Yasaburō Kuwayama on similarities

“Problems of similarity of trademarks used by different companies arise fairly often. When a new trademark is announced to the public and is then found to resemble an existing one used by a different company, the public and the company which may suspect that its own design has been copied – react immediately. Similarities between the Osaka EXPO ’72 mark and a design published in an American book were brought to the public eye in 1966 (Asahi newspaper, September 29), and suspicion that the snowflake motif in the Sapporo Olympics mark was taken from a family crest named ‘First snow’ was similarly published in the Japanese press (Asahi newspaper, October 10. 1966). This is one manifestation of the high public interest in marks.

There are many instances when similarity results from the need to keep marks simple, especially when letters of the alphabet are used as the basic motif. If a design which resembles an existing one is placed in use and the designer is accused of plagiarism, it may not be his fault at all, but he may be unable to fully clear his name. If all marks made in all countries were registered at one central place, this, of course, could not happen.”

— Yasaburō Kuwayama on design similarities