Regarding the case where Wakashachiya, a curry udon restaurant, changed its name to Shachinoya after its trademark rights were taken by an employee.

I'm going to tell you a story about a store that had not acquired trademark rights, so an employee took it away and was forced to change the store's name.

Do you know the curry udon chain restaurant called Wakashachiya?

It is fairly well known among people living in Nagoya and the Nagoya area.

Wakashachiya was not the original name of this chain of stores, and the store that originally called itself ``Wakashachiya'' had its trademark rights stolen by an employee, and was forced to change its name.

This story is fairly well known to people in Nagoya and its surrounding areas.


What is the original Wakashachi family (current Shachino family)?


The current Shachinoya, the original Wakashachiya, is a curry udon restaurant that opened in 1976 in Kurokawa, Kita Ward, Nagoya City.

At that time, the store operated under the name ``Wakashachiya'' until the trademark rights were acquired by the current Wakashachiya.


本店鯱乃家 元元祖若鯱家の店舗

More than 20 years ago, I worked part-time at a printing shop near here, and when I finished my part-time job, I handed the printing shop's president's wife some money and told her to eat something delicious. I have eaten it before.

I do remember that it was delicious.

I ate here for the first time in over 20 years.

Apparently, the curry udon here is made with chicken bones, seafood, and vegetables.

I ate it for the first time in over 20 years, and it was definitely delicious.

Please come and eat.

本店鯱乃家 元元祖若鯱家のカレーうどん





















What is the chain store Wakashachiya?

Wakashachiya is a curry udon restaurant chain that operates mainly in the Tokai region centered on Nagoya.

If you live in Nagoya, you may be familiar with the Wakashachi family logo.







Below is the Wakashachi family homepage.

Click here for the Wakashachi family homepage (Click here to open a new Wakashachi homepage.)





This Wakashachi family has acquired trademark rights (trademark registration 313934, trademark registration 5590888).

An employee acquired the trademark rights, and the store name ``Wakashachiya'' could no longer be used, so the store name was changed to ``Shachinoya.''


The original Wakashachiya (currently Shachinoya) opened in 1976, and for about 20 years it operated under the name ``Wakashachiya.''

However, in September 1992, an employee who worked at the original Wakashachiya filed a trademark application for the trademark ``Wakashachiya'' and the designated service ``providing udon,'' and in November 1995, the trademark ``Wakashachiya'' was filed. The settings will be registered.

The reason why it took three years and two months from the application filed in September 1992 to the registration in November 1995 is because an opposition had been filed. I would like to request a viewing and see what the grounds for objection are.

The original Wakashachiya was forced to change its name to ``Shachinoya'' because it infringed on the trademark rights acquired by its employees.

The current signboard and curtain of Shachinoya are shown.

本店鯱乃家 元元祖若鯱家ののれん


When I went to eat there the other day, I asked the owner of Shachinoya about the trademark being taken, but the owner has changed hands three times, and although I don't know the details, the current owner said, "The trademark was taken away," he said.

According to information from my acquaintances and Wikipedia, people were sent to the original Wakashachi family from the advertising agency Tokai Tsushinsha to learn how to make the original Wakashachi family's curry udon soup. It seems that the trademark rights for ``Wakashachiya'' have been taken away.

If anyone has more information, please let me know.


Was the right of prior use not recognized?


If you have been using a trademark before filing a trademark application and the trademark is well-known at the time of filing the trademark application, it will not be an infringement of trademark rights and you can continue to use the trademark. You can claim the right of prior use.

The right of prior use of trademarks is recognized in litigation.

In order for prior user rights to be recognized in litigation, objective evidence of well-known knowledge is required.

Just because someone around you knows about it somehow doesn't serve as evidence.

Objective evidence of public awareness includes the type and number of advertisements, and being featured in media such as magazines and newspapers.

There are many cases in which the right of prior use of a trademark is not recognized in a lawsuit because no objective evidence can be submitted to prove that the trademark is well known.

The original Wakashachi family may not have been able to submit objective evidence to prove that the trademark was well-known in the lawsuit, so the right of prior use of the trademark may not have been recognized.


Let's apply for a trademark!

In this case of Wakashachiya, even though they had previously used the store name ``Wakashachiya,'' they later applied for a trademark and obtained the trademark rights, which resulted in the store name becoming unusable. It disappeared and we were forced to change the name of the store.

I tell business owners that if they want to protect their company name, store name, product, service name, or logo, they should apply for a trademark and obtain trademark rights.

However, there are cases where the reaction is not so good.

・There is no way that the name of a store like ours, which only has one store, will be taken.

・Trademarks are probably reserved for companies with large business operations.

Or so.

However, when I hear that Ganso Wakashachiya had their trademark rights acquired by a third party and was forced to change their store's name, their reaction is, ``They have to get the trademark rights.''

Changing the store name requires replacing the signboard.

I think it costs more to replace the sign than the cost to acquire trademark rights.

If you change your store name, the trust you have built up until now will be reduced to 0, and your name recognition will also be 0, and you will have to build trust and name recognition from 0 again.

If you are running a restaurant (even if you are running a business other than a restaurant), you should obtain trademark rights.


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