A Global and Local Outlook
Edited by Irene Calboli and Jacques de Werra
Chapter 21: JAPANESE PERSPECTIVES ON TRADEMARK TRANSACTIONS: IS EXPANSIVE TRADEMARK PRACTICE PREVAILING OVER THE CONSERVATIVE STOICISM?
This Chapter introduces the various facets of trademark transactions under Japanese law. It connects the rules and regulations of trademarks in Japan with the applicable principles of Japanese contract law. This overview includes the most recent legal changes and should aid the understanding of those interested in this area as well as help highlight what the standards of practice are and what issues to avoid. The first Section delves into the various definitions for registered and unregistered trademark rights within Japanese law and the conventions surrounding the legal rights of ownership and enforcement. Against this background, the next Section explores the various aspects of licensing terms and provisions in trademark transactions. This Section identifies the different types of ownership and the implications of the transfers of particular rights. Additionally, this Section offers guidance as to the considerations to be aware of when structuring a licensing agreement including limitations under Japanese law and the resulting tax classifications. Finally, the last Section examines the assignability of various types of trademark rights in Japan, including the rules surrounding collective marks and the customs applicable within the context of bankruptcy or secured transactions. As with almost all legal concepts, the concept of a ‘trademark’ under Japanese law is established by carving out a certain part of a broader concept of a ‘trademark’ in the practice of trademark transactions (Figure 21.1).
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