États-Unis d'Amérique
Marques de fabrique ou de commerce
8. Please explain how Section 24(6) of the Japanese Trademark Law, which requires trademarks owned by non-profit entities to be transferred only with the transfer of the enterprise, is compatible with TRIPS Article 21.
Article 24(6) of the Japanese Trademark Law relates to trademarks which are already famous in Japan as marks identifying non-profit enterprises working in the public interest (such as water utilities and public road transport corporations). The registration of an identical or similar trademark by a person who has no association with such a public entity will very probably confuse consumers, and detract from the due rights of third parties. The registration of such a trademark by such a person is, therefore, prohibited under the Law (see Article 4(1)(vi)). With this in mind, the Law prohibits the transfer of such a trademark, unless the enterprise itself is transferred. This limited exception applies only to famous trademarks concerning non-profit enterprises and is permitted under Article 17 of the TRIPS Agreement.