Sharp Loses Rights to IGZO Trademark

Japan’s Intellectual Property High Court has supported a decision by the Patent Office to invalidate the registered trademark “IGZ0” owned by Sharp.

The decision came after the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST), which holds the basic patent for IGZO semiconductor technology, filed a complaint against Sharp in July 2013, seeking to nullify its IGZO registered mark.

In delivering his decision, presiding judge Ryuichi Shitara said that the IGZO trademark cannot be registered because the term is widely known in the industry as an abbreviation for semiconductor ingredients – indium, galium, zinc and oxide.

Sharp said it will consider appealing against the decision but also emphasised that this judgement referred only to the registered trademark”IGZO” and not other variations which Sharp holds which include the letters I,G,Z,O with other symbols or written in Japanese.