Competing in Japan has serious potential value. Yet Japanese trademark law is surprisingly understudied. In this unique, comprehensive examination, Professor Port sets out trademark rights in Japan as articulated in the relevant statutes and by Japanese courts and commentators.
A practitioner and professor of trademark law himself, Professor Port relies on nearly 400 judicial opinions, books, and law review articles as well as his own translation of the as-amended Japanese Trademark Law to argue the surprisingly developed and sophisticated nature of Japanese trademark law.
Japanese Trademark Jurisprudence has three primary, controversial theses:
Though often considered structural impediments to Japanese free markets, the Japanese courts are actually paternalistic in their protection of trademark owners, both from Japan and from foreign countries. Rather than permit the harsh effect of a literal statutory reading, Japanese courts have created judicial rules or doctrines.
Japanese trademark owners are extremely rights-conscious and Japanese courts recognize and protect these rights as corporations compete. Thus, contrary to popular belief, culture does not dictate Japanese trademark law; the Japanese zealously litigate trademark rights to compete for market share.
The scope of trademark protection in Japan is broad. The Japanese trademark system confers property status on trademarks themselves, something the American system does not do. As a result, though trademarks may be more difficult to obtain, the scope of protection proves greater than once believed and significantly more difficult to divest.
This work provides an important view of this largely unexamined field both for academics, particularly in the area of intellectual property, and for practitioners advising companies or persons considering competing in Japan.
- Conceptual Origin of Japanese Trademark Jurisprudence
- Objective of Trademark System
- Acquisition of Rights
- Validity (Registrability)
- Loss of Trademark Rights
- Trademark Amendment Act of 1996