February 26, 2003

Japanese IP Basic Law

The translation of the Japanese Intellectual Property Basic Law (Law Number 122/2002), December 4th 2002 is finished now. I consolidate it in this post for further reference. The Japanese original is here. And a English translation of the commission report of July 2002 advocating the concept of Japan as "a Nation built on Intellectual Property" is here.

There is also a "Provisional Translation" on the Japanese Prime Minister's website.

Table of contents

Chapter 1 General Rules (Articles 1 to 11)
Chapter 2 Basic Measures (Articles 12 to 22)
Chapter 3 Plans for Forwarding the Creation, Protection and Use of Intellectual Property (Article 23)
Chapter 4 Commission on Intellectual Property Strategy (Articles 24 to 33)
Annex

Chapter 1 General Rules

(Purpose)

Article 1

The purpose of this law is this. In the present situation the need for aiming at enhancing Japan’s international competitive power because of changes in the national and international society and economy is growing. Therefore, the purpose is to bring to life a vibrant economy and society which has the creation of added value as its core by creating new intellectual property and making efficient use of it. To this end, regarding the creation, the protection, and the use of intellectual property basic values and the basic points for bringing them to life are defined. The obligations of the Nation, of the Prefectures and Cities, and of the universities are clarified. There are rules about plans for forwarding the creation, the protection and the use of intellectual property, as well as about a new commission on intellectual property strategy. By adopting these rules, the law has as its purpose to forward in a concentrated and planned way measures about the creation, the protection and the use of intellectual property.

(Definitions)

Article 2

“Intellectual property” means: Inventions, utility models, new plant species, designs, works and other matters resulting from human creative activity (including discoveries or explanations about natural laws or phenomena, as far as they are susceptible of industrial application), trade marks, firm names and other means that are used in commerce to distinguish goods or services, and trade secrets and other technical or trade information that is important for business activity.
(2) “Intellectual property rights” means: Patents, utility model rights, plant variety rights, design rights, copyrights, trademarks, and other rights regulated by law or rights about interests protected by law.
(3) “Universities etc.” means: Universities and high level specialists schools (…), institutions used in common by universities (…), independent agencies (…) as far as they are engaged in research, special corporations (…), as far as they have research as their purpose, and national research institutions, and those of the prefectures and cities (Citations of other laws abridged in the translation).

(Sound development of the national economy and creation of a rich culture)

Article 3

Measures on the creation, protection, and the use of intellectual property have to be forwarded based on the following principles. By training a workforce with rich creative power, by utilizing that creative power sufficiently, by providing for protecting intellectual property quickly and suitably in Japan and in foreign countries in a manner consistent with the technological revolution, and by making active use of intellectual property in the economic society, the environment for the greatest possible utilization of the worth of intellectual property should be consolidated. In doing so, a society will materialize in which the citizens can enjoy the benefits of intellectual property in a wide way. At the same time, a base for the creation of new intellectual property in the future will be established. The sound development of the economy and the creation of a rich culture by these means shall be the principles of policy.

(Strengthening and constant development of Japan's international competitive power)

Article 4

Measures on the creation, protection, and the use of intellectual property have to be forwarded based on the following principles. By providing for a smooth application of the results of creative research and development in enterprises, by encouraging the pioneering of new business fields and the revolution of management and the founding of enterprises, Japan's industry and technological power should be strengthened and its vitality regained, the regional economy should become more active, and the opportunities for employment should grow. By these means, the international competitive strength of Japan's industry should be strengthened and it should be possible to contribute to a sustainable development of Japan's industry consistent with a changing economic environment in Japan and other countries.

(Obligations at national level)

Article 5

At national level, measures on the creation, the protection, and the use of intellectual property have to be decided on in line with the principles on the creation, the protection and the use of intellectual property outlined in the previous two articles (the principles).

(Obligations at municipal level)

Article 6

Prefectures and cities have to decide on and put into practice autonomously, following the principles and in appropriate cooperation with national authorities, measures on the creation, the protection and the use of intellectual property which make use of the special properties of their region

(Obligations of universities etc.)

Article 7

(1) Keeping in mind that universities etc. contribute by their activity to the creation of intellectual property in the whole of society, they have the obligation to actively work for the education of the workforce, research and the proliferation of the results of research.
(2) Universities etc. need to put effort into the goal of securing an adequate compensation for researchers and technicians and far-reaching research facilities, so as to make the work and the working environment of researchers and technicians attractive.
(3) When deciding on measures on the creation, the protection and the use of intellectual property on a national or municipal level, measures affecting universities or high level specialist schools or inter-university institutions, those measures and their execution need to take into account the respect for the independence of researchers and other special circumstances for research in universities, high level specialist schools or inter-university institutions.

(Obligations of enterprises)

Article 8

(1) Keeping in mind the important role of intellectual property for the development of Japanese industry, enterprises need to put effort according to the principles into the following directions. For the purpose of being able to aim at raising productivity by activity of the enterprise full of vitality and at strengthening the basis of the enterprise, aim at the active use of intellectual property created by the enterprise or other enterprises or by universities etc. and managing the enterprises' intellectual property in a appropriate way.
(2) Enterprises need to put effort into the goal of making the attractiveness of the work of inventors and other people actively creating appropriate to the importance of that work. For that end, they need to put effort into securing an adequate compensation of inventors and other people actively creating.

