In order to improve utilization of “data”, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry revised the Unfair Competition Prevention Act in May 2018.  This revision provides remedies for misappropriation of “Protected Data” (effective date: July 1, 2019) and expands scope of protection related to Technological Restriction Measures, such as encryption (effective date: November 29, 2018).


Daikin Industries, Ltd. pledged non-assertion of HFC-32 patents, which have been filed after 2011.
Daikin looks to further facilitate the adoption of equipment using HFC-32 refrigerant.

Source Daikin website

The Fair Trade Commission has ordered baby goods maker Aprica Children’s Products G.K. to stop urging retailers to not sell its products below its proposed prices.

Source The Japan Times

The JPO published a report of the current status of AI related applications in Japan and overseas.
According to the report, the number of applications related to AI technique has rapidly increased since 2014.
The number of applications in the US and China is outstanding.

Source JPO website

Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. entered into a cross-licensing agreement on LED technique with Citizen electronics Co., Ltd.

Source Japan Rubber Weekly (Japanese)

Five groups including JASRAC (Japanese Society for Rights of Authors) submitted three resolutions which were adopted at the CISAC General Agency to the Agency for Cultural Affairs. One of the resolutions is about private copy remuneration in Japan which urges the government of Japan “to expeditiously establish a new, functional, updated, modern and equitable private copying remuneration system”.


Japan Fair Trade Commission published the result of an actual condition survey on exploitation of intellectual property and know-how of Japanese makers.
According to the survey, in 726 cases among about 16,000 answers, makers answered that their IP, know-how, client list, etc. had been exploited by big companies which had abused their superior conditions to the makers.
Japan Fair Trade Commission announced that it would take strict measures against such cases which violate the Act on Prohibition of Private Monopolization and Maintenance of Fair Trade or the Subcontract Act.

Source JFTC website (Japanese)

The Ground Panel has rendered a judgment.
This judgment clarifies the criteria for deciding the amount of damage
An English translation of the judgment will be soon published.

Source IPHC website

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