Intellectual Property

September 5, 2017

In what situations is a copyright unenforceable in Japan?

Not all unauthorized uses of copyrighted material can be the basis for a infringement litigation.  Some types of behavior that would otherwise be infringing are allowed under the Copyright Act.  For example, use of copyrighted material in schools for educational purposes is generally allowed under the Copyright Act.  Therefore, if a teacher copies passages out of a novel to create homework for his or her students, the copyright owner cannot sue the teacher for infringement.
August 10, 2017

How do I make money from my copyrights in Japan?

Owning a copyright prevents others from copying your work.  This is helpful to maintain the integrity of your brand but merely preventing copying by itself does not generate any revenue for the copyright owner.  In order to monetize your copyrights, it is important to enter into licensing agreements with other parties who wish to copy your work.
July 18, 2017

Should IP licenses be registered with the Japanese Patent Office?

When licensing a patent to another party it is possible to register the license with the Japanese Patent Office.  However, registering a license is not required in every case.  Generally, the only licenses that need to be registered are exclusive licenses.
June 23, 2017

Can a third party submit an opinion on a pending patent application in Japan?

Normally, the patent office is only provided with the patent applicant’s viewpoint when considering a patent application.  However, this sometimes doesn’t give the patent office all the information necessary to make a decision on the application as there might be certain prior art that the applicant may wish to hide.  This is why it is also possible for third parties to submit their opinions on pending applications.