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    Landmark trademark decision

Leading Japanese law firm Nishimura & Asahi represented a client in a trademark opposition contesting figurative trademarks due to their similarity to the petitioner’s position trademark. The client obtained a final and conclusive decision from the Japan Patent Office Trial Board that successfully and fully vindicated our client. 

This is the first case in which the Japan Patent Office Trial Board canceled figurative trademark registrations (traditional trademarks) due to their similarity to a prior registered position trademark (non-traditional trademark).

The Nishimura & Asahi team representing the client was led by partner Hiromune Usuki and Naoko Omukai, and supported by patent attorneys Makoto Shiotani and Naoki Osaka.


臼杵 弘宗

Hiromune specializes in domestic and cross-border M&A cases, including hostile takeovers defenses, and organizational restructuring. Hiromune also handles a wide range of compliance-related cases in different practice areas, such as accounting fraud and antitrust violation cases, fact-finding investigations by board members and various corporate authorities, and the establishment of prevention measures. In addition to his broad expertise in general corporate matters, Hiromune has been advising well-known Japanese listed and blue-chip companies on general corporate law cases such as data protection cases, corporate governance cases, and defense cases against shareholder activists. Based on this extensive experience, Hiromune is committed to providing comprehensive and practical solutions to support his clients aiming for further challenges and growth.

大向 尚子

She has a strong track record of representing domestic and overseas clients before the Courts and Patent Offices in Patent, Trademark and other IP disputes and proceedings, including a case that resulted in the first Grand Panel Decision of the IP High Court in Japan. In addition, she has been involved in IP transactions for business development, including license franchising, and corporate projects with Brand & IP strategies. She has been a committee member of the Industrial Structure Council of the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) of Japan, a member of the special consulting committee for the Minister of METI, and a director of the Japan Trademark Association. In addition, she oversees many lecturers at IP seminars sponsored by bar associations, patent attorney associations, the Japan Intellectual Property Association, etc.