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Application to trademark Pikotaro's 'PPAP' submitted by unrelated Osaka firm

In this October 2016 file photo, Pikotaro draws laughter from journalists at a press conference held at the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Japan, in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward. (Mainichi)

The catchy phrase, "Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen" -- which features in comedian Pikotaro's amusing hit song "PPAP" -- was the subject of a recent trademark application by a company in Osaka Prefecture, the Mainichi Shimbun has learned.

According to the Japan Patent Office, which received the application in autumn 2016, the Osaka-based company and its president are renowned for submitting mass trademark applications -- with more than 10,000 applications per year, or about 10 percent of the annual national total.

In May 2016, the Patent Office posted a warning on its website as an apparent reaction to the company president stating, "A number of applicants have been submitting trademarks in large volumes, and for items that actually belong to other people, in an attempt to pre-empt applications by those who actually hold them."

Avex Group Holdings Inc., the parent company of Pikotaro's agent, has filed a trademark application for "PPAP," and stated that "we have no connection with the company (in Osaka) and we have no comment."

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