Govt to Allow Trademarks for Sounds, Moving Images

The Daily Yomiuri (Toyko, Japan), September 5, 2013 | Go to article overview

Govt to Allow Trademarks for Sounds, Moving Images


The government has decided to introduce a new trademark registration system to enable businesses to register the sounds, moving images and colors that they use in their commercials as trademarks.

The United States, where a sense of entitlement regarding such creations as images and sounds has been growing, is calling on its trade partners with which Washington has concluded free trade agreements to adopt a new type of trademark protection system in line with that of the United States.

It is highly possible that the U.S.-style trademark registration system will be adopted as part of the rules governing intellectual property rights when the negotiations on the U.S.-led Trans-Pacific Partnership multilateral economic partnership agreement are concluded, according to government sources. In light of this situation, the government will pave the way to revising Japan's relevant legislation ahead of the conclusion of the talks.

The government plans to submit a bill to revise the Trademark Law to an extraordinary Diet session in autumn at the earliest, the sources said.

Under the current law, items other than those with a clearly defined visual form, such as characters and symbols, cannot be registered as trademarks.

In the United States, the melody that appears when Microsoft Corp. …

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