Have you registered your restaurant name as a trademark? Names of restaurants and other establishments are also trademarks and must be registered!

I’m about to start a store, and I wonder if the name of the store needs to be registered as a trademark?
Use of the name of your store constitutes use of a trademark. Therefore, you need to register your trademark.

The name of the store falls under the “trademark” category too!

Do you think that trademarks are only relevant to stores and brands that have a nationwide presence?
In fact, even the name of a small store with only one store is, in principle, a trademark.
Therefore, if another store in the same industry registers your store name as a trademark before you do, you may be forced to change your store name, or in the worst case scenario, you may be sued.

Even if you have a great name, be sure to research it before making signs and flyers!

A store name is necessary when opening a new store or opening a new business, but no matter how good a name idea you come up with, someone else may have already trademarked it before you.

Before making signs or flyers, be sure to check to see if the name has been registered as a trademark.

Methods for conducting the research

Although the term “research” sounds technical and difficult, you can do some research yourself. This article explains the minimum information required for a research.

Necessary Information 1: Trademarks and their readings
The reading of a trademark is a major factor in determining whether it is similar, i.e., similar, to an already registered trademark.

Necessary Information 2: Classification and designated goods/services
Trademark rights are registered as a set of a trademark, such as the name of a store, and the designated goods and services that describe in what business field the trademark will be used.

For example, if the business is a restaurant, it is necessary to investigate the scope of the designated services in Class 43, “Provision of food and drink. This class XX is called a “Class,” and class are determined for various types of businesses, ranging from 1 to 45. The name of the business further specifically defined within the class is the designated goods and services.

Below is a more detailed explanation of the designated goods and services.

What are the designated goods and services of your store?

The designated goods and services specifically describe the business field in which the trademark is used, so it should be different for each store.
The following is a list of typical stores and their class designated goods and services.

Restaurants and cafes

In the case of restaurants, there is no major problem if the scope of the search and trademark registration is “provision of food and beverages” in Class 43, as mentioned earlier. This is because “food and drink” includes a wide range of foods, from sushi and udon to Chinese and Indian food.

However, care must be taken when offering takeout. This is because takeout is not “offering” but “selling.
Therefore, for example, if you are offering “pizza” take-out, you need to include “pizza” in Class 30 in the scope of your search and trademark registration, in addition to Class 43 “offering of food and drink”.

Apparel and other retailers

In the case of a so-called retail store that purchases and sells apparel, sundries, etc., it is necessary to target the designated service in Category 35 “Provision of benefits to customers in the course of retail or wholesale business of __ (goods to be sold)” with the goods to be sold.

In addition, when you sell something you have made yourself or sell your own original products, you may put your store’s name on the product or attach a tag with your store’s name on it.
In such cases, apart from retailing, the trademark is also being used for the sale of the goods, so the related designated goods, for example, Class 25 “Clothing,” should also be covered.

Schools such as English conversation classes and dance classes

In the case of a school, the scope of the search and trademark registration should be “teaching arts, sports, or knowledge” in Category 41.
This designation includes a wide range of forms of educational or training services.

However, if you organize presentations or seminars, for example, we recommend that you also consider “planning or organizing concerts” in the same class to be the subject of a search or trademark registration.

To include the name of the store on signs and flyers

Examples of designated goods services include “printed matter” in Class 16 and “metal standing signs” in Class 6.
If I write the name of my store on a sign or flyer, do I need to cover these designated goods as well?

The designated goods and services are “business using the trademark,” so unless you sell “printed matter” or “signboards,” you do not need to include these as designated goods and services.
However, if you make and sell original goods such as postcards or key chains for your store, you need to include those as well.

Let’s actually search

Once you understand the trademark and the designated product service, you can actually search for the trademark.
You can conduct a trademark search at the following sites.

・J-Plat-Pat

j-platpat

J-Plat-Pat is a website for searching trademark information published by the Japan Patent Office and operated by the Industrial Property Information and Training Institute (commonly known as INPIT), an independent administrative agency under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
It is free to conduct a detailed trademark search, but some specialized knowledge is required, such as class and similar group codes.
In addition, search results are displayed in a list, but you must make your own judgment as to whether or not they are similar.

・Online Trademark Application Service「AmazingDX」
Amazing DX®商標調査
AmazingDX Trademark Search Page

You can search for trademarks with a simple operation, and the results are displayed in an easy-to-understand manner, such as ○, △, ×, etc., as to whether a trademark can be registered or not. There is no charge for this service.
If there are no problems with the search results, you can request a trademark application online.

If I can understand about trademarks and designated products, I can do some research by myself. I think I can start my store with peace of mind.

Once you have a good understanding of trademarks and designated goods and services, we recommend using AmazingDX!

”AmazingDX” is a service that allows you to search for the possibility of registering a trademark by entering the trademark and its reading, and selecting the designated goods and services. Furthermore, you can request a patent attorney to process your trademark application as it is.
All of this can be done online, so it takes less time and costs can be significantly reduced.

If you are able to select the goods and services you wish to apply for, we highly recommend using “AmazingDX”. In case you have any questions, our patent attorneys, who are trademark specialists, will answer your questions via chat.

Please try our online trademark application service “AmazingDX” for yourself!

supervisor
Supervisor for the article:
HARAKENZO WORLD PATENT & TRADEMARK
大阪法務戦略部長 八谷 晃典
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