A Japanese Patent Office decision that the word “otokoyama” is a generic term signifying a “dry, manly” type of sake is relevant to a U.S. trademark dispute between two importers of the rice wine, a federal appeals panel in Manhattan has ruled.
In vacating an injunction that barred a company from selling a sake called “Mutsu Otokoyama,” a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said a district judge erred when he held that a foreign trademark tribunal’s ruling was inadmissible for any purpose.
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