(Strengthening of collaboration)

Article 9

Keeping in mind the aim of putting into practice effectively the creation, protection of intellectual property by aiming at mutual cooperation of the nation, the prefectures and cities, the universities etc. and enterprises, measures on a national level necessary for strengthening the collaboration between these are to be taken.

(Consideration of promotion of competition)

Article 10

When promoting measures about the protection and use of intellectual property, it is necessary to keep in mind its fair use and the interests of the public, and consideration must be given to promoting a fair and free competition.

(Legal system measures etc.)

Article 11

The government has to take the necessary legal system and fiscal measures to put into practice the policies about creation, protection and use of intellectual property.

Chapter 2 Fundamental policies

(Furthering of research and development

Article 12

Taking into account that the creation of intellectual property with a high additive value by universities etc. is the foundation for a sustained development of the Japanese economy and society and considering the plans about development of science and technology regulated in article 2 of the basic science and technology law (law number 130/1995), on a national level, measures necessary to secure the supply and to train researchers with a rich creative power, to consolidate research facilities and to make efficient use of research funds are to be taken.

(Promotion etc. of transfer of results of research)

Article 13

Keeping in mind that research results at universities etc. are useful for the development of new business areas and for the progress of industrial technology, measures on a national level are to be taken to ensure that research results of universities are managed adequately and are transferred to businesses smoothly. To that end, organizations at the universities etc. are to be set up that make use of employees with professional knowledge about intellectual property, the process of registering intellectual property and other processes have to be improved, research on markets etc. and offering of information and other necessary measures are to be taken.

(Acceleration of granting of rights)

Article 14

(1) Regarding intellectual property as inventions, plant variety rights, designs, trademarks and others where the right is granted by national registration, so as to make it possible for businesses to realize their business activity smoothly by having their rights ascertained quickly, on a national level measures are to be taken to provide for a examination system that can handle the procedures quickly and exactly, as well as other necessary measures.
(2) When taking those measures, effort has to be made to achieve the understanding and cooperation of businesses, with a view to make sure of the practical effect of those measures.

(Completeness and speeding up of litigation procedure)

Article 15

Keeping into mind that the role of administration of justice in protecting intellectual property will become more important with the development of the use of intellectual property in the economic society, on a national level the necessary measures have to be taken to aim at a even more complete and speedy litigation procedure in lawsuits regarding intellectual property and at providing a professional processing organization of courts and a rich system for processing conflicts out of court.

(Measures against violation of rights)

Article 16

(1) Regarding the violation of intellectual property in the domestic market, on a national level the necessary measures such as prosecution of crimes against intellectual property and forfeiture of offending goods are to be taken under a system of close cooperation with businesses and business alliances.
(2) When the intellectual property of companies established under the laws of Japan or of other associations or of Japanese citizens (Japanese nationals, also in the following articles) are not protected appropriately in a foreign country, Japan will aim at working together with the government of that country and international organizations and relevant associations according to the circumstances and will make use of rights laid down in relevant treaties and take other necessary measures.

(Building of international system etc.)

Article 17

Japan has to put effort into building an internationally harmonized system of intellectual property, working together with the government of each country and under cooperation with the international organizations of intellectual property and other international frameworks. Also, regarding countries or regions where the system for the protection of intellectual property is not sufficiently provided, Japan has to take the necessary legal and other measures for providing an environment where Japanese nationals can acquire and make use of intellectual property rights swiftly and reliably.

(Protection of intellectual property in new fields)

Article 18

(1) Keeping in mind that by means of quick and appropriate protection of intellectual property for important results of research and development in life sciences and other areas where the technological revolution is progressing rapidly one can expect the creation of new enterprises through vibrantly starting businesses, on a national level, based on the results of studying the appropriate protection level for rights, the necessary legal system measures and other measures have to be taken.
(2) To aim at the appropriate protection for intellectual property that takes into account accurately the new diversity in the use of intellectual property associated with the spread of the Internet and other changes in the economic and social situation, on a national level measures to think new about the content of rights and to assist enterprises in the development and use of technical protection schemes and other necessary measures have to be taken.

(Providing an environment where enterprises can make use of intellectual property efficiently and appropriately)

Article 19

(1) To enable businesses to make use of intellectual property for the creation of new enterprises and to aim at the smooth realization of these enterprises, on a national level measures to establish methods of appropriate evaluation of intellectual property, to build business directives which can help enterprises and other measures to provide an environment where enterprises can make use of intellectual property efficiently and appropriately are to be taken.
(2) When taking those measures, keeping in mind that small and medium level enterprises play an important role in keeping up and improving Japan's economic power, special consideration is to be given to the establishment of businesses by individuals and the pioneering of new enterprises by ambitious small and medium level enterprises.

