The Fashion Law / Year in Review: The Trademark Trends, Filings, Cases, and Registrations of 2020

ヨーロッパを代表するファッション法律メディア『The Fashion Law』が、2020年の世界の商標(Trademark)で特に気になったニュース(Year in Review)Top 13を公表。その中に、マークス代表の三上弁理士が執筆した「日本の色商標」に関する記事が、日本で唯一、取り上げられました。記事全文は、こちら


9. From Louboutin to Hermès, Brands Face a “Significant” Bar When it Comes to Color Trademarks in Japan

All of the color marks that have been registered by the Japan Patent Office to date consist of more than two colors, with the national trademark body refusing to register a single color as a trademark as of now. An indication of the difficulty with which brands have had in amassing color-specific registrations in Japan? The strikingly slim success rate for color applications. Osaka-based trademark attorney Masaki Mikami notes that as of November 15, 2020, 543 applications for color marks were filed with the JPO. As for the number of those applications that have resulted in registrations: a mere eight, which makes for a 1.5 percent “success rate.” 

Ultimately, Mikami tells TFL that this trend, which has seen the eight existing color registrations issued exclusively to large companies, may “imply that the JPO considers color marks to be unavailable for registration without enormous investment” by the filing party, which means that “smaller companies and startups cannot take advantage of color marks as a branding tool at all, contrary to other traditional and non-traditional trademarks, e.g. name, shape, logo (design), position, motion.”