IPR and the Catch-Up Process in Japan

Hiroyuki Odagiri, Akira Goto and Atsushi Sunami

in Intellectual Property Rights, Development, and Catch-Up

Published in print April 2010 | ISBN: 9780199574759
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722660 | DOI:
IPR and the Catch-Up Process in Japan

Show Summary Details


This chapter discusses the experience of Japan, whose catch‐up efforts started after the Meiji Restoration of 1868 that established the modern central government. It also had the second catch‐up period after the defeat in World War II. Its patent and other intellectual property laws were enacted during 1884–8. The laws have been modified several times to accommodate increasing applications and changing needs. Japan imported numerous technologies from abroad through licensing, joint ventures, capital participation by foreign firms, and reverse‐engineering. The presence of IPR probably facilitated technology importation and gave incentives for domestic firms to invest in improving imported technology and commercializing it. Yet, there are also cases in which IPR created cost disadvantages or barriers for Japanese firms, such as those of nylon and semiconductors. It is therefore extremely difficult to argue whether IPR helped or deterred Japan's catch‐up.

Keywords: Japan; patent; intellectual property; catch‐up; licensing; reverse‐engineering; technology importation; semiconductor

Chapter.  15409 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Innovation

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.