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Marine Day when we should think about ocean plastic

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Japan has a national holiday called “Marine Day”. It was July 16 this year. The purposes of the holiday is to give thanks to ocean’s bounty and to consider the importance of the ocean to Japan as an island nation. It’s good time to think about the destruction of the environment of the ocean. Ocean […]

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What to expect when JPO improves its machine translation system

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The machine translation system of the Japan Patent Office (JPO) will be upgraded in May 2019. Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation (TDS), which was split off from Toshiba Corporation in July 2017, won a contract with the JPO for the  development of the system. According to the announcement on July 10 2018, in order to improve […]

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Japan to initiate a government-led blockchain project

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Japan starts to study a blockchain system for contents management. The government is aiming to support Japanese contents business (e.g. game, character) by providing a system which realizes smooth copyrights handling by using smart contract and other functions based on blockchain technology. The Japanese government is reportedly planning to proceed to the validation phase in […]

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Twitter Retweet function caused moral rights infringement in Japan

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On April 25 2018, the Japan Intellectual Property High Court gave a decision that made Twitter users uneasy. In this case, a photographer who has the copyright of a photo demanded Twitter, Inc. and Twitter Japan disclose the information on the user who had posted the photo on Twitter without permission from the photographer as […]

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Japan to consider expanding design protection

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Japan may expand design protection beyond definition of ‘design’ in the design law. As previously reported, Japan has been discussing ‘design’ to strengthen the Japanese companies’ competitiveness since July 2017, and finally published the report on May 23 2018. From IP perspective, the report suggests amendment of the design law to address increasingly diverse ways […]

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Danshari your patent portfolio to keep it in optimal condition

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On June 19 2018, a Japanese e-commerce company Mercari, Inc. goes public on the Mathers market. It operates the “Mercari” marketplace app and is the first in Japan to reach “unicorn” status. Therefore, stock market players expect that it brings about positive impact on the market. In the Mercari marketplace, users can sell unnecessary possessions […]

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Business method patents steadily increasing in Japan

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On May 16, The Japan Patent Office (JPO) released the updates on business-related inventions which are defined as invention which realizes a business method by using information and communication technology. As previously reported, patent applications of business-related inventions have been on an increasing trend since 2011, and approximately 7,900 patent applications for business-related inventions were […]

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One example of globalization in the IP industry

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I had many opportunities to talk with intellectual property service providers during my two weeks trip to Seattle. Some of these firms devise a way to improve price competitiveness. Generally, in our globalized world, jobs tend to move to cheaper-labor countries or regions. The IP industry seems to be no exception. As an example, there […]