The legal system relating to geographical indications in Japan is divided into three major categories.
The legal system relating to geographical indications in Japan is divided into three major categories: the Unfair Competition Prevention Law, regulations relating to the application of the Law Concerning Liquor Business Associations and Measures for Securing Revenue from Liquor Tax, and the regionally-based collective trademark system.
Of these three, the regionally-based collective trademark system is the most usable for trademark rights owners in regard to geographical indications, because it is the responsibility of the infringer to prove that it was not negligent.
During the five years that have passed since the regionally-based collective trademark system was introduced in Japan, the importance of the system has been well recognised. The number of regionally-based collective trademark applications filed with the Japan Patent Office was 698 in 2006, 110 in 2007, 71 in 2008 and 25 as of September in 2009.
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Japanese trademark system