New York (2004)
General Corporate , Start-up Businesses , International Transactions , IP Licenses , Venture Capital/IP Finance
1997 Waseda University (LL.B.)
2003 Stanford Law School (LL.M.)
1997-2000 SAH & Co., Tokyo
2003-2004 Visiting Scholar, The George Washington University Law School
Jan 2011 Articles How firms should pay 'reasonable value' to employee-inventors IP Value 2011
May 2010 Titles A Guide to the Partial Revision of the Japanese Copyright Law
May 2010 Articles Japan Chapter
PLC Cross-border Handbooks IP in Business Transactions 2010/11
May 2009 Articles Japan Chapter
PLC Cross-border Handbooks IP in Business Transactions 2009/10 p.91-98
May 2010 ALB Japan Law Awards 2010
Collecting, analysing, combining and processing large amounts of information is critical to the development of the information industry, as exemplified by the Internet of Things, Big Data analytics and artificial intelligence. However, since information often includes copyrighted works, its use can constitute copyright infringement even where there is no harm to the copyright owner. To resolve these problems, acts amending the Copyright Act and the Unfair Competition Prevention Act were recently enacted.
The Trademark Law and its related regulations govern the registration and protection of trademarks in Japan. The Examination Guidelines for Trademarks also play an important role in the examination of trademark applications at the Japan Patent Office. Revisions to the examination guidelines are underway and additional revisions (eg, guidelines on judging the similarities between trademarks) are under discussion.
Recent patent law amendments have made it easier for employers to retain exclusive rights to employee inventions. The amendments enable employers to abolish employees' patent rights to inventions created during the course of their employment. In addition, new government guidelines aim to reduce ambiguities concerning payments that should be made to employee inventors when abolishing these rights.
As technology has become more sophisticated, there has been a trend towards open innovation, whereby a number of companies share technologies for research, development and production. Amendments to the Patent Act are a response to the changes in the innovation environment and enhance the user-friendliness of patent procedures.
Where employees or ex-employees demand payment for inventions, the method of calculating reasonable value is a crucial issue - uncertainty can obstruct management strategies, cast doubt on mergers and acquisitions and expose a company to the risk of lawsuits. Companies should consider key case law and the revised Patent Law provisions in seeking to minimise their risk.