Nobel laureate demands higher cancer drug royalties than in their contract which was made in 2006.

Source Nikkei Asian Review

The Japanese government is conferring with business leaders and lawyers to establish an international division within the Intellectual Property High Court where cases could be heard in English.

Source Nikkei Asian Review

Nikkei, a Japanese economic news company, reported a list of top 50 companies for the number of patent applications published from 2016 to 2018 in the field of artificial intelligent (AI). Country by country, China is the top of the list. Nineteen Chinese companies were ranked in the list and surpassed the US companies (twelve companies in the list).

Source Nikkei website (Japanese)

The JPO will submit the bill that includes a new rule to strongly protect IP rights to the ordinary session of the Diet.

As to evidence collection, site inspection by neutral experts will be admitted under certain requirements.  It allows a plaintiff to prove the infringement more easily.

As to calculating the amount of damages, a plaintiff can target all amounts of the products which a defendant sold regardless of the plaintiff’s production ability.

Source Nikkei website (Japanese)

In a provisional disposition to seek a deletion of illustrations posted on an information site without copyright-holder’s permission, the Tokyo District Court ordered Cloudflare, Inc., which had copied the information site and relayed the delivery of the copied information site, to delete the illustrations and disclose the information of the site administrator on January 28th. Cloudflare, Inc. is a leading US IT related company providing CDN services which are used by some pirate sites.

Source Nikkei website (Japanese)

A Japanese court handed down stiff penalties against three operators of a so-called leech site that facilitated piracy of copyrighted content.

Source Nikkei Asian Review

The copyright term in Japan will be extended from 50 years to 70 years (effective on December 30).

Source The Japan Times

Toray Industries, Inc., who possesses a patent covering an antipruritic agent “Nalfurafine”, sued generic companies, Sawai Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. and Fuso Pharmaceutical Industries, Ltd., for patent infringement to the Tokyo District Court on December 13 to seek an injunction against the production, etc. of their products.

Because the patent relates to second medical use of known compounds and the term of the patent has been extended, one of the issues of this case is the scope of an extended patent right of a second medicinal use invention, on which issue no court decision has been made yet.

Source Nikkei website (Japanese)

Nintendo posted “Nintendo Game Content Guidelines for Online Video & Image Sharing Platforms” on its official website on November 29.

In the official website, it is announced “As long as you follow some basic rules, we will not object to your use of gameplay footage and/or screenshots captured from games for which Nintendo owns the copyright (“Nintendo Game Content”) in the content you create for appropriate video and image sharing sites. To help guide you, we prepared the following guidelines:” (Nintendo website).

Source Engadget Japanese Edition

SoftBank Robotics obtained a three-dimensional trademark of “Pepper”, the famous humanoid robot with a tablet over its chest.

Source Nikkei website (Japanese)

JPO announced on November 8, 2018 that 260 applicants (out of 3,587) had passed the patent bar examination of the year of 2018.
The number of patent attorneys is increasing little by little.
Now there are more than 11,000 patent attorneys and 4,900 patent firms in Japan.

Source JPO website(Japanese)

Government is making a new rule in antitrust law to regulate IT major companies, which are so called “Platformers”.
It seems whether or not monopolization of data inhibits competition will be one of the criteria for examining M&A by Fair Trade Commission and the number of intellectual properties and researchers relating to date and AI will be evaluated as a factor influencing the competition.

Source Nikkei website(Japanese)

Japanese Patent Office (JPO) tries to make new framework to support universities to obtain patents.

JPO will establish “a supporting team for fundamental research” for providing useful information such as technology trends and registered patents in internationally spotlighted fields so as to encourage universities to get patents.

Source Nikkei website (Japanese)

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)

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)