Category Archives: Technology

IP protection in Japan: “to submit or not to submit a patent, that’s the question”

Par Metiipr — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0, (Wikimedia Commons)https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48284951

Par Metiipr — Travail personnel, CC BY-SA 4.0, (Wikimedia Commons)https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=48284951

 

“The filing budgets of many international companies have been reduced since the financial crisis in 2008, and a proportionately greater share of these financial resources is now being allocated to protecting innovations against infringements taking place in China.

The question of where to submit a patent depends on the size of the market, the presence of competitors and the existence of manufacturing bases.

With most manufacturing now being done in China, European companies are more motivated to first submit there, says Ayato Susaki, chief consultant and group leader of the Innovation and Industrial Strategy Group for the Science and Safety Policy Research Division at Mitsubishi Research Institute in Tokyo.

“It also makes sense to submit patents in jurisdictions with many pirated goods, in order to protect against [pirating],” he says.

Felix R. Einsel of Sonderhoff & Einsel Law and Patent Office in Tokyo is a patent attorney with a licence to jointly litigate cases with other attorneys at law in Japan. He points to inadequacies with the court system in Japan as one of the main reasons those European companies that file frequently in Europe choose not to do so in Japan.

IP protection is supposed to be enforced when an infringement occurs, as lawsuits can be filed with the possibility of damages being awarded by the courts. But in Japan, damages are relatively low, sometimes making court cases little more than a costly exercise.

In Germany, on the other hand, the party that loses the case is required to pay the legal fees of the winning party. Doing so ensures that the patent owner can recover any damages in a true sense.

In Japan, patent infringement cases normally cost between ¥20 million (€162,000) and ¥40 million (€325,000), and each party pays their own legal fees.

Japanese companies also often prefer to reach a settlement before going to court. Einsel highlights the cultural aspects of such a move, especially since companies that sue each other may have a working relationship in other fields that are just as important to them.”     (Source: EUROBIZ News)

 

So, unless the IP court system is improved  and more effective (in a “kaizen” approach), is it really worth going to court for a patent row in Japan, the land of the “consensus”? What is your experience or opinion?

Read more from:

http://eurobiz.jp/feature/better-courts-better-protection/

 

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The “Gigafactory”: Tesla Motors and PANASONIC working on mass-producing Lithium Ion Batteries!!

The Gigafactory Project (Picture - Tesla Motors)

The Gigafactory Project (Picture – Tesla Motors)

 

“With a planned production rate of 500,000 cars per year in the latter half of this decade, Tesla alone will require today’s entire worldwide production of lithium ion batteries. The Tesla Gigafactory was born of necessity and will supply enough batteries to support our projected vehicle demand.

Tesla broke ground on the Gigafactory in June 2014 outside Sparks, Nevada, and we expect to begin cell production in 2017. By 2020, the Gigafactory will reach full capacity and produce more lithium ion batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013.

In cooperation with Panasonic and other strategic partners, the Gigafactory will produce batteries for significantly less cost using economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimization of locating most manufacturing process under one roof. We expect to drive down the per kilowatt hour (kWh) cost of our battery pack by more than 30 percent. The Gigafactory will also be powered by renewable energy sources, with the goal of achieving net zero energy.

The name Gigafactory comes from the factory’s planned annual battery production capacity of 35 gigawatt-hours (GWh).”  (Tesla Motors)

 

Great Project and Vision! Congratulations to both Tesla and Matsushita (PANASONIC) for this “environment-friendly” business plan!!

 

Read more from:

https://www.teslamotors.com/en_GB/gigafactory

https://www.teslamotors.com/en_GB/blog/panasonic-and-tesla-sign-agreement-gigafactory

 

 


Fully automated vehicles excluded from tests on Japan’s public roads

Google-Self-Driving-Car (Picture - Digital Trends)

Google-Self-Driving-Car (Picture – Digital Trends)

 

“The first guidelines on public road tests of self-driving vehicles, released by the National Police Agency (NPA), exclude fully automated cars without a steering wheel or driver.

The NPA’s recommendations say tests should be conducted with cars that have a driver behind the wheel to ensure safety and compliance with the road traffic law.

The government sees promoting the technology used in self-driving cars as a key to economic growth.

The police agency’s guidelines call for using “black boxes” on test cars to record all data and, in case of an accident, ascertaining the cause and taking corrective measures before test drives are resumed.

The NPA is expected to set up a panel of experts this summer to examine issues surrounding possible legislative reforms for this new technology, such as who would be legally responsible in case of an accident, the need to adapt the driver’s license system for self-driving cars and how to take measures against hacking cars.

The government has developed a classification system under which full self-driving automation is designated as level 4, in which the car is designed to perform all safety-critical driving functions.”  (The Japan Times)

 

Should driverless cars be one day on the road? Will such cars be reliable enough for that? Should we rely so much on Machines and Technology? What do you think?

Read more from:  Fully automated vehicles excluded from tests on Japan’s public roads

 


Panasonic ends production of LCD (TV) panels in Japan!

