Appeal No. 2017-12405
ベジピザ (This is a transliteration of "vege pizza")
The abbreviation of a word (vegitable pizza) which seems to lack distinctiveness and is used by third parties was judged to be distintive. The reasons are indicated as follows.
Although it seems that the the pizza on which vegitables are put and the pizza of which the vegitables are used as pizza dough are called "vegi pizza", it is difficult to say that "vegi pizza" is extensively generally used as the indicator of a certain type of pizza. In addition, there is no fact that a pizza sauce adapted for a certain type of pizza is generally manufactured or sold in the field of piza sauce.
2. My comments
Based on the circumstances where "vegi pizza" is used to indicate "pizza using vegitables" as its goods or recipe name, the distinctiveness was denied at the examination stage, but the contrary assessment was indicated in this Appeal.
The number of use examples and the way of use are not shown in the decision. According to my internet search, there are more than ten use examples by third parties in cooking posting sites and other websites of individuals or companies as of August 26, 2018. Considering this number of the use and the natures of "vegi" and "pizza", I believe that the distinctiveness would have been denied if the goods had been "pizza".
The word "vegi pizza" can be understood as the indirect or suggestive indication of the goods features, and the reason why the mark is indirect or suggestive is clearly indicated. In terms of this point, this case is useful in practice.
Comparing the case "トマたま" of Opposition No. 2014-900084 with this case is intersting.