Notice of Refusal Issued for Pokemon GO trademark in Japan

Rumours have grown in Japan surrounding the delay of Pokemon GO’s release date in Japan, and recently many of those have focused on JPO’s recent rejection against the trademark of Pokemon GO in Japan. It turns out that the trademark for Pokemon GO has not yet been issued and is still under examination.

A Notice of Refusal was issued by the JPO for the Pokemon GO trademark in January citing Article 8(1) and Article 4(1)(xi) in Japanese trademark law, stating that the application is too similar, and covers similar goods to prior trademark applications filed by others.

What other’s applications? According to our research, all previous Pokemon applications have been filed with co-applicants listed as Nintendo, Creatures, and Game Freaks, while Pokemon GO was filed with Nintendo as the sole applicant. This was most likely a cause of the present JPO’s rejection, and Nintendo filed a name change in March, most likely correcting it.

Although the lack of servers to cope with such a huge user turnout has been widely credited as the cause of the delay, who knows.

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