Heart-shaped grapes

  • 2023年09月22日

#intellectual property

I received grapes from my neighbor.

My Heart

They said that they buy them at Komadachi in Okazaki City.
The grapes are a rare heart-shaped variety called “My Heart” and can be eaten without seeds and with the skin intact. They are sweet and delicious, and the beautiful heart-shaped grapes make me very happy. It is a treat every year during this season.

My Heart

I found out that “My Heart” is a grape variety developed by Shimura Grape Research Institute, which is a cross between “Shine Muscat” and “Wink”.
https://dr-tomio.com/pages/myvariety (Only in Japanese)

Excellent varieties can be protected under the variety registration system (Seed and Seedling Law).
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has a variety registration data search page that shows that “My Heart” is not registered, but “Shine Muscat” and “Wink” are registered.

Intellectual property is also important in the field of agriculture, forestry, and fisheries.
The Japan Patent Attorneys Association (JPAA) website provides an overview of agricultural and fisheries intellectual property, including agribusiness that utilizes intellectual property.
https://www.jpaa.or.jp/nousui-ip/index.html (Only in Japanese)

Leave your agricultural and fisheries intellectual property matters to us. We look forward to hearing from you.

Now, Komadachi is famous for grapes in Okazaki City.
Grapes picking seems to be open until around October 10, so if you are considering leisure activities in the Okazaki area, I recommend you visit. (Cacao)
https://www.coma-grape.com/ (Only in Japanese)

Toyota Ecoful Town

  • 2023年09月08日

#intellectual property

 The other day, I went to “Toyota Ecoful Town” in Toyota City.
Toyota City has been selected by the government as an “SDGs Future City” to lead activities to achieve the SDGs.
The city is expanding its efforts to achieve the SDGs, focusing on “energy,” “mobility,” and “wellness”.
The Toyota Ecoful Town is a base for prosperous lifestyles and a facility where visitors can experience examples of new initiatives that look 10 to 50 years into the future.

Toyota Ecoful Town

 The Toyota Ecoful Town had exhibits on compact mobility, global issues, drones, Toyota City’s history, and the SDGs, including a hydrogen station, a plant cultivation unit, and an off-grid trailer house.
Visitors were also able to see a device that converts water in the air into drinking water and can generate 4 liters per day. This can be expected to help with water shortages in emerging countries where water is cut off during disasters and clean water is not available.

 It was very impressive to learn about both the vision and the direction of society, from a manufacturing town to a town where things, matters, and people are created, and also to see the society 50 years from now, with the video of Toyota City 50 years from now.
If you are interested in the contents, please visit Toyota Ecoful Town. (Raspberry)

Toyota Ecoful Town https://toyota-ecofultown.com/en/

INTA2023 in Singapore

  • 2023年06月21日

#intellectual property #trademark

 I participated in INTA2023 held in Singapore from May 16 to 20. INTA2023 is the annual meeting of INTA (International Trademark Association), where many trademark attorneys, patent attorneys, and other IP professionals gather from all over the world. This year, more than 3,700 companies from around the world gathered for the event. This year, more than 8,000 people from over 3,700 companies and organizations registered to attend.

Singapore INTA2023

 The venue was the Sands Expo & Convention Center. The exhibition hall on the first floor was very spacious, and many companies and organizations exhibited booths, including companies and IP firms that provide IP-related tools from various countries. During the exhibition, I had meetings with local representatives of various countries with whom I have daily business relationships, and also interacted with IP professionals from various countries whom I met both inside and outside the venue. Interaction with IP professionals whom I got to know by being approached during breaks and by talking to them was an experience that I was able to have only because I participated in the real event.

INTA2023 INTA2023

 Singapore is famous for the Merlion! So after the meeting, we stopped by Merlion Park. The actual Merlion was just as I had imagined, neither too big nor too small, and in both color and shape. It was a new discovery that there was a mini Merlion behind the Merlion.

Merlion mini Merlion

 During my business trip, most of the people I saw at the airport and in town, and those I interacted with inside and outside the venue, were not wearing masks, and I was honestly perplexed by the difference from the situation in Japan before my departure. But at the same time, I remembered the situation that was normal and usual before the Corona disaster. I believe that in the future there will be more real exchanges in Japan and economic activities in various industries will become more active. As one of patent attorneys, I will continue to engage in activities that will lead to the boosting of the intellectual property industry and industrial circles. (Hiro)

Discovery of Client Products

  • 2023年05月29日

#intellectual property #trademark

Last week, I went to a large hospital near my workplace for my company’s regular medical checkup. My least favorite part of the checkup is the blood draw. I didn’t want to see the needle being inserted or the blood being drawn, so I distracted myself by looking at the box on the table. The box contained antiseptic cotton for use prior to needle insertion. I looked carefully at the lid of the box and saw that it was a product called ” Alwety ” made by Osaki Medical Co., Ltd.


