Intellectual Property Supporting Food Loss Reduction

  • August 31, 2022

#patent #trademark

In Japan, more than 5 million tons of food is thrown away annually (Ministry of the Environment estimates 5.22 million tons in 2020). It is said that one of the factors causing food loss is the distribution system from producers to consumers. In order to contribute to food loss reduction, it is recommended that consumers purchase food products from supermarkets and convenience stores, starting with products that are close to their expiration or consumption dates.

food loss

With the aim of reducing food loss, in October 2021, NTT DOCOMO launched a service using the “ecobuy” application. DOCOMO users can earn points by purchasing products that are close to their expiration or consumption date at participating stores, taking a picture of the receipt with their smartphone, and sending it to the system.

For this system, NTT DOCOMO has obtained the “ecobuy” trademark (Japanese Trademark Registration No. 6082392) and a patent for “information processing equipment and information processing system” (Japanese Patent No. 6462105). The patent gazette describes the effect of the invention as “the user is motivated to purchase that type of product because he or she is rewarded for purchasing products that are close to their expiration date, thereby reducing the amount of products that are discarded due to expiration, so-called food loss.” In this way, we can contribute to the challenges of the SDGs through intellectual property. (Conan)

food loss

Hamanako Garden Park

  • August 24, 2022

#copyright #trademark

I visited Hamanako Garden Park. There were six characters in the Garden Park: “Notane,” “Papa Hula,” “Mama Hula,” “Kyutan,” “Joron,” and “Hatchie,” which were created during the Hamanako Flower Expo and were based on lyricist Yasushi Akimoto’s works.

Hamanako Garden Park

As I walked around the park, I noticed that only “Notane” had a copyright mark.


I wondered why, and when I looked at the official website, it seemed that all six characters were copyrighted as part of the “NOTANE” series. I wondered about the trademark, and found that only “Notane” was registered here as well (the right holder is Shizuoka Prefecture).

The days are still hot, but I want to visit again to see different flowers when the weather gets a little better.

Hamanako Garden Park “Notane” Website(Japanese)

Himaka Island

  • August 17, 2022


Last weekend I visited Himaka Island in Aichi Prefecture with a friend. It’s about an hour drive from Nagoya and you can reach Himaka Island in about 10 minutes by high-speed boat from Morozaki Port.
It is close to Nagoya, so it is an enjoyable one-day trip, and I felt like I had taken a trip even though I was within the prefecture.

I bought some “Himaka Island Island Seaweed” as a souvenir for my family. “Himaka Island Island Seaweed” is a seaweed sold by the Himaka Island Fishery Cooperative Association, and its package is a registered trademark (Japanese Trademark Registration No. 4481826).

Himaka Island Island Seaweed

I would like to visit the island again in a different season, as it is close to Nagoya and fresh seafood can be enjoyed all year round. (Rabbit)

Himaka Island Sightseeing Navigation (Japanese)
Himaka Island Fishery Cooperative Association (Japanese)

Takuma-style boiler

  • August 10, 2022

#Inventions of the Day #patent

I would like to introduce an invention closely related to today, August 10. The invention is the “Takuma-style boiler” invented by Tsunekichi Takuma (1872.2.8~1953.12.22), a Meiji-era born industrialist, inventor, and founder of Takuma Corporation.

It is said that Tsunekichi Takuma applied for a patent for the Takuma boiler, Japan’s first domestically produced boiler, to the Patent Office, a foreign bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture and Commerce at the time, 107 years ago (1915) today. Some sources say that he invented the boiler in 1912 and patented it the following year.
Tsunekichi Takuma was a successful lumber merchant in his thirties, but after investing in a boiler manufacturing business, he failed and incurred a large amount of debt. However, he later went on to develop boilers on his own and completed the Takuma-style boiler. This was so successful that it put a stop to the import of foreign-made boilers.

In 1936, Tsunekichi Takuma established the Takuma Tsunekichi Research Institute at his home (now Takuma Co., Ltd.). Takuma Corporation is now a research and development company that applies for 10~30 patents every year.

Related link(Japanese):
8月10日 – Wikipedia
田熊常吉 – Wikipedia
タクマ (企業) – Wikipedia

Cocotomo Baum

  • August 3, 2022


In June, I participated in the staff and family trip for the first time in four years at Hotel Indigo Inuyama Uraku-en, and enjoyed a dinner and a stay at the hotel for a long time.
The next day, I wanted to stop by Inuyama Castle Town to eat and walk around, but it was a very hot and humid day, so I gave up. As I was thinking of buying something tasty to take home, I noticed that many people I passed on the road were carrying the same paper bag. I searched for “COCOTOMO BAUM” written on the paper bag, which had a colorful and impressive design, and found that it was a baumkuchen from a store called “COCOTOMO FARM” located near the entrance of Inuyama Castle.

The Inuyama Castle San-no-maru store we stopped by had a well-designed interior with white as its base color, a baumkuchen display, and a drink store, where we could sample the baumkuchen and enjoy free tea, making it a perfect place to stop by for a break.

Cocotomo Baum

According to the booklet that came with the baum and their website, “Cocotomo Farm” is a rice farmer in Inuyama City, Aichi Prefecture, and they produce and sell their signature product, “Cocotomo Baum,” a gluten-free baumkuchen made of 100% homemade rice flour. The president of the company, who himself has a developmental disability in the gray zone, is promoting various initiatives to increase the number of places where people with disabilities can work by making the most of their characteristics, developing their abilities in the right places, and aiming for economic independence.
I came across this store by chance, but knowing that there is such a company in my hometown Aichi Prefecture made me want to buy a baum and support them.

The “COCOTOMO BAUM” and “COCOTOMO FARM” designs on the paper bag and booklet are registered trademarks.
(Japanese Registration No. 6375138 and No. 6392022)

The white rice soft baum I bought for home was very tasty, moist and gentle. I would like to try the brown rice hard baum next. It will keep for a long time at room temperature, so it will be good for a small souvenir. (Cacao)

Cocotomo Baum|Inuyama City
Cocotomo Farm Co., Ltd..