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Intellectual Property Rights, Development, and Catch-UpAn International Comparative Study$
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Hiroyuki Odagiri, Akira Goto, Atsushi Sunami, and Richard R. Nelson

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199574759

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574759.001.0001

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IPR and the Catch-Up Process in Japan

IPR and the Catch-Up Process in Japan

(p.95) 4 IPR and the Catch-Up Process in Japan
Intellectual Property Rights, Development, and Catch-Up

Hiroyuki Odagiri

Akira Goto

Atsushi Sunami (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

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

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