trademarks?

Fumi
In the field of trademarks, similarity of trademarks is very important.

Then, do you know what determines the similarity of trademarks?

Kuma
“Similarity” is too subjective to be judged in the first place, I guess.

By what we should judge that…?

Fumi
Under the Japanese trademark practice, it is determined by mainly the following points of trademarks to be compared.
Evaluation Criteria

  1. Appearance
  2. Pronunciation
  3. Meaning

How to determine by the three points concretely?

Kuma
I see.

But, is it needed to interpret two trademarks as similar that all the three points thereof are identical or similar to each other?

Fumi
No.
It is not necessarily needed because similarity of trademarks should be judged by considering the three points comprehensively.

According to the trademark examination standards, two marks should be similar if one of the three points thereof is similar at least in principle although there are exceptions.

But “pronunciation” is the most important

Kuma
You said that the similarity should be judged by them “comprehensively”.

Then, for example, here are two marks which are very different from each other in their appearances but have similar pronunciations. And, they do not have any meanings.

In this case, how should we judge?

Fumi
Good question.

Actually, “pronunciation” is the most important under the Japanese trademark practice.
That is, the marks should be judged as similar in principle.

Kuma
Understood.

But, there are some cases where we should judge the two marks mentioned above as dissimilar, right?
You said “in principle”.

Fumi
Exactly.
I will talk about it in next opportunity.






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