Japan will expedite the discussion of not disclosing patents for cutting-edge technology

HomeTechJapan will expedite the discussion of not disclosing patents for cutting-edge technology

[Kyodo News, December 11] The Japanese government will speed up the discussion of adopting a new system to realize that patents on cutting-edge technologies that can be transferred to the military can not be disclosed to the public. By restricting the disclosure of information, we can avoid the influx of cutting-edge technology into foreign countries and aggravate national security risks. The government considers it as one of the main contents of the economic security promotion bill that it strives to submit to the regular Congress next year, and adopts it as early as 2023.

The high-tech competition between the United States and China has become fierce, and the importance of information protection has increased. Major countries such as Europe, the United States, China, and Russia already have a “secret patent” system that does not disclose military-related patent information. This is because, if important military technology is leaked, it will become a threat to the national security.

Japan’s patent system is based on the principle of disclosure. 18 months after submitting the application, regardless of whether the patent can be granted, the details must be disclosed online. Therefore, some opinions point out that there are problems in the management of important technologies.

The number of patent applications is around 300,000 per year, which is a huge number. The new system will select technologies that will not be disclosed in advance so that they can respond quickly. The Ministry of Defense and the National Security Agency will jointly review and if it is judged to be “safety-related”, the content of the application will not be disclosed for a certain period of time.

Uranium enrichment technology related to the development of nuclear weapons and rocket technology that may be transferred to missiles may become undisclosed objects. For the targeted technologies, applicants will be obligated to apply for patents in Japan, and it is not allowed to obtain patents overseas without the permission of the Japanese government.

The government plans to adopt a mechanism of monetary compensation for patent income obtained through publication in order not to weaken the applicant’s enthusiasm for research and development when patents are not disclosed. (Finish)


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