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Release of Japan Patent Office Annual Report 2020

July 14, 2020

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) compiled trends surrounding intellectual property (IP) at home and abroad and the JPO’s initiatives into the Japan Patent Office Annual Report 2020, aiming to encourage the public to have interest in IP systems and enrich their understanding thereof.

1. Summary of the report

The opening article of the report features “MIRU Sports and Patents”. Sports and technologies are inseparable from each other. In the Tokyo 1964 Olympic Games, Japan broadcast sports games live for the first time in the world, which was called the “Television Olympics” at the time, and people at home and abroad were surprised by new technologies for conveying images of such games to people even in remote areas, such as color television broadcasting, VTR recording, slow-motion reproduction and close-talking microphones for relay broadcasting.

This article focuses on three MIRU technologies (MIRU literally means “see” or “watch” in Japanese) in the field of sports, i.e., “watching (kansensuru in Japanese),” “measuring (keisokusuru),” and “experiencing (taikansuru),” and explains cutting-edge technologies which assist stakeholders of sports games, i.e., athletes, judges and the audience, from their respective standpoints, such as: technologies for creating new styles for watching games, communication technologies for reproducing realistic virtual spaces for watching games, sensing technologies for assisting judges, technologies for reproducing video clips for athletes who wish to improve their techniques, and electronic ticketing systems capable of preventing unauthorized reselling of tickets. Moreover, the article also explains patents as “armor for protecting technologies” while referring to key points of companies’ “patent strategies.”

Part 1 of the report presents trends surrounding IP based on statistical materials, Part 2 explains the JPO’s initiatives, e.g., a variety of support measures and policies, targeting diverse users, and Part 3 offers trends in IP systems in overseas countries and regions and the efforts for developing global IP environments.

In addition, the report contains columns mainly focusing on hot topics, such as interviews with venture businesses in the field of AI taking advantage of IP.

Moreover, the Statistics and Materials Parts in the Annex to the report explain a variety of statistics and materials concerning IP, including statistical data which the figures and tables in the report are based upon.

2. Website for accessing the report

For the full text of the report, visit the JPO website.

Division in Charge

Policy Planning and Research Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, Japan Patent Office