Electric Salt

  • 2023年01月25日

#patent #trademark

 “Electric Salt” is a spoon- and bowl-shaped device that enhances the salty taste of low-sodium food by approximately 1.5 times via stimulation, and was developed through joint research by the laboratory of Dr. Homei Miyashita of the Department of Frontier Media Science, School of Interdisciplinary Mathematical Sciences (Miyashita Laboratory) and Kirin Holdings Company, Limited (Kirin). They are currently conducting demonstration tests and aim to launch the “Electic Salt” device in 2023.

 “Electric Salt” is equipped with a unique electric current waveform Electric taste sensation technology, which is effective when a weak electric current flows through a spoon or bowl. I was watching TV during the year end and new-year holidays and noticed that it was featured in several programs.

 I thought that they might have a patent, so I looked it up and found two Japanese applications related to Electric taste sensation, where the applicant is Meiji University and Dr. Homei Miyashita is the inventor. (JP 2021-045399 and JP 2019-212799)
 In addition, the trademark “Electric Salt” has been applied for by Kirin Holdings Company, Limited, and is currently under examination. (Japanese trademark application 2022-088846)

 Japanese people are said to consume too much salt. It is likely to be introduced from the medical and nursing care fields at first, but I would like to try it when it becomes available at an affordable price. (Marron)

Reference article: Meiji University 2022 press release

Far-infrared graphite heater

  • 2023年01月11日


 I live in Nagoya, where it rarely snows and I, who is sensitive to cold weather, feel comfortable all year round, but this year it has been getting colder in December.
 The living room at home is comfortable thanks to air conditioning, but the coldness of the changing room and washroom, which are only used during bathing and at dawn, has been an issue for many years. I had been holding it back for a long time, partly because I felt a sense of resistance to the idea of using them only for a short time, but this year I finally purchased a far-infrared graphite heater for spot heating that I found in a newspaper flyer.

Aladdin far-infrared graphite heater

 This time, I purchased an Aladdin brand far-infrared graphite heater (two-light tube). Despite its retro appearance, it also has a device that automatically turns off the power when clothes touch it. The moment I turned it on, it warmed up immediately even at a distance, and it seemed to be safe even if I was naked. I am very satisfied with the comfort as if the extremely cold place until now was a lie.
 Incidentally, a few days after the heater was delivered, Nagoya suddenly had its first snowfall (and it was cold enough to record 10 cm of snow for the first time in eight years), but thanks to the far-infrared heater, it was as if nothing had happened.

 Currently, the company that sells Aladdin brand appliances is called Sengoku Corporation. Some time ago, an article was published in the JPO’s public relations magazine, “Patent Vol. 51,” and I would like to introduce it to you.
 According to the article, a major company with which Sengoku had a business relationship suggested “Why don’t you buy our patented technology for ultra-high-performance heaters?” and the purchase of the technology became a turning point in the company’s business.
 Sengoku was originally an OEM specialist for home appliances, but as it enhanced its technological capabilities, it has grown by utilizing the patented technology acquired through the business transfer under the management policy of “bringing in resources that are not available in-house from outside.

 Sengoku’s website introduces the company’s Japanese Patent No. 4739314, and a search on J-PlatPat reveals that there is also a related patent, Japanese Patent No. 5383741 (divisional application of Japanese Patent No. 4739314). Referring to these gazettes, it appears that the “major company” mentioned above was Panasonic Corporation, since (at the time of publication of the gazette) the “patentee Panasonic Corporation” is listed as the “patentee.
 It is said that about half of all patents are unused patents, etc., and the problem is that these patents are so-called “treasure troves”. Since only the patentee is granted a patent for an invention, no one other than the patentee is allowed to work the invention, and the unused patent remains unexercised for the duration of the patent (up to about 20 years). This can be considered a major social loss.
 In this sense, the steps taken by Aladdin Brand and Sengoku Co. might be a great reference for us. (blink)

Up cycle

  • 2022年11月16日

#patent #trademark

 In recent years, the term “up cycling” has come to be used frequently amidst growing environmental awareness. For example, the Japanese published unexamined patent application No. 2022-115087 states the following.

