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- Advice for Those Engaged in the Pharmaceuticals-related/Drugstore Industries
Recently, distribution channels of pharmaceuticals have been gradually expanded. There has increased the number of drugstores which sell not only pharmaceuticals but also a wide range of items such as various beverages and daily necessities.
The importance of pharmaceuticals and drugstores will be increasingly enhanced in Japan where declining birthrate and aging population progress.
This page is intended to provide those of you engaged in the pharmaceuticals-related/drugstore industries with useful information on registration of trademarks.
(2) Pharmaceuticals and Dietary Supplements
Trademarks for the pharmaceuticals are registered in Class 5 “Pharmaceutical, veterinary preparations”. Other goods which belong to Class 5 are “adhesive plasters”, “bandages for dressings”, “dental materials”, “diapers”, “diaper covers”, “dietetic beverages adapted for medical purpose”, “dietetic foods adapted for medical purposes”, etc.
It has been specified in Japan since 2013 that trademarks of dietary supplements should be registered in Class 5. Before 2013, it was impossible to designate “Dietary supplements for humans” for a dietary supplement, and the dietary supplement was therefore designated as a combination of “main ingredient”, “shape” , and “processed food”.
For example, a trademark of a dietary supplement whose main ingredient was “vitamin” and shape was “granular” was to be registered in Class 29 as “a processed food whose main ingredient is vitamin and shape is granular”. This is because a dietary supplement was classified according to a main ingredient of the dietary supplement.
Please note that the same Similar Group Code (32F15) is assigned to “Dietary supplements for humans” in the current classification and the conventional “main ingredient + shape + processed food”. However, even if all goods in Classes 29 and 30 are designated for a dietary supplement, the Similar Group Code (32F15) never be assigned to the dietary supplement. Therefore, please note that, even if all goods in Classes 29 and 30 were designated for a dietary supplement, and a trademark of the dietary supplement was registered, there is a possibility that the Similar Group Code (32F15) has not been assigned to the dietary supplement.
These days, there are many drugstores which not only dispense medications and sell various pharmaceuticals but also sell foods and drinks and dairy necessities.
A trademark of dispensing of a medication is registered in Class 44 “Preparation and dispensing of medications”. Examples of a service similar to “Preparation and dispensing of medications” include “Medical services”, “Providing medical information”, “Physical examination”, and “Dentistry”.
A trademark of retail selling of an item such as various pharmaceuticals, foods and drinks, and dairy necessities is registered in Class 35 “Retail services or wholesale services for … ”.
Note that since 2014, “Retail services or wholesale services for diapers” (Similar Group Code: 35K02 (17A10)) has been added to services such as retail services in Class 35. Therefore, please be careful not to fail to designate “Retail services or wholesale services for diapers” in a case where you need to designate it.
(4) Our Support for Those Engaged in the Pharmaceuticals-related/Drugstore Industries
In Japan where declining birthrate and aging population will increasingly progress, the demand for pharmaceuticals and drugstores will increasingly grow.
We would always be pleased to assist those of you engaged in the pharmaceuticals-related/drugstore Industries with protection of your intellectual properties. Please feel free to contact us for professional advice.
(5) Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) Consultation
Through our SME Consultation, our firm offers specialized support for the unique needs of small and medium-sized enterprises. For details, please visit our SME Consultation page, which also includes information on strategic measures for protecting brands and IP.