Judicial precedent introduction

Intangible property
1. Trademark Protection

A major foreign manufacturer of jeans registered its trademark "stitch" in Japan, prior to importing its famous wear into the country. A native manufacturer appropriated the well-known American trademark and attached it to its own line of goods, claiming that a particular "stitch" pattern is not entitled to protection under the Unfair Competition Prevention Law and thus may be used with equal right by others. The Tokyo Upper Court upheld the Tokyo District Court's decision, in favor of the American jean manufacture; ruling that the trademark "stitch" was so closely associated with their product that it was universally considered a symbol of its authenticity.

2. Poor documentation leads to patent infringement liability.

Defendant imported a novel technique for manufacturing of its products and in the couse of many years developed and improved the procedure to far exceed the original method. The plaintiff also developed its own, similar technique, took a patent, and sued the defendant for its infringement. Defendant pleaded that the technique it used was of its own development and that it had in fact been using it at the time the plaintiff acquired its patent. However, the Tokyo District Court ruled against the defendant, holding that it had inadequate documentation to prove, to the court's satisfaction, that the technique in current use at its factories was developed by the defendant prior to the plaintiff's patent registration.