Any company in the supply chain can be involved in a patent dispute
Patent infringement in automotive industry

Just recently (October 2021), Nippon Steel surprised many by suing not only a Chinese steel company Baoshan Iron & Steel but also its customer, Toyota, for infringing its own patent rights on steel products (*1). Now, Nippon Steel has surprised us even more by suing Mitsui & Co (*2). This is because Mitsui & Co […]

Was the technical information that a former Softbank employee took to his new job a trade secret?
Confidentiality management

A former Softbank employee is charged with violating the Unfair Competition Prevention Act for illegally taking Softbank’s technical information to Rakuten Mobile, his new employer. It was the information on 5G, ultra-fast and high-capacity communication standard. The first trial was held at the Tokyo District Court on December 7. Reportedly, the former employee stated that […]

Liability for algorithm changes
Algorithm

Algorithms are running everywhere in our lives. When Amazon recommends goods based on my purchase history, it won’t cause much of a problem. However, when it comes to personal credit score or store rating, it can have serious consequences depending on the score. In May of last year, a chain of Korean restaurants filed a […]

A new way to promote the adoption of the technology
Smart Pool

Do you want to promote the adoption of a new technology you developed? If so, we can introduce you to a new way to do so by using your patents. Our partner, IPwe, has started to operate a new patent pool called “Smart Pool”. This is a consortium in which innovation leaders who hold a […]

Predict competitors’ strategies based on public information
Patent Analysis

Vanarama, a British car leasing company, has created a concept design for the Apple Car based on Apple’s car-related patents. I don’t know if Apple will actually build such a car, but it is very interesting. The Apple Car – Vanarama Instead of just saying this is interesting, why don’t you seriously consider this kind […]

Freedom of Action
Freedom of Action

On November 3, Kyndryl was formally spun off from IBM and listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). The following link will take you to an interview with Martin Schroeter, CEO of Kyndryl. IBM spinoff Kyndryl begins trading: ‘We have now complete freedom of action,’ CEO says In this interview, Martin Schroeter uses the […]

Why would you want to use another company’s trademark in your hashtag?
Hashtag

Hashtags are often used on social networking sites. On the Japanese flea market app “Mercari”, a person was selling his/her own products on his/her own sales site with a hashtag that uses another company’s brand name (trademark) as its keyword. The use of such a hashtag is an infringement of trademark rights, a court ruled […]

Court recommending settlement in the Opdivo patent case
Settlement

In June 2020, Kyoto University Distinguished Professor Tasuku Honjo filed a lawsuit against Ono Pharmaceutical. He demanded payment of approximately 26.2 billion yen over distributions from the Opdivo patents. After that, in September 2021, the court recommended a settlement to both sides with a proposal. Now, the parties are discussing it. For more information on […]

Patents matter under Idea Capitalism
Idea matters

“Idea Capitalism” – This is the title of a book I recently read, authored by a Japanese cultural anthropologist Naoko Okawachi. The author looks back at the history of capitalism from the perspective of changing frontiers. She says, now that capitalism has eaten up most of the traditional frontiers, the new frontier is found in […]

Solving the food loss and waste problem with technologies
Food Packaging

Currently, about 690 million people, or 8.9% of the world’s population, are suffering from hunger. If this trend continues, the number of hungry people is expected to exceed 840 million by 2030. On the other hand, about 931 million tons of food were thrown away as waste in 2019, which is equivalent to 17% of […]