Sometimes the right to patent an invention doesn’t rest directly with the inventor but rather with the company the inventor works for. Many companies, universities and research centers take measures to ensure that the institution, and not the inventor, owns all patents arising from an invention.
The Madrid Agreement is an international treaty regulating the protection of intellectual property. Ninety countries are registered to the system established by the treaty and it is administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) The portion of the Madrid System that applies to trademarks is called the Madrid Protocol.
Patent law in Japan covers inventions that “utilize the laws of nature.” This qualification makes Japanese patent law unique and means that inventions that the products of a person’s mind, rules to a game or scientific laws cannot be patented. Therefore, business method patents, which are designed to protect an intangible business idea, are generally not recognized in Japan.
Winning a copyright infringement action in Japan usually entitles the copyright owner to money damages from the infringing party. The three main types of damages awarded in copyright infringement cases are: damages based on the unlawful profit, damages based on the lost profit and damages based upon a reasonable license fee. Which type of damages a copyright owner chooses to pursue can have a big impact on the amount of money recovered in successful litigation.