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HOME > English > FAQ > 1. General questions on intellectual property

1. General questions on intellectual property

Q-01 What can be classified as intellectual property?
Q-02 What types of discoveries or inventions are eligible for patenting?
Q-03 What kind of person can become an inventor?
Q-04 Can programs be patented?
Q-05 What should I do if I need more detailed information regarding intellectual property?
Q-06 How can I search for patents?

Q-01 What can be classified as intellectual property?

Intellectual property is an all-encompassing term that includes such things as patents, designs, trademarks, copyrights, and know-how.


Q-02 What types of discoveries or inventions are eligible for patenting?

Those inventions or discoveries that satisfy the standards set forth in the patent law are eligible for patenting. In most instances, the Patent Office will be looking for novelty (new discoveries or inventions as compared to traditional technologies) and progressiveness (drastic progress from traditional technologies).


Q-03 What kind of person can become an inventor?

Those people with unique imaginations who can put that imagination into practical use are the ones who become inventors. People who provide equipment or funding, assist in research, or only work on general administrative duties are not inventors. If the correct person is not indicated on the patent application, there is a possibility that the patent will be voided. As such, care is needed when filling out the form.


Q-04 Can programs be patented?

Programs can be patented if it can be proven that the idea forms the fundamental basis for such a program. In addition, lists that are coded are also protected by copyrights. For further information, please contact the Section for Intellectual Property directly.


Q-05 What should I do if I need more detailed information regarding intellectual property?

In order to gain more knowledge about intellectual property, you can review the information published on the Japan Patent Office website. If you are a student of Keio University, taking any of the lectures relating to intellectual property (e.g. Seminar on Intellectual Property, Special Lecture on Intellectual Property Rights, etc.) is an effective learning tool.

Q-06 How can I search for patents?

The Industrial Property Digital Library (IPDL) found on the website of the Japan Patent Office allows users to search for patents free of charge.

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