Excerpts from Strategic Program for the Creation, Protection
and Exploitation of Intellectual Property

July 8, 2003
Intellectual Property Policy Headquarters


Japanese Source Preliminary Translation on September 19th, 2003

From Chapter 3 Chapter 3 Intellectual Property Exploitation

Even though outstanding results are produced from intellectual creation activities and proper protection is given to such results, it will be a "waste of treasures," and the revitalization of the economy will not be achieved, if these results are not utilized effectively. However, in Japan, there are a number of patents that are not in use. It has also been indicated that R&D investments in the private sector do not always contribute to economic growth. In order to make Japan "an intellectual property-based nation," owners of intellectual property including private companies are expected to exploit such assets in their business activities to the greatest extent, and it is also necessary for the GOJ to develop the business environment to this end.
In such light, by taking the following measures, the GOJ will support companies in promoting the strategic exploitation of intellectual property and develop necessary environments for such exploitation of intellectual property. The GOJ will also support companies in carrying out the international standardization of activities for the purpose of increasing the value of their technologies to the maximum.

2. Support for International Standardization Activities

(1)

Reinforcing Strategic International Standardization Activities

1) Promoting R&D, obtaining intellectual property rights, and standardization in national R&D projects


i) With respect to R&D projects of which the results are expected to spread and have a broad influence on society in the future, the GOJ will commence work on a strategy or vision for the standardization at an early stage of such R&D projects in FY 2003.
(Council for Science and Technology Policy, Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and other ministries and agencies concerned)
ii) With respect to national R&D projects to be conducted while taking standardization strategies into account, the GOJ will clearly include not only strategies for obtaining intellectual property rights but also strategies for standardization in the implementation plans for such R&D projects, and start securing financial sources for such standardization activities in FY 2004. The persons in charge of R&D projects should deal with these strategies responsibly and consult with experts who have knowledge on intellectual property and standardization, if necessary.
(Council for Science and Technology Policy, Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and other ministries and agencies concerned)
iii) In FY 2003, universities and public research institutes will start considering whether they should take standardization into account when they carry out R&D, according to their independent judgment and with the use of experts in this field. The GOJ will encourage universities and public research institutes to take measures toward standardization, such as voluntarily participating in activities for international standardization of R&D results, while respecting their individual characteristics and independent judgment as well as aiming at diffusing R&D results.
(Council for Science and Technology Policy, Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and other ministries and agencies concerned)


2) Reinforcing strategic international standardization activities through
industry-academic-government cooperation


i) By the end of FY 2003, the GOJ will take measures to accelerate deliberations of domestic standards in order to strategically use domestic standards as a step toward international standards, with the aim of achieving international standardization in R&D projects by the national government or private companies. The GOJ will also reinforce the relationship between domestic standardization and international standardization.
(Council for Science and Technology Policy, Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and other ministries and agencies concerned)
ii) The GOJ will promote international standardization of technologies created in Japan in a consistent and expeditious manner. To this end, the GOJ will interact with international standardization organizations such as the International Standardization Organizations (ISO), the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) while considering the roles of individual organizations. Furthermore, in order to reinforce cooperation, in the information communication field in particular, between the Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and other ministries and agencies concerned as well as cooperation between industries, universities and the government in FY 2003 and beyond, the GOJ will promote exchange of information and opinions in a more consistent manner than previously. The GOJ will also make efforts to promote appropriate cooperation in domestic deliberations on international standardization.
In order to ensure that the human resources at universities, public research institutes and companies will enthusiastically and consistently participate in international standardization activities and be able to take charge of major secretariat works in such activities, the GOJ will start reinforcing national strategic action in FY 2003.
(Council for Science and Technology Policy, Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and other ministries and agencies concerned)
iii) The GOJ will raise awareness of the importance of standardization activities, in particular among the top executives of universities and companies. To this end, the GOJ will start to hold seminars regarding the standardization of activities for executives and researchers at universities and companies in FY 2003.
(Council for Science and Technology Policy, Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and other ministries and agencies concerned)
iv) From the perspective of promoting strategic international standardization activities, the GOJ will start to take measures to reinforce cooperation with Asian countries, which have close economic relationships with Japan, through joint development of international standards.
(Council for Science and Technology Policy, Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and other ministries and agencies concerned)


3) Creating a favorable environment for the development of human resources specializing in standardization


In FY 2003, the GOJ will start to establish environments to promote the development of human resources specializing in standardization at universities and other educational institutions. In this regard, the GOJ will encourage universities in particular to take voluntary measures to provide educational programs regarding standardization in courses for the development of human resources specializing in standardization that will directly lead to business, existing courses for the development of intellectual property experts, and Management of Technology (MOT) courses.
(Council for Science and Technology Policy, Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and other ministries and agencies concerned)


4) Conducting research on standardization


In FY 2003, the GOJ will start to conduct research on standardization including analysis of the economic effects of international standardization on industrial competitiveness.
(Council for Science and Technology Policy, Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and other ministries and agencies concerned)

(2)

Promoting Standardization Activities in the Private Sector


In order to reduce the legal risks of forum standards, after consulting with companies about their specific needs, the GOJ will consider establishing and clarifying rules that will ensure the balance between standardization and competition policy by the end of FY 2003, while taking into account the trend of international discussions. The GOJ will also encourage companies to positively utilize the prior consultation services provided by the Japan Fair Trade Commission.
(Council for Science and Technology Policy, Japan Fair Trade Commission, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, and other ministries and agencies concerned)

(3)

Supporting Patent Pools Contributing to Technical Standards


1) Supporting the formation of patent pools


i) The formation and operation of patent pools is likely to raise the issue of violation of the Antitrust Law. For this reason, in FY 2003 and beyond, the GOJ will consider the necessity to review the "Guidelines for Patent and Know-How Licensing Agreements under the Antimonopoly Act" prepared by the Japan Fair Trade Commission in 1999, while taking into account specific needs from companies, the trend of international discussions, and specific problems obtained from the prior consultation services by the Japan Fair Trade Commission. (Japan Fair Trade Commission)
ii) In order for patent pools to function smoothly, the GOJ will consider systems and mechanisms with respect to measures against excessively high license fees, expert testimony on patents that are essential for technical standards, and the methods to evaluate such essential patents, while taking into account the specific needs of companies and the trend of international discussions, with the aim of identifying the direction to undertake by the end of 2003.
More specifically, with respect to expert testimony on essential patents and smooth evaluation, the GOJ should consider measures for the effective use of human resources specializing in patent evaluation, for the purpose of promoting the use of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and for ensuring that companies participating in patent pools will be able to easily consult with third party experts such as lawyers and patent attorneys for such testimony.
(Council for Science and Technology Policy, Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)


2) Dealing with patents owners who do not participate in patent pools


It is important to consider (i) whether it is appropriate for the owner of an essential patent that is contributable to a technical standard to exercise his right against the person who manufactures products according to the standard and (ii) what measures should be taken toward such a patent owner. In this case, it is necessary to take into account various matters such as the existence of a patent pool and the type of such pool relating to such technical standard and the process that leads to the exercise of the patent right. In light of this, by the end of FY 2003, the GOJ will consider measures by the Patent Law (compulsory license) to amend or improve the Patent Policy for Standardization Organizations, as well as the possibility of applying the Antitrust Law in the case above, according to the specific needs of companies and the trend of international discussions, and draw a conclusion.
(Council for Science and Technology Policy, the Japan Fair Trade Commission, Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications, and Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry)

 

 

 

 

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