Build an Attractive Brand by Registering a Graphic Trademark!

Trademark registration is an important way for companies and individuals to distinguish their goods and services from those of others. In this context, graphic trademarks are attractive to consumers because they are visually memorable. This article explains graphic trademarks for beginners and introduces their features and the registration process.

What is a graphic trademark?
A graphic trademark is a trademark that does not contain any text and consists only of figures. It consists solely of figures such as realistic, stylized, and geometric patterns.
What are the advantages of applying for a graphic trademark instead of a word trademark?
A graphic trademark can make a strong impression on consumers because of its visual impact. Furthermore, they can be understood across languages, thus increasing international recognition. It can also emphasize uniqueness to differentiate your product or service from others, and in conjunction with copyrights, it can strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights. And since it can be used in a variety of media, such as package design, advertising, and websites, it can be used to create a unified brand image.

1. What is a graphic trademark?

A graphic trademark is a type of trademark that consists solely of graphic figures as realistic, stylized, and geometric patterns. Graphic trademarks are subject to trademark registration in the same way as character and sound trademarks.

A trademark consisting of words and figures is referred to as a combined trademark of words and figures.

2. Advantages of a graphic trademark

The advantages of a graphic trademark are manifold, including:

Visual Impact: Because of its strong visual component, a graphic trademark can create a striking and unique image for consumers. For example, Apple’s “apple” mark is visually striking for its simple design, increasing brand awareness and memorability.

International Recognition: Graphic trademarks are also effective in reaching international markets because they are more likely to be understood across languages. For example, Nike’s “swoosh” mark is instantly recognizable to consumers in any language and promotes the brand.

Reinforce uniqueness: A graphic trademark can differentiate a product or service from other similar products or services. For example, McDonald’s “yellow M” mark uses a unique design and colors to distinguish itself from its competitors.

Working with Copyright: Graphic trademarks can take advantage of copyrighted designs and illustrations. For example, Disney’s “Mickey Mouse Silhouette” mark provides enhanced intellectual property protection and prevents imitation by others.

Use in a variety of media: Graphic trademarks can be used in a variety of media, including package design, advertising, websites, and store decorations. For example, Starbucks’ “Mermaid Logo” mark creates a strong impression on consumers by building a unified brand image.

3. Flow of registering a graphic trademark

Understanding the trademark registration process is an important step in protecting the value of your brand and ensuring the success of your business. Graphic trademarks, in particular, can emphasize the uniqueness of a brand and make a strong impression on consumers due to their visual impact and international recognition. However, the registration process can seem complicated to the uninitiated. Therefore, this article will explain the registration process for a graphic trademark in a way that is easy for even a novice to understand.

(1) Trademark Search
First, a search is conducted to determine whether the graphic trademark for which registration is desired has already been registered or whether a similar trademark exists. This will help you avoid trademarks that may not be registrable.
[Reference] You can conduct a trademark search for a graphic trademark by using the “J-PlatPat” website to search for prior trademarks by yourself, but it is possible to make a mistake in the search method. Although it will cost more, it is recommended to request a trademark search from the trademark firm or trademark attorney that you plan to request to file the application.

(2) Trademark Application
If the results of the search indicate that there are no problems, an application for trademark registration is filed. The application must clearly state the image of the graphic trademark and the designated goods and services.

(3) Examination
After the application is filed, the JPO examiner will conduct an examination. During the examination, it is checked whether the requirements under the Trademark Law are met.

(4) Registration Decision and Payment of Registration Fee
If the examination is successful, the applicant will be notified of the registration decision. Payment of the registration fee completes the trademark registration.


A graphic trademark has the advantage of having a strong visual impact and being easily remembered by consumers. Registration involves the process of trademark search, application, examination, registration decision, and payment of registration fees. Effective use of a graphic trademark can improve brand strength and differentiate your product from the competition.




For your branding, a trademark application is very important.

Let’s sign up and search for the trademark which would be obtained safely.

Supervisor for the article:
大阪法務戦略部長 八谷 晃典
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