December 14, 2020
The Japan Patent Office (JPO), jointly with the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Japan Patent Attorneys Association (JPAA), and the National Center for Industrial Property Information and Training (INPIT) (hereinafter referred to as the “organizers”), has been implementing the Patent Contest and the Design Patent Contest, aiming to recognize outstanding inventions and designs created by students in high schools, technical colleges and universities throughout Japan. From among the winners of the past contests, the organizers have further been selecting outstanding inventions or designs that have successfully been commercialized and honoring them with the JPO Commissioner’s Awards.
The JPO hereby announces that the organizers selected “Hatogi Project” as a winner of the JPO Commissioner’s Awards in the FY2020 contest.
The inventor group, consisting of students of the National Institute of Technology, Numazu College, is the winner of the Excellent Award in the FY2017 contest for its outstanding invention “Hamonotogiki,” or blade sharpener, which helps users smoothly sharpen the cutting edge of a blade. Since then, it obtained a patent right under the support of the organizers in application filing and finally succeeded in commercialization of the invention in January 2020.
In the FY2020 contests, 30 inventions and 30 designs were selected as winners of the Excellent Awards.
1. Outline of the Patent Contest and the Design Patent Contest
The organizers have been selecting and recognizing outstanding inventions and designs created and filed by students in high schools, technical colleges and universities throughout Japan, aiming to raise awareness of intellectual property (IP) among students and improve such students’ understanding of IP systems. For the results of the FY2020 contests, see the list of the winners (in Japanese).
Privileges of the winners
Students who have created winning inventions or designs are eligible to receive the following support measures from the organizers in the process ranging from application filing to acquisition of a patent or design right.
(1) Receiving free-of-charge counseling services from patent attorneys; and
(2) Receiving subsidies covering patent/design application fees, examination request fees, and annual patent fees or design registration fees (for the first three years).
2. FY2020 JPO Commissioner’s Awards
The JPO has been granting the JPO Commissioner’s Awards. From among the winners of the past contests, the organizers have further been selecting outstanding inventions or designs that have successfully been commercialized by taking advantage of the patent or design right that the winners acquired through support for application filing, and they have been honoring the selected inventions or designs with the JPO Commissioner’s Awards. The outline of the FY2020 winner of the JPO Commissioner’s Awards is as follows.
Outline of the winner
Title of the invention“Hamonotogiki” (blade sharpener)
Patent rightPatent No. 6357613 (award winning invention in the FY2017 Patent Contest)
Efforts for commercialization and other information
The inventor group, consisting of students of the National Institute of Technology, Numazu College, is the winner of the Excellent Award in the FY2017 contest for its outstanding invention “Hamonotogiki,” or blade sharpener, which helps users keep a blade at a specific angle and smoothly sharpen the cutting edge of the blade. Since then, the group obtained a patent right under the support of the organizers in filing an application and obtained a patent right in June 2018.
Following this, the inventor group launched a team called “Hatogi Project” in January 2019 bringing together students of the college as members and aiming to make use of the patent right. These members proactively attended seminars held by a chamber of commerce and industry and held meetings for discussing products with local companies, and through these opportunities, they acquired knowledge on business models and branding.
“Hatogi Project” advanced efforts for commercialization by sharing the roles of designing product drawings, preparing PR posters and team management among members, and finally succeeded in commercialization of “Hamonotogiki” in January 2020 after having displayed the product at several exhibitions. The team has successfully started selling the product to order through a local company.
3. Schedule of the commendation ceremony
Date: March 8 (Mon.), 2021
Format of the ceremony: Online style
Division in Charge
Policy Planning and Research Division, Policy Planning and Coordination Department, Japan Patent Office