Will your trademark application be rejected by your parent company’s prior one?



Kuma
Umm… what should I do..?
Fumi
Hello, Kuma.
What happned?
Kuma
Hi. I have a problem.

I filed a new trademark application in Japan in the name of my company before. But, I have just received the office action to reject the application due to the similar prior trademark of my parent company.

I don’t understand why my application should be rejected by my parent company’s trademark and how I can overcome such rejection.

What should I do?

Fumi
OK. I can explain that.
Fumi
At first, I explain why your application was rejected.

That’s because the owner of your application is different from that of the prior trademark.

Kuma
I know that.
But, the owner of the prior trademark is my parent company. As you may know, it is usual that a subsidiary uses a trademark which is similer to its parent company’s one.
In addition, there would be the case that there is no problem even if the confusion between the companies is happened.
Fumi
I think so too, of course.

However, the Trademark Law prescribes that a mark which is identical/similar to a prior mark of “others” shall be rejected to be registered. And, a subsidiary and its parent company are not the same legal entity.

So, examiners in the JPO have to reject in principle.

Kuma
I understand why my application was rejected.

Then, don’t we have any ways to overcome such rejection?

Fumi
We now have two ways to overcome.

The first one is so-called “Assignment-back” strategy.
It was introduced in the below post, so you can check it.

Letter of Consent is available?

2017.07.22
Kuma
I just remembered it.

The “Assignment-back” strategy can be used for achievement of co-exsisting between completely different entities, right?
Then, it is natural that the strategy can be done for parent-subsidiary relationships too.

What is the second one?

Fumi
Actually, the second one became available this April because of the revision of the Trademark Examination Standards.

Examiners in the JPO shall not rejected your trademark due to your parent/subsidiary company’s prior trademark provided that you can prove the followings:

  1. The cited prior mark’s owner is under control by the Applicant; or
  2. The Applicant is under control by the cited prior mark’s owner; and
  3. The cited prior mark’s owner consents to the registration of the applied mark

 

Kuma
Oh, it’s nice.
I will try to prove them to overcome the objection!






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