Amicus Brief

Ate My Heart, Inc. v. Japan Patent Office

Published: May 27, 2014


The Supreme Court of Japan

Our Position

The Court should accept the petition for appeal and overturn the ruling of the IP High Court, allowing the LADY GAGA mark to proceed to registration. The IP High Court misjudged the distinctiveness of the Mark. “LADY GAGA” does function as a badge of origin for Class 9 products and is not descriptive in that the Mark does not demonstrate any particular quality (content) or other characteristics of the Goods. Furthermore, consumers or traders would not recognize any particular quality (content) of the Goods from the Mark, so there is no likelihood of confusion as to their quality (content). The Decision would also pose a question as to consistency with existing trademark registrations. Many famous trademarks in the fashion industry are derived from the name of the founder and the designer of the brand and have not been rejected on the basis that they may mislead consumers about the quality (content) of the goods. There is no legitimate reason to treat the name of a singer and the name of a designer of a brand differently, and consider that these names represent the quality (content) of the goods.


The Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal. The decision of the IP High Court refusing the registration of the LADY GAGA mark will stand.