Japan: 原 告 商 品 形 態 は 同 種 の 商 品 の 中 で も あ り ふ れ た も の と し て 、 「 &#

Last Updated: 23 December 2016
Article by Yuta Oishi
Most Read Contributor in Japan, January 2017

原 告 商 品 形 態 は 同 種 の 商 品 の 中 で も あ り ふ れ た も の と し て 、 「 商 品 等 表 示 」 ( 不 競 法 2 条 1 項 1 号 ) に あ た ら な い と し た 知 財 高 裁 判 決 ( 知 財 高 判 平 成 28 年 7 月 27 日 ( 平 成 28 年 ( ネ ) 第 10028 号))

本知財高裁判決は、商品の形態が不正競争防止法 (以下「不競法」という。)2 条 1 項 1 号にいう「商品等 表示」に該当するというためには、①商品の形態が客 観的に他の同種商品とは異なる顕著な特徴を有して おり(以下「特別顕著性」という。)、かつ②需要者にお いてその形態を有する商品が特定の事業者の出所を 表示するものとして周知になっていること(以下「周知 性」という。)が必要であると判示したものです。

本件の事案は以下のとおりです。

  1. 原告は、平成 18 年 6 月 2 日頃から、以下の商品 形態(以下「原告商品形態」という。)を有する、幼 児に正しい箸の持ち方を教えるための練習用の箸 たる「エジソンのお箸」を販売しています。

    1. 一対の箸が上端部若しくは中央より上端側 の部分において連結されており、
    2. 一本の箸は、人差指と中指をそれぞれ入れ る二つのリングを有し、
    3. 他方の箸は親指を入れるリングを有する。
  2. 「エジソンのお箸」は、訴外株式会社ケイジェイシ ー(以下「ケイジェイシー」という。)が製造・販売し ている商品であり、出荷した「エジソンのお箸」の約 半数が原告を通じて販売されていました。
  3. 被告は、商品名「デラックストレーニング箸」(以下 「被告製品」という。)を販売しています。
  4. 原告は、原告商品形態は需要者の間で広く認識 されている「商品等表示」(不競法 2 条 1 項 1 号) にあたり、かかる「商品等表示」は原告のものとして 認識されていることを前提に、被告製品は原告商 品形態を有しているから、被告製品の販売等は原告の商品販売と誤認・混同を生じさせ不競法2条1項1号に該当すると主張して、被告製品の販売等の差止め及び廃棄、並びに損害賠償請求をしました。

原審(東京地方裁判所平成26年(ワ)第29417号)は、原告の請求に対して、以下の理由で、原告商品形態は、「商品等表示」(不競法2条1項1号)にあたらないと判示しました。

  1. 商品の形態は、本来的には商品の出所を表示する目的を有するものではないが、①特別顕著性及び②周知性を有している場合には、商品の形態自体が「商品等表示」に該当する場合もある。
  2. もっとも、実質的機能を達成するための構成に由来する不可避的な形態についてまで、「商品等表示」として保護を与えると、同等の機能を有する商品間の自由な競争を阻害する結果となり妥当ではないから、かかる形態は「商品等表示」に該当しない。
  3. 原告商品形態は、全体として、指にリングを通すことによって正しい箸の持ち方に適した位置で固定するという機能を達成するための構成に由来する不可避的な形態である。
  4. したがって、原告商品形態が商品等表示に当たるということはできない。

(なお、原審では、原告が「エジソンのお箸」を卸売販売している一業者にすぎないこと等を指摘し、原告商品形態に化体した信用の主体が原告であるということはできないから、原告は不競法2条1項1号の請求権者たる「他人」にあたらない旨を判示しています。)

原告は、原審の判断を不服として、控訴を提起しました。

知財高裁は、上記の争点について、上記(1)及び(2)の判断を是認した上で、以下のとおり判断し、控訴を棄却しました。

  1. 他方、商品の形態が機能等に由来するものであっても、他の形態を選択する余地がある場合には、そのような商品の形態が「商品等表示」に該当し得るが、同形態が同種商品と異なる顕著な特徴(特別顕著性)を有していることはまれであり、同種商品の中でありふれたものとして特別顕著性が否定されることは多いと思われる。
  2. 原告商品形態は、機能等を実現するために不可避的な構成ということはできないが、ありふれたものというべきであり、特別顕著性を認めることはできない。

原告商品形態が練習用の箸としての機能を達成するために不可欠な形態であるかという事実認定は原審と知財高裁判決で異なるものの、ある商品形態が「商品等表示」にあたるかという判断枠組み(①特別顕著性及び②周知性を必要とすること)自体は共通するものと思われます。このような判断枠組みは、近年の裁判例(知財高判平成24年12月26日(平成24年(ネ)第10069号)、東京地判平成28年7月19日(平成27年(ワ)第33398号)等)と軌を一にするものです。

また、知財高裁判決は、商品の形態が機能等に由来する場合、同種商品とは異なる顕著な特徴を有していることはまれである旨を指摘しており、この点で原審の判断枠組みを少々敷衍したものともいえます。(大石 裕太)

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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