The development, production and provision of therapeutic medications, vaccines, medical devices and infection control products are necessary to diagnose, prevent, contain and treat COVID-19. Patent owners and other IP rights holders must therefore cooperate with each other and support new ideas to prevent the spread of COVID-19 without hindering development in the IP sector. To this end, an IP-related solution was recently announced in Japan – namely, the Open COVID-19 Declaration.
The Tokyo District Court recently rendered its judgment in a patent infringement case regarding fintech-related technologies. This case has been widely reported on in Japan because both parties are major venture businesses and leaders in the Japanese fintech market. This case is also notable as the defendant's cloud-based accounting system involved machine-learning technologies and disputes of this nature are expected to increase.
The Law on Special Measures for Industrial Revitalization is to be further amended by Law 36/2007. Among other things, the amendment introduces a non-exclusive patent licence registration system. Where a licensing agreement complying with certain requirements is registered in the Specified Non-exclusive Licences Register, the licences covered by the agreement will be effective against third parties.
The IP High Court has overturned a first instance decision by the Tokyo District Court, which had ruled that software programs sold by Justsystem infringed a Matsushita patent for the help function of a software program. This was the first case heard by the Grand Panel of the court. The panel found that the Matsushita patent was invalid as obvious and thus could not be enforced against Justsystem.