Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
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METI Hold Meetings of the Cross-sectional System Study Group for the Fourth Industrial Revolution

In recent years, innovative technologies have been emerging, accompanied by significant increases in the data which can be processed to provide information, as represented by big data, the improvement of computers’ performance, and technological innovation in artificial intelligence (AI).
Recently, the New Industry Structure Study Group of the Industrial Structure Council stressed the need for discussion on the direction of cross-sectional systems including a competition policy and an intellectual property policy that correspond to the new industrial structure. In response to this proposal, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) hold meetings of the Cross-sectional System Study Group for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

1. Background

In recent years, innovative technologies have been emerging, accompanied by significant increases in the data which can be processed to provide information, as represented by big data, the improvement of computers’ performance, and technological innovation in artificial intelligence (AI) . Additionally, in the digital product market, new products and services have been developed by utilizing AI to analyze data collected through the Internet and other means, and further data is being collected through offering the products and services and acquiring customers. With this improved data collection and analysis, products and services have been improved and increasingly tailored to customer needs (/upgraded), resulting in acquisition of more customers, sparking additional innovation and a virtuous cycle.

2. Efforts to be made by the Study Group

In the above background situation, while transactions and data may be concentrated among certain influential business operators, new business models have been created which the beneficiary does not pay a charge to the service provided, such as the service provider obtaining revenue from advertisements to users and charging a fee only for additional services.

In addition, beyond the music and images that have been digitalized to this point, the development and dissemination of 3D scanning and printing technology not only make it easy to reproduce 3D objects, but also allow for the possibility that the physical transfer of things (objects and products )will be replaced by the transfer of data for the creation of those objects, which can be easily and instantly transferred across national borders, and the ideal state of intellectual property protection will become an issue.

Based on the recognition of the current situation and awareness of the issues mentioned above, assuming the possibility of dramatic and rapid changes in the structure of industry, the Study Group will review and summarize the current situation and issues relating to cross-sectional systems including the competition policy and intellectual property policy, and discuss future actions.

3. Future schedule

The Study Group will meet about once a month.
(The first meeting is to be held on January 15 (Fri.), 2016.)

Release date

January 14, 2016

Division in charge

  • Corporate System Division, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau
  • Competition Enhancement Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau
  • Intellectual Property Policy Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
1-3-1 Kasumigaseki, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8901, Japan Tel: +81-(0)3-3501-1511
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