ITOCHU Announces Co-Owned Trademark Rights of Hawaiian “Lightning Bolt” Brand

March 23, 2018

ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Masahiro Okafuji, President & CEO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today its decision to jointly own the trademark rights of “Lightning Bolt”, a casual surfer brand from Hawaii, effective throughout Japan, with Yamato International, Inc. (headquartered in Ota-ku, Tokyo; Tomoki Hannya, President; hereinafter “Yamamto International”). Through this co-ownership, the two companies will commence collaborative operations to further popularize the brand.

“Lightning Bolt” is a surfing-related brand created in Hawaii in the 1960s.Its start is reportedly attributable to the production and sales of surfboards launched by Gerry Lopez, a legendary surfer, and his associates, when they started to use surfboards with a bolt logo.
The brand made an impactful global debut in 1971, aided by the spectacular surfing of Gerry Lopez on the North Shore, and quickly became a legendary super brand among surfers worldwide. The smash hit 1978 movie Big Wednesday, in which the surfer appeared, undeniably solidified the popularity of the brand.

ITOCHU has been expanding the business of “Lightning Bolt” brand products centered on men’s casual wear since it acquired the master license for the brand in 2008. Yamato International is facilitating the establishment of a future branding-based business under the slogan of “transformation of the company to pursue intangibles over tangibles”.
The two companies have decided to commence collaborative operations as ITOCHU’s initiatives for further promoting the popularization of the “Lightning Bolt” brand in Japan are consistent with Yamato International’s strategy to further expand branding-based businesses through the acquisition of the trademark rights of new brands.

With surfing and skateboarding included in the official events of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, the level of interest is increasing in board sports, known as the three S (3S), and demand for 3S-related fashion is expected to increase.
Looking ahead, while utilizing their respective experience and expertise in the branding business, the two companies will seek to further enhance the value of the “Lightning Bolt” brand and expand related businesses by promoting sales through select shops and specialty stores across Japan.