Osaki Medical Co., Ltd. manufactures and sells many products for medical and nursing care, and its products are spread not only in Japan but also in other countries.
Our firm assists in applying for trademark registration of product names and logos. They have an intellectual property department that is getting a lot of attention on TV, and we hope that they will continue to develop products that will benefit the world. (Rabbit)

Osaki Medical Co., Ltd. Website
Alwety Product List
Alwety Public Gazette

Manga Guide to “Intellectual Property” Work

  • 2023年05月17日

#intellectual property #patent attorney

 The TV drama “Copy That?” was introduced on our blog some time ago. Have you been watching it?

 I watch it every week. By the way, I rarely watch TV dramas. I started watching it “just in case” because I work at a patent firm, but the content was more elaborate and interesting than I expected, and now I even record it every week to watch it (laugh). Personally, I have also learned the difference in perspective between a corporate IP department and a patent firm.

 I started reading the original novels (1 and 2) after watching the drama, and a comicalized version has already been published. It seems to be free to read so far. It looks like the original novel has been shrunk down so much that it can be read in no time at all. If you have read the novel, you may want to put the comicalized version off.

 In the vein of introducing the comicalized version of “Copy That?”, I would like to introduce another work that gives you a taste of “intellectual property” work in manga form.

 One such work is the manga “Heavy Guard,” published by the Japan Patent Attorneys Association (JPAA). Unlike “Copy That?” which is from the perspective of a corporate intellectual property department, this one depicts the daily work of a patent attorney from the perspective of a patent firm. Hirokane Production, well known for its “Kosaku Shima” series, is in charge of the artwork. So far, up to the 6th episode has been released, and each episode is divided into a first part and a second part, making it a fast-paced read. Its manga has more technical terms than “Copy That?” but it is not lacking in annotations.

 Although it is different from “Copy That?” and “Heavy Guard” which are easy-to-read manga works for general readers, the JPO has published a manga called “Manga Examination Criteria – AI/IoT Edition –”. This is a “cartoon of the basic concept of patent examination standards” with the “desire to familiarize non-patent experts with patent examination” and so on. The JPO hopes that “those who are interested in fields other than AI/IoT-related technologies” will also find the manga useful, since “the basic concept of patent examination is common to other fields as well”.

 The JPO has also published a manga, “History of Intellectual Property”. It introduces historical episodes of patents, designs, trademarks, etc., and features Korekiyo Takahashi, the first Commissioner of the Patent Office, as well as Japan’s ten greatest inventors. Local libraries have learning manga for children that feature inventions and discoveries, and this one is designed to be read in the same way.

The Corona Era and the Common University Entrance Test

  • 2023年05月01日

#intellectual property

 More than three years have passed since the era known as the Corona Disaster began in the latter half of January 2020; January 2020 was also the time when the last National Center Test for University Admissions was held. The following year, in 2021, the National Center Test for University Admissions was replaced by the Common University Entrance Test, and the third test was held in January of this year. As if in step with the Corona Era, the Common University Entrance Test has been conducted year after year.

 This year, Question 7 of the first question in Contemporary Society asked about appropriate policies regarding the relationship between patent rights related to drugs developed in developed countries for the treatment of “certain intractable diseases” and the use of such drugs in developing countries.

Excerpt from the question

 Developed countries have developed a cure for a certain intractable disease and the number of deaths has decreased significantly, whereas developing countries cannot afford to purchase the expensive cure, nor can they pay the high patent fees and manufacture it in their own countries. (omitted)
 Patent protection is important for developers of therapeutic drugs to recover the huge amount of money invested in new drug development and to conduct new research and development. (omitted) A policy of [ ] is appropriate to make therapeutics available now to people in developing countries without harming the interests of patent holders.

The correct choices to put in [ ] are as follows

 International organizations such as the World Health Organization use funds contributed by developed countries and philanthropic organizations to purchase therapeutic drugs and supply them to developing countries

 Although the question blurs the term “a certain incurable disease,” it is clear that the questioner is thinking of the coronavirus. It is assumed that this question was created based on the “Unit-Aid” concept, which was reportedly proposed by then Prime Minister Abe and considered by the G7 in May 2020.

https://www.yomiuri.co.jp/politics/20200622-OYT1T50161/ (Japanese only)
https://www.sankei.com/article/20200704-WRHVX2QXPROZVOZWJZ3BIGAXDU/ (Japanese only)

 Two and a half years have passed since the event in the real world, and the question may have been posed at a time when the evaluation of the options has become socially established. As someone involved in intellectual property, I would be happy if the examination questions like this could help students to take an interest in the patent system. (Conan)

 (Note) The illustration is an image and has nothing to do with the questions of the Common University Entrance Test.

Work of “Intellectual Property”

  • 2023年04月26日

#design #intellectual property #patent #trademark #utility model

The TV Drama series “Isn’t that Plagiarism?” has started!
I have been looking forward to the drama even more after reading the original novel. I am writing this article after the first episode aired, but I am very much looking forward to the future development of the drama as it has been reconstructed for the drama and there are many parts that differ from the original story from the very first episode. I was impressed by the lines “patents are a battle of words” and “the job of intellectual property is to protect the crystallization of someone else’s sweat and tears”.

