知財ビジョン 国際競争に勝つための体制に

The Yomiuri Shimbun June 18, 2013
Safeguarding intellectual property rights key to competing globally
知財ビジョン 国際競争に勝つための体制に(6月17日付・読売社説)

Intellectual property rights such as patents and trademarks relevant to cutting-edge technologies are undoubtedly the source of the international competitiveness of the nation’s industries.
 最先端技術の特許や商標などの知的財産権は、日本の産業競争力の源泉だ。

The need has been increasing for further strengthening joint private-public arrangements to effectively utilize the nation’s intellectual properties.
知財を有効活用する官民の体制を一層強化する必要がある。

The government has drawn up a “vision of intellectual property policy” with a view to laying out Japan’s approach toward handling intellectual property rights for the next 10 years, while deciding on a set of “basic principles” on the matter.
 政府は、今後10年間を見据えた「知的財産政策ビジョン」と、その「基本方針」を決めた。

It’s been 11 years since the country laid down an outline of intellectual property strategy.
 2002年に日本が知的財産戦略大綱を策定してから、11年が過ぎた。

In recent years, manufacturing businesses in such countries as South Korea and China have grown stronger, intensifying global competition among companies, including those in the United States and Europe, which place high importance on the protection of intellectual property rights.
最近では、韓国や中国などの製造業が台頭し、知財を重視する欧米企業を含めて、グローバル競争が激化している。

In-house inventions a focus

It is reasonable that the government, having a heightened sense of crisis over the circumstances, has embarked on overhauling the nation’s intellectual property policy in a way well-suited to the times. The envisioned policy shift can be expected to provide impetus to the growth strategy being undertaken by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
 政府が危機感を高め、時代の変化に合わせて知財政策を練り直したのは適切だ。成長戦略に弾みをつける効果も期待できよう。

Worthy of note in the envisioned policy is a new idea concerning “in-house inventions,” or inventions created by employees while performing research and development activities for their firms.
 今回、注目されるのは、企業の研究者らが仕事上で発明した「職務発明」の特許権に関する新たな方針である。

In the basic principles, the government has proposed two options for discussion: reviewing the current patent system, which stipulates patent ownership belongs to employees, so as to have the ownership belong to companies; or requiring patent ownership to be covered in a contract between the employee and the employer.
 従業員に権利が帰属すると規定した現在の制度を見直し、会社に帰属させるか、あるいは、帰属先を企業と従業員の間の契約で決めるという2案を示した。

There have been many instances in which employees dissatisfied with the compensation paid by their companies in return for their in-house inventions have sued the companies, causing the firms to be ordered to pay huge sums of settlement money. The government-proposed changes of patent ownership is in response to demands from businesses to rectify the situation.
 職務発明の対価に不満を持つ従業員に訴えられ、企業が巨額の和解金を支払う例が多い。是正を求める産業界に配慮したものだ。

If the changes take effect, businesses will find the risks of being subject to patent ownership-related lawsuits mitigated, making it easier for them to craft management strategies by flexibly utilizing patents.
 企業にとっては、訴訟リスクが軽減され、特許権を活用した経営戦略を描きやすくなる。

On the other hand, there are concerns the policy shift would affect adversely the willingness of researchers to engage in R&D and end up in a brain drain overseas.
一方で、研究者の開発意欲を殺(そ)ぐことや、人材の海外流出も懸念される。

The government is set to clarify the pros and cons of the two envisaged steps. Further studies and in-depth discussions should be carried out from the standpoint of beefing up Japan’s industrial competitiveness.
 政府は今後、2案を絞り込む。産業競争力を強化する観点から、さらに検討してもらいたい。

The proposals are worthy of high marks because they seek the enhancement of support for small and midsize businesses, which are delaying charting out intellectual property strategies on their own. These proposals should make it easier for them to develop human resources relevant to patent matters with the support of experts, such as chartered patent agents.
 知財戦略作りが遅れている中小企業向けに、弁理士など専門家による人材育成といった支援策の充実を求めた点も評価できる。

The basic principles have also incorporated steps for sending from Japan patent examiners to emerging economies in such areas as Asia to help them build infrastructure with an eye toward protecting intellectual property rights.
 基本方針は、日本から特許審査官をアジアなど新興国に派遣し、知財保護の基盤作りを支援することも盛り込んだ。

While an increasing number of Japanese companies are branching out abroad, intellectual property right protection is insufficient in emerging countries, which is a major impediment to Japanese firms’ efforts to expand there. Having a “Japan model” spread overseas in this respect will greatly benefit Japanese businesses.
 日本企業の海外展開が目立つが、新興国では知財保護が不十分で、日本企業の事業拡大の足かせになっている。日本モデルを浸透させるメリットは大きい。

Increase patent examiners

A key issue is how to prevent important technological information from illegally flowing out to emerging countries and others.
 課題は、日本の重要な技術情報が新興国などに不正流出することをどう防ぐかだ。

The basic principles have rightly pointed out the need for strengthening the nation’s intellectual property right protection arrangements. Information leakage abroad is a serious problem that could shake the very foundation of Japan’s industries.
基本方針は保護策の強化を指摘した。情報漏えいは日本の産業基盤を揺るがしかねない深刻な問題である。

Steps should be taken to prevent retirees and others from taking technological information out of the country. Such measures as encouraging companies and their employees to conclude an agreement on maintaining confidentiality of corporate secrets should be promptly put into force.
 退職者などが日本の技術情報を持ち出さないよう手立てを講じたい。企業が従業員と秘密保持契約を結ぶことを促す指針を策定するなどの対策を急ぐべきだ。

Compared to the United States and European countries, Japan has few government officials in charge of screening patent applications and related matters. It is critical to increase the number of patent examiners to ensure prompt acquisition of patent ownership and its effective use.
 欧米に比べて、特許などを審査する特許庁の要員は少ない。特許を速やかに権利化し、活用するには審査官増員も欠かせない。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, June 17, 2013)
(2013年6月17日01時21分 読売新聞)

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srachai について

early retired civil engineer migrated from Tokyo to Thailand
カテゴリー: 英字新聞 パーマリンク

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