Tokyo City raises funds by selling a Japanese word

A company paid 25 mn Yen to the tax office for the trademark on “Chakumero” (ringtone)
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The tax office had confiscated posessions of an indebted company and sold them off via Internet auction, among them the rights to an unusually broad trademark.

The trademark had been held until July of last year by a telecommunication company. When this company failed to pay its taxes, the Tokyo Municipal tax office confiscated the trademark and sold it off via Internet auction. Numerous high bids had come in by the deadline of March 8th. The winner, a software company from Osaka, paid 25,502,000 Yen. The winning company announced that it would allow people to continue to use the word “Chakumero” (ringtone) free of charge in general but would draw a commercial advantage from its trademark in specific contexts.

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