30 July 2018Asia

LSIPR 50 2018: Naoko Munakata

Name: Naoko Munakata

Organisation: Japan Patent Office

Position: Commissioner

Upon her appointment in July 2017, Naoko Munakata made a speech during the World Intellectual Property Organization’s (WIPO) 2017 Assemblies. Recognising that emerging technologies are also the cause of challenges, such as the abuse of patent rights, Munakata stated that the IP system is central to encouraging and rewarding innovation.

The speech addressed the changes brought about by new technologies and the importance of recognising them in order to welcome in a new era for the IP system: IP4.0. She said that this recognition will overcome the challenges associated with new technologies.

Japan is an innovation hub, according to a study by WIPO. The study analysed the location of the named inventors in 950,000 international patent applications between 2011 and 2015, under the Patent Cooperation Treaty (PCT). Three Japanese locations, Tokyo-Yokohama, Osaka-Kobe-Kyoto and Nagoya, all made it into the global top ten geographical areas for innovation.

In 2017, Japan filed the third most PCT applications (48,208) according to WIPO’s figures, behind the US and China, with 5.8% of these applications relating to medical technology. It was the second most popular category of PCT applications in Japan, behind electrical machinery. Although China overtook Japan last year, in 2016, Japan filed the second most PCT applications.

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