Japan's IP Experts 2022
28 February 2022
Japan has long been a favourite jurisdiction for overseas companies to file patent applications. That trend continues, according to a recent report released in late 2021 by the Japan Patent Office, despite a continuing decline in the total number of patent applications there. The JPO received a total of 288,472 patent applications in 2020, representing a decrease of 6.3 percent over 2019, a larger decrease compared to the 1.78 percent decrease in 2019 over 2018 numbers.That said, the number of international patent applications filed in Japan grew by 1 percent in 2020, which mimics trends reported by the JPO over the past five years.
Japan is also a global leader in exporting its brands and its pop culture, and thereby its trademarks. Hondas and Toyotas make up significant portions of the cars on the roads in many countries around the world, while Sonys and Toshibas and Hitachis account for many of the appliances all those commuters are going home to. Anime and manga continue to grow in popularity in Asia and around the world, providing opportunities for lawyers and law firms to work to protect Japanese brands overseas.
And at home, Japanese consumers make up the world’s third-largest market by GDP, and boasts a strong middle class with plenty of disposable income, making trademark and brand protection within Japan of great interest to foreign brands. All of this suggests that intellectual property lawyers in Japan will continue to have ample opportunities to advise their domestic and foreign clients alike on patent, trademark and other forms of IP rights protection.