 ”Up cycle” is one form of recycling, and is to provide new added value such as design and idea to waste which should be discarded and to upgrade and change to another new product. It can be said that the above described embodiment is upgraded to a fermentation composition ・・・ for food waste and food before expiration, and which can be used as a food by a person.

 The applicant of this published gazette, Soi Co., Ltd. is a company that develops fermented foods in Numazu City, Shizuoka Prefecture. You can find their philosophy on upcycling on their website.


 The “UP 0 TECH®” Japanese registration trademark (No. 6550670), which stands for “technological thinking that eliminates the concept of waste and recycles all resources,” has been registered as a trademark for the following designated products and services.


 Class 3 (cosmetics)
  Cosmetics manufactured by upcycling (waste recycling)
 Class 30 (Confectionery and foodstuffs)
  Coffee made by upcycling (waste recycling)
  Bread produced by upcycling (waste recycling)
 Class 40 (Processed goods)
  Provision of information and advice relating to upcycling (waste recycling)

 The website states, “We hope to realize a circular economy through the technologies and methods produced by UP 0 TECH®”. We expect that this technology will be in increasingly high demand in the future. (Conan)

E-tak® Antibacterial Spray α

  • 2022年10月26日

#patent #trademark

The other day, while watching a BS (Broadcasting Satellites) news program, I saw a commercial promoting “patented ingredient XX blended!” and “patent number XXX”. Perhaps it is an occupational hazard of working at a patent office, but I took note of it when I noticed it (laugh). It is a product called “Etak® Antibacterial Spray α” (Eisai). I did a little research and here is what I found out.

Since it was an Eisai commercial, I naturally assumed that it was patented by Eisai Co., Ltd. but when I looked up “Japanese Patent No. 4830075” on J-PlatPat, a patent information platform, I found that it was a patent shared not by Eisai but by Hiroshima University and Manac Incorporated.


Incidentally, the registered trademarks “Etak” (in katakana) and “Etak” are also owned by Campus Medico Co., Ltd. The company is a university venture that commercializes the results of research conducted at Hiroshima University’s Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (the company’s website also lists Japanese Patent No.4830075 under “Patents held by our company,” but according to J-PlatPat, Hiroshima University and Manac Incorporated are still the patent holders).

This area is a little confusing, but on Manac’s special Etak website, in addition to Eisai, Kurabo Industries Ltd. and Jex Inc. is introduced in the “related products” page so it seems the three companies are licensed. It is difficult to understand the situation by browsing only the websites of the licensee companies, but this time I was able to confirm the information because it was introduced in a commercial along with the patent number and was also introduced on the websites of each company.

E-tak® Antibacterial Spray α is advertised as a product that “when sprayed on doorknobs, tables, or anywhere else you are concerned about, the long-lasting antimicrobial ingredient prevents the growth of viruses and bacteria in the sprayed area,” which sounds like it would sell well after the Corona disaster in 2020, but further research revealed that it had won the Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun Award for Excellence in the Nikkei Superior Products and Services Awards in 2018, before the Corona disaster. …Did you know about this?

Related Link
Product infomation | Etak Antibacterial Spray α | Eisai Co., Ltd. (hubspotusercontent40.net) (PDF)
https://etak.manac-inc.co.jp/ (Etak special website, Japanese only)
https://www.manac-inc.co.jp/etak/index.html (Manac Incorporated Product Information, Japanese only)
https://www.nikkei.com/edit/news/special/newpro/2018/index.html (Nikkei Sangyo Shimbun Award Products 2018, Japanese only)


Electronic Thermometer

  • 2022年10月20日

#design #patent #trademark #utility model

My long-time electronic thermometer broke, so I bought a new one.
The built-in battery seems to have worn out, not only because of infection prevention measures, but also because my elderly family members have more opportunities to take their temperatures regularly.
Without time to do any preliminary research, I went to the sales floor of a local drugstore and was surprised to find several electronic thermometers available and surprisingly inexpensive despite their high functionality.

