I know far more than I would like about gaining permission to use
ANYTHING you publish just on the off chance someone might say you didn't
and ask you for money. I also know that unlike many U.S. companies, even
very large Japanese companies often do not have an explicit policy of
how their names and brand names might get used. Thus the confusion of
exactly how i-mode should be spelled.
The three carriers give you an out in the case of using their logos on a
mobile website--they provide their logos as emoji characters. So if you
advertise on a mobile web site, just use the emoji, which they have
provided on their handsets, and you should be safe. You are not using
their trademark, but a unicode or hex or decimal pointer to a font that
they have authorized a phone maker to include in a handset, and which
contains their logos.
If you want to use their names on a print ad or wired web site, it is
generally considered good form to have an ownership notice: "i-mode is a
registered trademark of NTT DoCoMo". However, in Japan this is not often
done, and referring to it in text is defintely done regularly.
As for using similar fonts--there is no real difference between that and
spelling it out: As long as the font is only similar, not the same, it
only represents what it spells.
Which, by the way, in Japan must be in katakana--the English spelling
has no meaning, it is the katakana reading of it registered with the
trademark registrar that carries weight. So i-mode, if you insisted that
it was pronounced EE-mode, could conceivably be registered by you, even
though it appears to be registered by NTT DoCoMo (even this name is an
affectation--the legal name is in katakana, and if you look at the
registration, I wouldn't be surprised if the two Ts are pronounced 'te',
so that if you wanted to register the same company name as en tee tee do
ko mo you might get away with it).
Basically what this means is that any English representations of
tradmearks or brand names that do not steal the art work of the
original, can be used. No, no, your honor, I am not infringing on EE ZEE
UEBU, because my roman characters are pronounced EZU UEBU. You get the
What you really want to know is how not to get sued and have to pay
someone lots of money. My suggestion would be to just use text: You may
be violating trademarks, but no one seems to mind.
> -----Original Message-----
> From: keitai-l-bounce_at_appelsiini.net [mailto:keitai-l-
> bounce_at_appelsiini.net] On Behalf Of Nick May
> Sent: Sunday, September 08, 2002 2:04 PM
> To: keitai-l_at_appelsiini.net
> Subject: (keitai-l) logos
> What exactly can one use in the way of logos on a website or advert
> show a site is imode, j-phone and ezeweb compatible. I assume one can
> the words themselves,but if one tries to go for a similar
> in each case to the branding of those companies, is that ok? Can one
> for example, the red J inside a circle that j-phone use, or the fat
> 'i' of imode?
> What is permitted speaking strictly?
> What is commonly getawayable with?
> What do others do?
> This mail was sent to address eseller_at_eimode.com
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Received on Mon Sep 9 17:51:05 2002