Recent IP activities of Japanese companies
JPO Annual Report

Japan Patent Office (JPO) published an annual report on July 12 2019. According to the report, 313,567 patent applications were filed in Japan in 2018. And, 253,000 patent applications among them were filed by domestic applicants. It slightly decreased than last year. As you may know, Japanese companies have been reducing investment in Japanese patents. However, my more serious concern is that they have been not increasing investment in patenting in foreign countries either, while increasing foreign sales. The chart shows the transition of foreign patent filing number and the foreign sales of Japanese companies. In fact, Japanese companies have not increased investment in intellectual properties, despite the increasing importance of […]

Partners with IPwe to introduce the patent transaction platform to Japan
IPwe Platform

We are delighted to announce the partnership with IPwe to introduce their unique patent transaction platform to Japan. IPwe created the first platform for the world’s patent ecosystem, connecting buyers and sellers of patents and patent-related services, creating a tradable asset. IPwe leverages the power of artificial intelligence (AI), data mining, predictive analytics and blockchain to unlock global patent value.  Please contact us for more information. 

Launched a new project on cross-border investment and collaboration
Cross-Border Investment & Collaboration

We launched a new project working with a US-based M&A advisory firm. In this project, we help Japanese companies find opportunities for investment in and partnerships with foreign technology companies. It includes setting up of joint ventures to manufacture products of such technology companies, and also do sales and marketing in Japan and other Asian countries.  First of all, we have started by introducing two technology companies. One provides a full-body, autonomously powered robotic exoskeleton. The other provides 3D metal printers and printed products. Both are promising opportunities! So, please contact us for further information.

Japanese universities to acquire stock option rights as IP license fees
licensing revenues of universities

Previously on this blog, we featured a story about a fight on patent royalty between a university researcher and a licensee company. And, it suggested a problem of a talent shortage for intellectual property in the university.  Licensing Revenues of Japanese Universities When talking about licensing revenues of universities, Japanese universities are often compared with American universities. Then, Japanese universities’ low income is considered a problem. In fact, American universities earned USD 2,562 million in 2016, according to University Network for Innovation and Technology Transfer (UNITT). On the other hand, Japanese universities earned JPY 4.53 billion (about USD 41.2 million). There is a big gap between them. However, it is not simply […]

Fighting over patent royalty rate

2018年にノーベル生理学・医学賞を受賞した日本人科学者の本庶佑氏が、日本の製薬会社である小野薬品工業と特許使用料をめぐって争っています。背景 報道によれば、2006年に、本庶氏と小野薬品工業は、がん治療薬「オプジーボ」(一般名:ニボルマブ)に応用されたPD-1に関する特許のライセンス契約を締結しました。しかし、オプジーボの開発が進んでいた2011年に、本庶氏がロイヤリティの引き上げを要求しましたが、交渉は期待したようには進みませんでした。そこで、本庶氏は、2019年4月10日に、世間の支持を得るために、契約の背景や概要を公表するという手段に出ました。[…]

Monetization-oriented international patent filing strategy
Monetization-oriented international patent filing strategy

How do you decide in which country you file a patent application? As you know, in order to obtain patent protection in multiple countries, you are required to file a patent application and obtain a patent in each country. Generally, you may choose filing countries on the basis of the existence of your business within the limits of your budgets. In addition, you may also consider potential market size, the situation of IP system of countries etc. For example, China, the U.S. and Germany are the most litigious countries and patentee friendly. The figure below, which is excerpted from the materials prepared by Michael C. Elmer for the Global IP Project, […]

Japan antitrust case: FTC cancels exclusion order to Qualcomm
Japan FTC decision on Qualcomm

On March 13 2019, Japan’s Fair Trade Commission (FTC) made a decision to cancel the exclusion order against Qualcomm which had been issued on September 28 2009 and appealed by Qualcomm on November 24 of that year. It took almost a decade! It’s too long, but Qualcomm has finally got an expected result.    The main issue was whether or not the Qualcomm’s license agreement on intellectual properties for CDMA mobile wireless communication, which includes the following provisions, possibly restrains the business activities of Japanese mobile device manufacturers and disrupts fair competition. Royalty free license of IP of the Japanese manufacturers to Qualcomm The manufacturers’ Non-assertion obligation against Qualcomm The manufacturers’ Non-assertion […]

If blockchain existed then, Ultraman copyright disputes would have never happened

Ultraman, it’s one of Japan’s superheros like America’s Superman. A copyright holder of Ultraman, Tsuburaya Productions has been in dispute with Chinese production companies which produced and released a film featuring Ultraman in 2017. These Chinese companies now released another film featuring Ultraman. In response to this, Tsuburaya Productions made a statement on January 17 2019 that “we will take all necessary legal steps to protect our legal rights.” (The featured photo is a scene in the film trailer). This case is actually not so simple like typical Chinese copycat cases. The disputes began with a Thai businessman (Chaiyo Productions), who had friendship with a former president of Tsuburaya Productions, claiming […]

Creators contribute to IP business matching

A Japanese local government Kawasaki-city, which plays an active role in patent licensing between large companies and SMEs as presented here, has set out on a new endeavor. Kawasaki-city invites creators to an IP business matching event to ask them to propose applications of patented technologies of participant large companies. For this, Kawasaki-city works with an agent company CREEK & RIVER to ask dispatch of the creators. Here is a press release (in Japanese) for this project, published by CREEK & RIVER. In this scheme, the key is whether or not the creators can propose specific products that SMEs are most interested in implementing such patented technologies. Also, extra care […]

Patent research & analysis to identify salable or licensable patents

Here are some useful patent research & analysis methods to identify salable or licensable patents, responding to previous article. 1. Technology trend research  This research is for reviewing whether or not a subject patent is likely to be used, from the viewpoint of technology trends. For a technology that is not used in the market, a patent for that technology has less opportunity to be sold or licensed. 2. Market research This is for researching current and future market size and trends of products or services related to a subject patent. Some investment is required to enter a new business or developing a new technologies. If the expected return does […]