The Patent Office is aiming to submit an amendment of Design Act to the ordinary Diet session in 2019.
According to the amendment, the duration of design right shall be extended from 20 years to 25 years and website layout and the interior and exterior design of a building shall be included in the subject of the design protection.

Source Nikkei website (Japanese)

[Title of the case] Litigation seeking rescission of the JPO decision of dismissal of motion to invalidation of a patent covering a pharmaceutical compound.

[Key issue] Inventive step and the legal interest for filing a litigation against a JPO decision

This is Grand Panel case.  The IP High Court stated in the judgement:

(i)the legal interest for filing litigation against a JPO’s invalidation-trial decision would not be lost even after the expiration of the patent right unless there is a special circumstance.

(ii)if a cited invention alleged is indicated by a general formula covering an enormous number of compounds, such an invention cannot be recognized as a cited invention, since it is impossible to derive a technical concept specifically relating to a compound unless there is any reason to preferentially or positively select the technical concept.

Source IPHC website

JPO announced that “Japan Platform for Patent Information (J-PlatPat) “, Japanese Patent Database system, would be improved and a new version would be released on May 2019.

In the new version, the quality of the translation will be improved by incorporating machine learning technique, the range of data will be increased (e.g., documents filed during the examination stage of designs and trademarks and documents filed during the appeal stage will be covered), and the timelag to update will be reduced.
We believe such improvements will be also useful for overseas people who engage in intellectual property.

Source JPO website (Japanese)

Tokyo University got the most amount of revenue of Intellectual Property among 66 national universities in Japan in 2016. It got about 810 million yen (about 7.3 million dollars). This was still far less than Universities in US.

Source Nikkei website (Japanese)

[Title of the case] Injunction against the unfair use and disclosure of information about trade secrets
[Key issue](i)
The governing law for seeking an injunction.

(ii) The criterion for “gross negligence” of the Unfair Competition Prevention Act.

Court stated that if information owned by a Japanese corporation was used or disclosed in Japan, the governing law was the law of Japan.

Court stated that the acquisition of the document in the ordinary course of business corresponds to a fact that denies the existence of the duty of care.

Source IPHC website

“The Tokyo District Court rejected plaintiffs’ demands over a huge leak of personal information from education company Benesse Corp., ruling that names, birth dates and addresses are just not “private enough” to warrant compensation.”

Source "Court: Data in Benesse leak not private enough for redress" (June 21, 2018 ) of The Asahi Shimbun Digital

[Title of the invention] Press-in construction method using augers and steel sheet piles
[Key issue] “Distributed publications” of Article 29 (1) of Patent Law

Court stated that “Distributed publications” meant documents, drawings, and other similar information communication media, which were reproduced for the purpose of disclosing an invention through distribution to the public and were distributed to a large number of unspecified or specified people.

Source IPHC website