PANASONIC's VIERA-x1-LCD-series

PANASONIC’s VIERA-x1-LCD-series

 

“Panasonic Corp. has decided to withdraw from TV panel production amid fierce competition from foreign rivals, in particular in China and South Korea, company sources said Tuesday.

The Osaka-based company will end production at its sole liquid crystal display plant in the city of Himeji, Hyogo Prefecture, by the end of September, as it expects no improvement in its profitability.

Panasonic’s withdrawal will leave Sharp Corp. as the sole Japanese electronics maker making LCD panels for TVs in Japan.

Although Panasonic will halt TV panel production, it will continue making LCD TVs using panels procured from manufacturers in South Korea and elsewhere, the sources said.

Meanwhile, Panasonic will continue producing LCD panels for other purposes and bolster the LCD businesses for vehicles and medical devices, where growth is expected.”  (Japan Times)

 

Another blow for Audio-Video & Electronics Manufacturing in Japan! Is this a business of the past? What do you think?

 

Read more from:  Panasonic ends production of LCD (TV) panels in Japan!

 


French Tech Tokyo : a bridge to the new “Start up Republic”?

La French Tech (source maddyness)

La French Tech (source – Maddyness)

“In recent years, the French startup ecosystem has enjoyed incredible momentum, driven by a new generation of entrepreneurs, investors, engineers, designers and many other talented individuals. France has been called a new “Startup Republic”, dotted with thriving hubs and talent that are vehicles for a robust entrepreneurial mindset. 

This domestic momentum has a name – “French Tech” – and French startups are rallying around this emblematic moniker. The ecosystem is developing very quickly and there is no doubt that France has now reached a tipping point. 

This can be easily seen in Paris with its numerous innovation stakeholders, and where a strong political will acts as a driving force. The city is quite simply bubbling with activity, with over 40 business incubators, 80 coworking spaces, 20 fab labs, close from 1,500 startups being set up annually, and a growing number of success stories. Today, there is an exceptionally strong impetus in Paris and this has been acknowledged and heralded by international rankings. 

For example, it is the world’s leading city for intellectual capital and innovation (PwC Cities of Opportunity, May 2014) and it is now the leader in Europe for the vibrancy of its innovation market as regards the amount of fundraising and number of transactions. Lastly, it appears in the top six world tech cities (CB Insights, “The Next Silicon Valley”, November 2014).”    (La French Tech Tokyo Hub)

Interested in investing or joining?

More details from: http://tokyo.lafrenchtech.com

 

 

 


Toyota invests in computer science and human-machine interaction aiming at reducing highway injuries and fatalities

AI (Picture - micronobal.com)

AI (Picture – micronobal.com)

 

“Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced on September 4, 2015 that it would invest approximately $50 million over the next 5 years to establish joint research centers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Stanford University  to broaden its focus on computer science and human-machine interaction with an immediate goal of reducing highway injuries and fatalities.

As we age, mobility becomes more challenging; and larger segments of society are unable to drive or move freely. Also, the demands on healthcare systems and those who support the physically infirm continue to increase. Toyota believes the opportunities to improve every-day living through artificial intelligence supported technologies are boundless, with significant breakthrough potential for the development of life-saving intelligent vehicles and life-improving robots.”  (Toyota Newsroom)

 

 

Is Artificial Intelligence Research the key to our future challenges? What is your take on this?

More details from:

http://newsroom.toyota.co.jp/en/detail/9233109/

https://livestream.com/Toyota/PressConference

 

 


FLIGHT TEST Review: the Falcon 8X from Dassault is out now!

FALCON 8X (Picture Flightglobal - Dassault)

FALCON 8X (Picture Flightglobal – Dassault)

 

“When the annual EBACE business aviation show kicks of in Geneva on 24 May, Dassault’s new flagship business jet, the ultra-long-range Falcon 8X, will be just days away from its planned joint European Aviation Safety Agency (CS 25) and US Federal Aviation Administration (FAR 25) certification. Its entry into service is planned for the third quarter of 2016.

Dassault describes the 8X as an evolution of its hugely successful Falcon 7X/EASy III cockpit – rather than a revolution – but one with a slew of extra cabin options, a substantial range increase and a raft of further avionic and reliability upgrades. All this while retaining the 7X’s outstanding characteristics, including its fly-by-wire digital flight control system; its flexibility in short field (and therefore non-hub) operations, both for landing and take-off; continued certificated steep approach capability (e.g. to airports such as London City, Lugano, La Mole and St Moritz); having a basic empty weight lighter by up to 25% or more than competitors; and with direct operating costs lower by even more significant margins, of up to 35%.”    (Flightglobal)

“Longer fuselage than the 7X, but with no empty weight penalty and more engine power 8X performance still delights.”  (Dassault Aviation)

 

Congratulations! Looking forward to seeing it in the air (flying)!

Let us know if you find a Video of it …

Read more from:  FLIGHT TEST Review: the Falcon 8X from Dassault is out now!

