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Q8. How does the Japan Trademark Law define distinctiveness?

Q8. How does the Japan Trademark Law define distinctiveness?

A8. Trademark Law Article 3(1) provides that the following marks are unregistable:

(1) A trademark solely consisting of a mark indicating the common name of the goods or services in an ordinary manner (Trademark Law Art. 3(1)(i));
(2) A trademark customarily used with respect to the particular goods or services (Trademark Law Art. 3(1)(ii));
(3) A trademark solely consisting of a mark merely indicating, in a common way, a quality of the goods or services (Trademark Law Art. 3(1)(iii));
(4) A trademark solely consisting of a mark indicating, in a common way, a common surname or business name (Trademark Law Art. 3(1)(iv));
(5) A trademark solely consisting of a very simple constituent element (Trademark Law Art. 3(1)(v)); and
(6) A trademark from which consumers cannot recognize the goods or services as those pertaining to a business of a particular person (Trademark Law Art. 3(1)(vi)).