Intellectual Property

What is Intellectual Property?

About Intellectual Property

"Intellectual Property" is the results of intellectual activities of people which have proprietary nature. It is "intangible asset", which is distinguished from tangible asset, such as equipment and real estate. "Intangible asset" tends to be easily imitated and can be used by more than one person simultaneously.
Without any rule, imitation and theft of idea, according to the above, could become widespread , which will lead to decline in people's motivation to create something new or original, and thus to interfere with our industries and cultural activities. This is why "Intellectual Property Law", including patent law and copyright law, was established which defines legal objects and means of protection.

"Intellectual Property" is "Intangible asset", which is easily-overlooked if you are not conscious of it.
In fact, because many people aren't conscious of their "intellectual property" created by themselves or doesn't know how to protect it, they lack the legal protections to feel frustrated.
When you come up with or create something new, you should consult professionals, such as a patent attorney, before third parties know it.

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Type of Intellectual Property

"Intellectual Property" includes, for example, invention, devisal, computer program, design, trademark(service mark), know-how(trade secrets), literature, scientific work, fine art, music.

They are protected by laws as shown by the following table.

Intellectual Property-related Law
Law Target Protection Measure Protection Period
Patent Law Invention
(Technical idea)
Exclusive right 20 years from the filing date
Utility Model Law Devisal
(Technical idea,
such as shape
and structure)
Exclusive right 10 years from the filing date
Design Law Design Exclusive right 20 years from the registration date
Trademark Law Trade name,
service name,
service mark
Exclusive right 10 years from the registration date
Unfair Competition
Prevention Act
Trade Secrets Right to damages,
Right to demand injunction
As long as it's subject for protection
Copyright Law Works Plagiarism prohibition 50 years after the death of the author
Plant Variety Protection
and Seed Act
New Varieties
of Plants
Exclusive right to sell, produce and import 25 years from the registration date
Act for Protection
of the Circuit
Layout of
Circuit Layout of
Exclusive right 10 years from the registration date

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