IP registration in Japan
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11 Countries Except the United States Agreed in Principal on TPP

Zen International Patents and Trademarks In a ministerial meeting held in central Da Nang in central Vietnam on 11th November 2017, Japan and Vietnam, the presidencies, announced that 11 countries participating in Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreeded in principle about the content of the new agreement named “Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTTP)”. However, regarding the extension of the duration of the copyright to 70 years, 11 countries decided to continue discussion further. Japan is aiming to conclude the new agreement at an early date.

Illustration of TPP meeting

CM Animation about Soap Made in Japan 100 years ago

Zen International Patents and Trademarks A soap advertisement movie that had been sold by “Nakayama Taiyodo” (now CLUB cosmetics Co.,LTD.) , a cosmetics manufacturer in Kobe was discovered at KOBE PLANET FILM ARCHIVE. This is 1 minute and 30 seconds animation movie.  It is said that this movie was produced by Seitaro Kitayama, the pioneer of Japanese animation. In one scene of this movie, the process of writing the characters “カテイ石鹸商標 (which means Trademark of KATEI soap)” with a pen is drawn with animation.  The characters are placed in the lower part of the painting “Mother and child” by French painter Rubrand.     Animation has been familiar to Japanese since 100 …

One scean of CM Animation about Soap

Photography in Museum

Zen International Patents and Trademarks Many museums in Japan prohibit taking pictures of exhibits on the grounds of copyright infringement. However, with the spread of social media, the number of visitors who want to take pictures of exhibits and share them on the Internet has been increasing. In addition,  the number of authors publishing their works on the Internet has been increasing and the fact makes it easier for someone to get authors’ permission to take pictures of exhibits. Therefore, lots of museums have begun to allow visitors to take pictures of exhibits and spread them on the net.  However, some visitors take flash photography of flash-banned exhibits, so we hope …


The Place of Relocation of the Japan Agency for Cultural Affairs was Decided

Zen International Patents and Trademarks The Agency for Cultural Affairs of Japan (ACAJ) is one of the administrative agencies handling intellectual property rights. ACAJ administers the registration of copyright (excluding the copyright of the program). ACAJ moving plan from Tokyo to Kyoto has already been decided, and the details was reported on july 25, 2017. The new office will be located in the building of the Kyoto police headquarters. According to the move , 250 people, equivalent to 70% of those working at ACAJ, will move from Tokyo to Kyoto, but the department handling copyrights will remain in Tokyo. Since our office is located in Tokyo, we will be able to smoothly represent the copyright registration procedure even after ACA …


Composition by Artificial Intelligence

Zen International Patents and Trademarks Did you know that you can listen to songs composed by Artificial Intelligence (AI)? Please check the song “Daddy’s Car” on YouTube. You can listen to Beatles-like songs. This song is not entirely composed by AI, but most part of it was composed by AI (AI was instructed to make it in the Beatles style). Until now, it was said that creative work like composition can only be done by humans, but composition by AI may become common. By the way, the field of AI is not limited to music, it extends to novels. In fact, the novel “賢人降臨” written by AI is published electronically in Japan. The Japanese …

Daddy's Car

Music Schools Submitted a Demanding Paper

Zen International Patents and Trademarks As we wrote in our previous blog1, JASRAC submitted  the royalty regulations to the Japan Agency for Cultural Affairs  (JACA). Against this action of JASRAC, the music schools submitted a demanding paper to JACA. In this demanding paper, the music schools are requesting to suspend administrative procedures so that collection of royalties will not be carried out until final judgment (See previous blog2) is determined. If this requirement is not accepted, collection of royalty fee is scheduled to start from January 2018. We would like to pay attention to what kind of judgment JACA will make.

demanding paper

Japan Character Award 2017ーThe grand prize was given to ”Pokemon”

Zen International Patents and Trademarks On June 28, 2017, Japan Character Award 2017 ceremony was held at Tokyo Big Sight.  The award is given to the most prominent character properties in Japan in the past year. The grand prize was given to “Pokemon”. Pokemon might be loved by people of all ages. Pokemon Go has been as big hit around the world, attracting not only kids but also adults. In addition, retail sales of Pokemon goods has increased steadily and gave a big influence to the market. By the way, according to the data provided by Character Databank Corporation, retail sales of character merchandise in Japan reached one trillion and six hundred billion yen in 2016. Japan …

Music Schools Sued JASRAC

Zen International Patents and Trademarks The music schools actually filed a lawsuit against Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers (JASRAC) on June 20, 2017. The purpose of the lawsuit is to confirm non-existence of duty of payment of copyright fees against JASRAC. In this lawsuit, the music schools insisted that the performance rights* do not extend the performance in a music school for the following three reasons: The performance in the music school is not a performance against the “publicly”. The performance in the music school is not a performance for “the purpose of making a work seen or heard directly by the public”. If the performance rights extend the performance in a music school, it is contrary …

Picture of Music classroom

Copyright of “Winnie the Pooh” copyright has expired in Japan

Zen International Patents and Trademarks The Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement (TPP) required all member nations to have a minimum copyright term of life plus 70 years. However, the TPP did not come into force, the copyright of British children’s literature “Winnie the Pooh” has expired on May 30, 2017, without extending the period. There will be a possibility that many Japanese translations of “Winnie the Pooh” will be published in near future, like “The Little Prince” of Antoine Marie Jean-Baptiste Roger, comte de Saint-Exupéry whose copyright expired in 2005. Besides this, in Japan, a lot of animation and cartoon of “Winnie the Pooh copyright” may be made.


Public Awareness of Copyright in Japan

Zen International Patents and Trademarks Recently, it seems that news related to copyright has increased in Japan. For example, it was reported that since it turned out that a local government put the map data on their own HP without permission of the copyright holder, the local government announced the facts and apologized to the copyright holder of the map. Also, the other day it was reported that  Shogakukan Inc. had requested SHINSEI Publishing Co..Ltd. to stop publication of a book that looks very similar to the books that they published. From now on, it will be necessary to pay more attention to the handling of copyright in Japan.

Book published by SHINSEI Publishing
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