chapter  35
10 Pages

Exclusive jurisdiction over registration claim and applicable law to transfers of foreign trademark rights in Japan

WithYasuto Komada

In the Japanese legal system, judges must decide in the first place whether to affirm the jurisdiction without being constrained by the parties’ assertion. In the present case, however, both courts did not reject X’s claims on the ground of no jurisdiction, which inevitably means that the courts implicitly affirmed their international jurisdiction over the claims, even though Japan had no clear provisions on international jurisdiction at that time. The decisions affirm international jurisdiction over the claim for canceling the registrations of the transfers of the foreign trademark rights based on an assertion of cancelation and nonexistence of the contracts, which means they do not take the position that a claim concerning a registration should be subject to exclusive jurisdiction. In the present case, X asserted that he owned all rights in Trademarks, but both of the courts decided that these rights had been validly transferred to and were owned by Y.