The term "invention" is defined as advanced technical ideas that make use of the laws of nature, while the term "patented invention" is defined as inventions that have been registered by the authorities concerned after due examination.
In recent years (the so-called "pro-patent age", the scope of patent rights are generally expanding. Examples showing this trend may include:
- Some computer programs and business models, that used to be deemed as not being inventions; however, "things created without making use of the laws of nature", have come to be admitted as "inventions".
- The concept of the "doctrine of equivalents" is accepted positively these years in patent disputes.
- Recent patent infringement cases have resulted in larger monetary awards.
The Japanese Government has followed this trend and is placing a special emphasis on protection of intellectual property through the enactment of the "Fundamental Law of Intellectual Property" in addition to the implementation of other measures as part of the strategy to improve Japan's international competitiveness. For example, "basic intellectual property law" is enacted. In a capitalistic society based on the principles of free competition where monopoly is prohibited, the one and only field that permits a limited monopoly is - this intellectual property system. We strongly recommend you to make full use of this system for your business.
Please feel free to contact Yamaguchi & Associates for anything you need about patent applications.