free hit counter

Access to Innovation

IP

INDUSTRY
NEWS

Kikkoman’s Soy Sauce Bottle Registered as
3D Trademark

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY INDUSTRY NEWS

Kikkoman Corporation, a major producer of soy sauce in Japan, succeeded with its trademark application for its well-known sauce dispensing bottle. The JPO registered it as Trademark No. 6031041 on March 30, 2018. The dispenser is easily recognized by its shape, sort of an hourglass shape, and two small spout holes on either end of its plastic head. Kikkoman launched the bottle in 1961, and it proliferated globally during the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. It received a Good Design award in 1995 and has found its way into about one hundred countries.

 

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) has accepted applications to register three-dimensional trademarks since 1996, though it is not always easy to do this, notes patent attorney and IP consultant Kiyoshi Kurihara. In this case, the bottle was appropriately distinctive compared with competitors’ bottles. An example of another 3-D trademark registered by the JPO is the glass Coca-Cola bottle–but even that had to overcome an initial rejection. Other examples that Kurihara mentions were forced to incorporate writing before being registered. Interestingly, the bottle has already been registered as a 3D trademark in the United States and Europe.

 

Thus, even simple 3D objects, if they are unique forms well-associated with a particular product, may well become objects of trademark registration in Japan. Perhaps more overseas marketers will be protecting their 3-D intellectual property in Japan as trademarks as Kikkoman’s wordless design raises the profile of “a picture worth a thousand words.” For questions about a design versus a 3D trademark in Japan, feel free to contact us.

 

By Josiah T. Momose.

(The information provided on this website is for informational purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. For questions or inquiries, please contact us for more information.)


Sources

 

Kikkoman Corp. news release No.18025 from April 17, 2018. Image of dispenser comes from this page.

 

Kiyoshi Kurihara, “キッコーマン醤油容器が高いハードルを越えて立体商標登録 [Kikkoman’s soy sauce dispenser overcomes high hurdles to become a registered 3-D trademark],” on Yahoo! Japan, April 23, 2018.

 

 

 

 

JTG News

Wellspring Announces Japan Technology Group as a Channel Partner for Japan Market

Wellspring Worldwide, the leader in software for technology transfer and corporate innovation management, today appointed Japan Technology Group (JTG) as a strategic channel partner in Japan.

Japan Technology Group as member of the International Consortium has been awarded a contract to research and identify European industrial technologies of high cooperation and business potential for Japan.

JAPAN TECHNOLOGY GROUP, Inc. has signed a MOU with I-DEALS INNOVATION &

TECHNOLOGY VENTURING SERVICES, S.L.U ( everis Group, subsidiary of the NTT Data Group)

What people are saying about JTG

“JTG has proven to be very dependable and as advertised, they are extremely well connected to the research community in Japan.  Their core expertise and approach to doing business are in alignment with our objectives.  As a result, we have been able to establish several strategic relationships and collaboration opportunities.”

University of Hawai‘i
Larry Cutshaw
Director Business Development, Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation

 

Contact / Inquiries

Japan Technology Group, Inc.
Tel: +81-3-5298-6552

E-mail:  info@japantechnologygroup.com