Pachinko (Japanese pinball) and Pachislo (slot machine in a pachinko parlor), which are entertainment cultures in Japan, have strong popularity in Japan. The first pachinko parlor in Japan opened around 1930. Pachislo, which started as a slot machine in a pachinko parlor, has attracted widespread popularity as a game machine since around 1980.
Trademarks of services for providing these games can be registered under “Class 41 Providing amusement facilities”. The concept “amusement facilities” encompass various facilities such as “kara-oke facilities”, “billiard rooms”, “mahjong parlors”, and “amusement parks”. There was news about possibility of construction of casino facilities in Japan. If casino facilities are actually constructed, they will probably fall under “Class 41 Providing amusement facilities”.
We opened this page to assist those engaged in the pachinko/pachislo industry and provide information useful for understanding of trademark registration.
(2) Regarding Pachinko Machines and Slot Machines
Pachinko machines and slot machines themselves fall under “Class 28 Game machines and apparatus”. There are many companies in Japan manufacturing such game machines and apparatus, and these companies are generally different from those providing the services under Class 41 “Providing amusement facilities”. The Japanese game machines and apparatus are manufactured based on many patent technologies by companies that are making researches on specialized technologies. Many of these companies are members of organizations such as Nippon Yugikikogyo Kumiai (Japan game-machine industry association).
The recent mainstream in the pachinko/pachislo industry is pachinko/pachislo featuring animation, manga, or TV drama. It can therefore be said that the pachinko/pachislo industry is an industry that is in close relationship with trademarks and copyrights.
(3) Regarding Peripheral Equipment
Although pachinko machines and slot machines are classified under Class 28, various kinds of peripheral equipment needed for pachinko/pachislo are classified into various classes.
In the case of a pachinko machine for example, in order to play pachinko, first, you need to get pachinko balls by paying money. A machine for lending the pachinko balls, i.e., “pachinko ball lending machine”, is a goods classified under Class 7. This kind of goods mainly serves to carry user’s pachinko balls into an inside of a pachinko machine.
One of the features of a pachinko machine is its brilliant illumination. Such an illumination part of a pachinko machine is a goods “lighting apparatus” represented by an LED and is generally classified under Class 11. If you get a “special prize” (commonly called “jackpot”), you can get additional pachinko balls based on the kind of the special prize. As for a machine for displaying the number of special prizes, there were goods, such as “pachinko prize number display device, illumination lamp, warning lamp”, that were accepted and registered under Class 28.
As a machine for counting the number of balls which a user won, there is a goods called “pachinko ball counting machine”, which is classified under Class 9. Another goods classified under Class 9 is e.g. “electronic circuit”, which carries out arithmetic processing inside a pachinko machine. As described so far, various kinds of peripheral equipment needed for pachinko are classified into various classes.
(4) Our Support for Those Engaged in the Pachinko/Pachislo Industry
The pachinko/pachislo industry supports the Japanese entertainment industry and is very familiar to general users. Moreover, the pachinko/pachislo industry is in close relationship with the field of intellectual property including patent.
We are well prepared to provide support and professional advice to those engaged in the pachinko/pachislo industry. 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.