(1) Introduction

“Beauty” is very important for us in realizing our hope to become “more beautiful and healthier” with cosmetics, massage, supplements, etc. so as to make our life better.

In such beauty industry, images and trust held by consumers, i.e., brand images are very important.

Trademarks are optimum rights to protect such brand images. This page is intended to provide those of you engaged in the beauty industry with information that helps you feel familiar with trademarks and that is useful for trademark registration.

(2) Distinction between services and goods

“Beauty” may, in general, evoke images of beauty salon related services, cosmetics related services, etc. However, in connection with the term “beauty,” various beauty services and goods, such as esthetic treatment, fitness gyms, yoga, and hot-water therapies (germanium hot-water therapy etc.), are actually included, in addition to the beauty salon related services and the cosmetics related services, in a single category of “beauty.”

Under the Trademark Act, marks related to “services,” such as provision of makeup or massage, and marks related to “goods,” such as cosmetics, which are used to provide the services are distinctively protected.

Under the circumstances, it would be beneficial for those of you engaged in the beauty industry, in considering obtaining a trademark, to carefully examine to which type (services or goods) a subject you provide belongs.

The followings are detailed explanations as to relations between (i) the beauty services and trademarks and (ii) the beauty goods and trademarks.

(3) Beauty services: beauty salons, massage, etc.

Giving a haircut or makeup in beauty salons, giving massage in esthetic treatment salons, and offering bathing facilities correspond to services.

In this case, names of the beauty salons or bathing facilities or, if original names are given to the massage techniques, the original names of the massage techniques will be registered under Class 44.

Meanwhile, in a case where classes, for teaching and giving instruction in methods of the services (massage techniques etc.), are managed, names of the classes will be registered under Class 41 as “teaching.” Class 41 also relates to sports. That is, names of fitness gyms where people can strengthen their body and mind and obtain a beauty effect will be registered under Class 41 due to their designated services of “providing sports facilities.”

Here, in a case where a service only provides information and advice on beauty (not provide instruction and teaching), a name of the service will be registered not under Class 41, but under Class 44. Accordingly, in considering registration under Class 41 as “teaching,” it would be better to make careful determination.

In many cases, it requires a flexible analysis for each case to determine to which type (“teaching” or “only providing information”) a service belongs since there is no uniform criterion. If an application is filed under a wrong class, it may cause a problem later. Accordingly, a class to be designated should be carefully determined in accordance with an expert’s opinion.

Please make sure that processes or methods of the above services (e.g., massage techniques) themselves cannot be protected as trademarks. Only marks of goods/services can be protected as trademarks.

(4) Beauty goods: cosmetics, supplements, hair dryers etc.

  • (i) Cosmetics

Names of cosmetics, which typify beauty goods, are registered under Class 3. Other goods whose names are registered under Class 3 include “perfumery,” “false nails,” and “false eyelashes.”

Now, regarding facial care goods, names of beauty masks are registered under Class 3, showing a connection with cosmetics. However, facial care goods also include other various goods. Facial rollers have a possibility of belonging to Class 10 as “massage apparatuses,” or belonging to Class 21 as “hand-operated esthetic massage rollers for household use.” Further, regarding eyelashes, “false eyelashes” belong to Class 3, “eyelash curlers” belong to Class 8, “eyelash brushes” belong to Class 21 as with the case of the above “massage rollers.”

  • (ii) Supplements

Names of goods classified as pharmaceutical preparations, such as supplements, are registered under Class 5. Other goods whose names are registered under Class 5 include “dietetic beverages adapted for medical purposes,” and “dietetic foods adapted for medical purposes.”

Goods in the same category sometimes have different classes, for example, names of some goods should be registered under Class 3, and names of other goods should be registered under Class 5, as is the case of “bath preparations.” If a bath preparation has a feature in its fragrance, it should be considered to belong to Class 3, whereas if a bath preparation has a feature in its medicinal effect, it should be considered to belong to Class 5. Also in such a case, a class to be designated should be carefully considered.

  • (iii) Hair dryers etc.

Finally, regarding goods used for hair treatment, names of hair dryers are registered under Class 11 as “machines and apparatuses for use in beauty salons and barber’s shops,” or “household electrothermic appliances for beauty or sanitation purposes.” Names of hair dryers for professionals, such as those used in beauty salons, and hair dryers used in household are each registered under Class 11, however, their similar group codes are different from each other. That is, hair dryers falling under “machines and apparatuses for use in beauty salons and barber’s shops” have a similar group code “09E25,” whereas hair dryers falling under “household electrothermic appliance for beauty or sanitation purposes” have a similar group code “11A07,” and thus they differ in their similar group codes.

Further, names of “curling tongs” are registered under Class 8.

In addition, apparatuses for exercise and fitness belong to Class 28.

(5) Our support for those of you engaged in the beauty industry

 In recent years, competition for customers in the beauty market has been more intense due to, for example, customers’ needs for low-price services. Under the circumstances, importance of trademarks has increasingly become higher, which provide protection for your goods and services and support your brand.

"HARAKENZO more " would always be pleased to assist those of you engaged in the beauty industry with protection of your intellectual properties. Please feel free to contact us.

(6) 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.

Click here for SME Consultation

Supervisor of this article


Osaka Legal Strategy Department General Manager
Patent&Trademark Attorney
Specially Qualified Attorney For Infringement Litigation