(Offering information)

Article 20

On a national level the necessary measures are to be taken to analyze developments on intellectual property in Japan and abroad, prepare necessary statistical data and other documents, provide a database about intellectual property, and in this way offer information to businesses, universities etc. over the Internet and other high-speed networks.

(Promotion of Education)

Article 21

So as to realize a society in which intellectual property rights are respected by deepening the understanding and interest of citizens in intellectual property, on a national level the necessary measures are to be taken to promote education and learning about intellectual property and to spread knowledge about intellectual property by public relations activities.

(Securing a workforce etc.)

Article 22

So as to promote the creation, the protection, and the use of intellectual property, on a national level, in close cooperation with universities etc. and businesses, the necessary measures are to be taken to secure a workforce with professional knowledge of intellectual property, as well as to training and improving the level of that workforce.

Chapter Three

Plans on the promotion of the creation, the protection, and the use of intellectual property

Article 23

(1) The central commission on intellectual property has to draw up plans for the promotion of the creation, the protection, and the use of intellectual property (in the following "promotion plans") according to the provisions of this chapter.
(2) The promotion plans decide on the following items.
1. Guidelines on the measures regarding the creation, the protection, and the use of intellectual property the government has to take in a focused way.
2. Measures regarding the creation, the protection, and the use of intellectual property the government has to take in a focused and planned way.
3. Measures regarding the promotion of education in the field of intellectual property and the securing of a workforce the government has to take in a focused and planned way.
4. Other items necessary for promoting the creation, the protection, and the use of intellectual property in a focused and planned way.
(3) As a general principle, when deciding on measures in the promotion plan, a definite target and the date for its achievement are to be decided on.
(4) Whenever the central commission on intellectual property draws up a promotion plan under paragraph 1 above, that plan has to be made public immediately over the Internet and other appropriate means.
(5) The central commission on intellectual property has to research the status of achievement of the targets of paragraph 3 at appropriate times and make public the results of that research over the Internet and other appropriate means.
(6) The central commission on intellectual property has to research the circumstances surrounding intellectual property and evaluate the effectiveness of the measures on the creation, the protection and the use of intellectual property, and has to reconsider the promotion plan in light of the above, and has to change the promotion plan when necessary.
(7) The provisions of paragraph 4 are to be applied correspondingly to the changing of the promotion plan.

Chapter 4 Central commission on intellectual property

(Establishment)

Article 24

For the purpose of promoting the creation, the protection and the use of intellectual property in a focused and planned way, the central commission for intellectual property (in the following: commission) is established.

(Functions)

Article 25

The commission performs the following functions.

1. Draw up the promotion plan and promote putting it into practice.
2. Other than the functions mentioned in number one, research and discussion about important plans regarding the creation, the protection, and the use of intellectual property, and other functions regarding the putting into practice of measures and their coordination.

(Organization)

Article 26

The commission consists of the president of the central commission on intellectual property, the vice president of the central commission on intellectual property and members of the central commission on intellectual property.

(President of the central commission on intellectual property)

Article 27

(1) The function of president of the central commission on intellectual property (in the following "president") is performed by the Prime Minister.
(2) The president leads the functions of the commission, commands and supervises the staff of the commission.

(Vice president of the central commission on intellectual property)

Article 28

(1) The commission has a vice president of the central commission on intellectual property (in the following "vice president"), which function will be performed by a cabinet minister.
(2) The vice president assists the president in his work.

(Central commission on intellectual property members)

Article 29

(1) The commission has members of the central commission on intellectual property (in the following members).
(2) The following are members:
1. The president, the vice president and all other cabinet ministers.
2. Members appointed by the prime minister for their excellent knowledge about the creation, the protection, and the use of intellectual property.

(Presentation of materials and other cooperation)

Article 30

(1) When necessary for its work, the commission can ask the chief of concerned administration offices, municipal organizations and independent administrative legal persons to present materials, to state opinions, to explain or cooperate in other necessary ways.
(2) When necessary for its work, the commission can request necessary help from persons other than those mentioned in paragraph 1.

(Office work)

Article 31

Office work relating to the commission is carried out by the government secretariat. The Vice Chief Cabinet Secretary administrates this by order.

(Responsible cabinet minister)

Article 32

The responsible cabinet minister as referred to by the cabinet law (law number five of 1947) for matters relating to the commission is the Prime Minister.

(Government ordinance power)

Article 33

Matters concerning the commission that need regulation and are not decided in this law are to be decided by government ordinance.

Posted by Karl-Friedrich Lenz at February 26, 2003 10:29 AM | TrackBack
Comments

Not a very good translation at all. Who is responsible for it? Obviously someone who is not very familiar with Japanese legal language and its translation into English legal language. (Not that the Japanese Government really cares...)

Posted by: Mr Johnson on February 26, 2003 07:31 PM

Actually I only noticed that translation on the Prime Minister web site after finishing my own. And I did not study it very closely, so I don't want to comment on its quality.

Posted by: Karl-Friedrich Lenz on February 28, 2003 01:22 AM
Post a comment