H30 (WA) No. 11204 trademark right infringement case judged by the Tokyo District Court
The subject mark and the used mark mean and sound as ABC chiropractic and ABC chiropractic center, respectively.
The subject registered mark was judged to be similar to the mark “ABC” of a third party, and the defendant’s plea was accepted.
- My comments
The subject mark should be clearly similar to the defendant’s mark because they only differ in the word meaning “center”. However, the plaintiff could not succeed in the enforcement due to the presence of the registration which has nothing to do with the plaintiff and defendant. The plaintiff registered the mark and filed this lawsuit only to waste time and money. It should be difficult for the plaintiff to understand and accept such a situation.
Some Japanese Examiners less strictly judge the distinctiveness of marks than courts. However, the registrations through such generous examinations can be invalidated like this case.
If the plaintiff had known this result before they had adopted the mark, they would have changed the mark. This case makes us find it important to review the possibility of a trademark invalidation as well as a trademark registration when we search a mark.
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