In the first episode of the drama, the company where the main character works does not yet have an intellectual property department (IP department). How will the activities of the newly established IP department be depicted in the second and subsequent episodes? I think the content will be realistic as it is supervised by a patent attorney, so you will be able to gain knowledge that you can learn while enjoying the drama.

The original story has a subtitle “The Work of a New Intellectual Property Department Employee”.
I think it will help those companies that do not have an IP department but have a development department or a general affairs department that is concurrently in charge of IP. We would like to better understand the role of the IP department at our firm and utilize this information to provide services that are needed by our customers.

Isn't that Plagiarism? Isn't that Plagiarism?

By the way, the JPO also paid attention to this drama and tweeted about it.
It seems that they also cooperated in the filming of the drama, and you can see places that are not usually seen at the JPO. This is also noteworthy♪ (Cacao)

https://www.ntv.co.jp/sorepaku/original/ (Japanese only)
https://shueisha.online/culture/121224 (Japanese only)
http://www.jipa.or.jp/coffeebreak/hitokoto/hito2303.html (Japanese only)

Fuku-Can and Good Luck Charms

  • 2022年03月02日

#design #intellectual property #patent #trademark #utility model

One of the stores I like to stop by regularly is MUJI. While I have a variety of favorite products, I was able to buy the pre-ordered “Fuku-Can (Fortune Can)” for the first time last year, which I had been curious about for a long time. This year, I won the lottery and was able to buy one.

The “Fuku-Can” has a gift card with an amount equal to the purchase price (2,022 yen this year) and Japanese lucky charms in it. There are cute and interesting lucky charms in the can, and it’s fun just to look at the enclosed flyer that introduces them on both sides. It is also an opportunity to become familiar with Japanese culture rooted in the region.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of Fuku-Can, which was launched on New Year’s Day 2012 with 14 kinds of lucky charms from four prefectures in Tohoku, with the intention of supporting Tohoku’s recovery from the earthquake.
“CREATIVE IMAGINATION” exhibition was held at ATELIER MUJI GINZA in Ginza to celebrate the 10th anniversary the other day. I would have loved to drop by if it was close by.

Now, a search on J-PlatPat shows that there are 94 trademarks that hit the keyword “mujirushi ryouhin”. All of them are already registered. A search for the company name “Ryohin Keikaku” shows 224 trademarks, 368 designs, and 40 patents and utility models, indicating that the company is making extensive use of intellectual property.

Fuku-Can and Good Luck Charms

The photo shows the lucky charms that were included in last year’s and this year’s Fuku-Can. (I bought two of each).
From left to right, Kyoto City’s “Kyoto Ceramic Doll Koban (Ox),” Iwaki City, Fukushima Prefecture’s “Fukutaro,” Setouchi City, Okayama Prefecture’s “Oku Hariko (Tiger),” and Tamana County, Kumamoto Prefecture’s “Mud Mask (4 pieces).
The cans can also be used as pen holders, and I’m sure I’ll be collecting them every year♪ (Cacao)


Importance of checking properly

  • 2021年10月13日

#copyright #intellectual property

I saw illustrations in which the interesting image processing application was used, were shared on SNS that I use personally. The app is free to use and looks very fun so I wanted to try and use it. However, when I looked at the privacy section of the application store and the reputation on the internet, the terms said that the copyright, intellectual property rights, other rights of the pictures and images you drew are given to the sales company and the affiliated companies of the app so I decided not to download it.

This kind of wording can be seen in other apps, and it may be an unnecessary worry, but I think it’s best to be careful because the data you created may be used by third parties. (Swimmer)

Center Test (the Common Test for University Admissions) and Intellectual Property

  • 2021年07月07日

#intellectual property

Is knowledge of intellectual property useful for college entrance exams? In the modern society of the 2020 Center Test, there was a question 5 of the 4th question section to select the most appropriate description of the concept and legal system related to modern information and communication technology from four options. It was something like this:
“③ In Japan, there is no court specializing in cases related to intellectual property.”
Since Japan has the Intellectual Property High Court (established in 2005), this option is incorrect.

In a high school “information” textbook, in the section “Law in the Information Society” in the chapter “Society Supported by Information Systems”, industrial property rights (patent rights, utility model rights, design rights, and trademark rights) and an overview of copyright are given. “Information” is not an examination subject at present, but in March this year, it was announced that “Information” will be added to the subjects of the Center Test in 2025 and onwards.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20210324/k10012933181000.html (Japanese Only)

This may increase the interest of general high school students in intellectual property rights to some extent. However, in the “Information” sample questions presented by the National Center for University Entrance Examinations, basic communication knowledge, programming, and statistical processing questions are selected. In common tests, where the ability to think is more important than memorizing knowledge, it seems that the possibility of intellectual property rights knowledge questions being selected is basically low. However, if public interest in intellectual property increases depending on national policies, the tendency to ask questions may also be affected. (Conan)