Trademark Registration of Era Names in Japan to Become Impossible

In Japan, each era in which an emperor reigns is given a specific designation. The current era under Emperor Akihito is known as the Heisei era and started on January 8, 1989. However, Emperor Akihito is planning on abdicating in 2019 which will usher in a new era in Japan.

Under the current trademark guidelines, only the current era is prohibited from receiving a trademark. However, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga indicated that they are considering amending the examination guidelines so that no era names may receive trademarks.

However, there will be exceptions for well-known trademarks and combinations with proper nouns such as with Meiji Holdings Co., Taisho Pharmaceutical Co., and the animated film “Heisei Tanuki Gassen Ponpoko”.