“Providing Casino Facilities” Is Able to Be Indicated as a Designated Service
The Specific Complex Tourism Facility Region Improvement Law was passed on July 20, 2018 and promulgated on July 27. The law will be put into force within three years from the date of promulgation and means that building and operation of casino facilities will be permitted in Japan.
Because casino facilities were previously not allowed in Japan, the Japan Patent Office had assigned "Class 41: providing casino facilities [gambling]" of the Nice International Classification Table an "asterisk". The JPO had previously treated trademark applications designating these Class 41 services as subject to reasons for refusal under Article 6, Paragraph 1 of the Trademark Act because those marks did not clearly define what kind of services were to be provided under the legislation of Japan. However, in response to the future enactment of this law, the JPO has changed its treatment of this Nice International Classification.
Because this law has already been passed, trademarks to be used in connection with this law may now be allowed to register under the trademark system of Japan. Therefore, trademark applicants are now able to include "providing casino facilities" as a designated service in their trademark registration applications.
Furthermore, the examination criteria to be used by examiners with respect to “providing casino facilities” will be similar to the criteria already used for Class 41 “providing entertainment facilities (similar group code: 41K01)".