I remember that in the past, most thermometers did not have replaceable batteries to prevent infants from accidentally ingesting button batteries, but now they sell thermometers with replaceable batteries. I guess they have devised a way to prevent easy removal of the battery.
Some were waterproof and washable, which seems to be in high demand in this day and age, and some had an attached case that could be easily cleaned with alcohol.

After much deliberation, I chose the Terumo thermometer we had been using previously and purchased a thermometer with a sound pressure about twice as loud and easy to hear at the end of a temperature test. It can predict temperature in about 20 seconds and measure temperature as speedily as a temperature check at a hospital.

Terumo's electronic thermometers Terumo's registered trademark

The Terumo logo in the image is naturally a registered trademark (Japanese Registration No. 6191923 Protective No. 01), but a further search on J-PlatPat revealed more than 250 patents, utility models, and designs for Terumo’s electronic thermometers.

By the way, Terumo thermometers have had a 100-year history. What is the 100th anniversary commemorative thermometer sold last year! If you are interested, check the following site♪ (Cacao)
100th anniversary commemorative thermometer website (Japanese only)

Cooling Ring

  • 2022年10月05日


Early this summer, my daughter asked me to buy her a cooling ring to wear around her neck, and I purchased the product shown in the photo.

Cooling Ring

Inside the ring-shaped tube is a liquid that freezes (becomes solid) at temperature below 28 Celsius. When placed in the freezer, etc., it solidifies quickly and stays cold.

Cooling Ring Cooling Ring

Since it is used around the neck, it cannot cool the whole body, but my daughter says that the part of the body that touches the ring feels cool and comfortable.

By the way, the enclosed instruction sheet mentioned the patent number (Japanese Patent No. 6895671).

Cooling Ring

If you are interested in the contents of the patent, please check it on J-Plat Pat. (Hiro)
JP,6895671,B : The neck cooling device

Emergency Food and Patents

  • 2022年09月21日

#patent #trademark #utility model

September 1 was Disaster Prevention Day.
In our family, we check our emergency supplies every year on this day.
For rolling stock, we especially check items with expiration dates and use-by dates, such as water, emergency food, and dry cell batteries, and replace those that will expire before next year’s Disaster Prevention Day.

rolling stock

Disaster prevention supplies are not only for huge earthquakes, but also for flood damage during this season of frequent typhoons. Not only can emergency food be stored for a long time and do not require heating, but they have become so tasty that they exceed the image of emergency food, and I feel that efforts are being made to make them as close as possible to meals in normal times.
Efforts are also evident from the large number of patents, utility models, and trademarks found when searching for keywords such as “emergency food” on J-PlatPat.

Every year, every time I check my stockpile, I try to put this and that in it, and I have trouble keeping it in my backpack. (Syszo)

Disaster prevention supplies

Intellectual Property Supporting Food Loss Reduction

  • 2022年08月31日

#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

Takuma-style boiler

  • 2022年08月10日

#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

The rainy season has begun

  • 2022年06月29日


The rainy season began in the middle of June in the Tokai region where our firm, Hattori & Partners is located, and even as I write this blog, it is raining and gloomy outside.
During this season, I always take a folding umbrella with me when I go out, and every time I put a portable umbrella in my bag, I feel that it has become much smaller and lighter than it used to be, which is another advancement.
When I search for “umbrella patent” on the Internet, I see various umbrellas that have been devised from various aspects, and just reading about them makes me excited and want to try them. The plastic umbrellas that abound in the streets are convenient and easy to use, but it is the season to be interested in the latest umbrellas that have been devised with new functions and materials.

Well, the rainy season is finally here! but this year’s rainy season seems to have rushed away. Once confirmed, it is expected to be 13 days, the shortest since statistics began in 1951. That’s a surprise, isn’t it? (Swimmer)