 

 

 


World’s first ocean cleaning system to be deployed in 2016!

Ocean Cleaning System (Picture - The Ocean Cleanup)

Ocean Cleaning System (Picture – The Ocean Cleanup)

 

“The world’s first system to passively clean up plastic pollution from the world’s oceans is to be deployed in Japan in 2016! The coastal array will be the first time an operational Ocean Cleanup system is to be deployed in the ocean. Spanning 2000 meters (and with a barrier length of over 2300m), it will become the longest floating structure ever deployed on the oceans, even though this will be just 2% of the full scale structure. Deployment is expected in Q2 2016. On May 20 2015, The Ocean Cleanup and the city government of Tsushima (a Japanese island which lies between Japan and Korea) jointly agreed to conduct research to bring the world’s first Ocean Cleanup array to Tsushima Island.”   (The Ocean Cleanup website)

 

Boyan Slat, founder and CEO of The Ocean Cleanup:

“Taking care of the world’s ocean garbage problem is one of the largest environmental challenges mankind faces today”

 

Great Project!

More details fromhttp://www.theoceancleanup.com/blog/show/item/worlds-first-ocean-cleaning-system-to-be-deployed-in-2016.html

 

 


EU-Japanese Teams (2) shortlisted for UK Railways Projects !!!

JTREC trains (Source - JTREC website)

JTREC trains (Source – JTREC website)

 

 

  1. Dutch-Japanese team shortlisted to compete for West Midlands (UK) Franchise:

The U.K. Department for Transport (DfT) announced on 7 April 2016 that three bidders have been shortlisted for the West Midlands passenger franchise, including West Midlands Trains Ltd, a subsidiary of the Abellio Transport Holding (Dutch national passenger rail operator (NS) Group), with JR East and Mitsui & Co. as minority partners. The new operator will take over the franchise in October 2017, with the contract award expected to be made in June 2017.

The DfT also announced that the consortium of JR East and Mitsui & Co. has been awarded a new Pre-Qualification Questionnaire Passport, which enables the consortium to express interest in franchises for the next four years, in an easier and less cumbersome way.”  (Source: JR East Newsletter #20)

For further information, please check:  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/three-train-companies-shortlisted-to-compete-for-west-midlands-franchise

 

2. Franco-Japanese team shortlisted for new trains in Liverpool (UK):

 

“Merseytravel, an executive body that provides professional, strategic and operational transport advice to the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, announced on 11 January 2016 that five bidders including a team composed of  French and Japanese companies have been shortlisted for a contract to supply around 50 EMUs (Electric Multiple Units) for the Merseyrail network.

The Franco-Japanese team is composed of Mitsui, a major Japanese trading company, J-TREC, JR East’s subsidiary rolling stock manufacturing company, and France’s Alstom.

Bids are due to be submitted by the end of April and a preferred bidder will be identified towards the end of the year. The project is likely to cost around £400m.

This joint action between French and Japanese companies is the first of its kind in the European Union, and concrete business results are expected.”     (Source: JR East Newsletter #19)

For more information about J-TREC, please click:  http://www.j-trec.co.jp/eng/index.html

The official announcement by Merseytravel can be accessed from:  http://www.merseytravel.gov.uk/about-us/media-centre/news/Pages/Another-step-towards-new-Merseyrail-trains-as-bidder-shortlist-announced.aspx

 

Congratulations! Great to see EU-Japan Industrial Cooperation and breakthroughs in the highly sensitive Railways Sector !!!  What do you think?


Japan’s Electricity Market deregulated: the end of an era?

Electricity Market in Japan

Electricity Market in Japan

 

“Japan’s power utilities have lost their monopoly over electricity on Friday April 1st in an unprecedented shakeup that could give a much needed jolt to Japan’s long stagnant economy.

Already, a price war has broken out among many of the more than 260 companies that will be allowed to sell electricity in Japan’s $70 billion retail market. From April 1, Japanese consumers will be able to buy electricity from suppliers ranging from telecoms conglomerate Softbankand trading firm Marubeni to travel agency H.I.S. and a Hokkaido-based supermarket co-operative that has branched out into solar parks.

They and others like Japan’s biggest city gas operator, Tokyo Gas are packaging other services, offering loyalty programs and advertising them.

The new entrants are betting they can make money in a low-margin business by undercutting the monopolies brought low financially by the Fukushima disaster and saddled with a high-cost business model after decades of guaranteed profits.

The government is hoping increased competition in the final remaining restricted part of the electricity market will boost efficiency and innovation and cut prices that are among the highest in the world.

But the new entrants are competing for space in a market in long-term decline as the population falls and consumers from factories to households look to trim power use.

What is more likely to happen is regional monopolies would merge and relatively few of the newcomers would survive the coming battle for market share.”  (Reuters)

 

The page has been turned: this is definitely good news for Japanese consumers and this should also work in favour of further deployment of Renewable Energies in Japan! What do you think?

Read more fromJapan Electricity deregulated: the end of an era?

 


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