kaminoge (kaminoge) wrote,

In the news ニュース

This article in today's Daily Yomiuri ザ・デイリー読売 ("China, Taiwan usurp Japanese trademarks" http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/world/20080410TDY02308.htm) really comes as no surprise:

"The brands accorded to two noted Japanese regional potteries, Kutaniyaki 九谷焼 and Minoyaki 美濃焼, have been registered as trademarks of Chinese companies, according to a survey by the Beijing office of the Japan External Trade Organization 日本貿易振興機構 (JETRO) released Tuesday. Chinese and Taiwanese firms also have submitted applications to Chinese authorities to use Japanese regional brands including Matsusaka-ushi 松阪牛 beef and Naruto Kintoki なると金時 sweet potato as trademarks, a JETRO official said. The Japanese local specialties have been designated by the government's Patent Office 特許庁 as regional brands to stimulate local economies. Once a name is registered as a trademark, one cannot newly register the same designation unless the original trademark holder officially surrenders ownership of the brand name."

One Chinese firm even went so far as to register the name of a prefecture in Japan, Kagoshima 鹿児島. This turns out to be far from unusual, however, as the article quotes JETRO in Beijing as saying:

"...as of the end of December, Chinese or Taiwanese firms had registered 36 of Japan's 47 prefectural names as trademarks, with the name Kyōto 京都 seeing the greatest number of registrations at 93. Most companies using Japanese brands are Chinese firms, although individuals also did so. By using Japanese brands as trademarks, Chinese firms can benefit free of charge from name recognition to raise their products' prices when marketing them in China. Individuals who own registered trademarks can sell them for money..."

One name that I don't think will be trademarked in either China or Taiwan is "Senkaku" 尖閣. Then again, you never know...

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