What is the Intellectual Property Office of University

  • Background
  • Until now, discoveries and inventions made at universities were generally seen as the property of the individual. This system has been widely criticized, however, for not always sufficiently returning the results of research to society, and for too easily allowing intellectual property to remain idle. For this reason, the national government’s Science and Technology Basic Plan (May 2004) and Intellectual Property Strategic Network (July 2002) propose the conversion from individual ownership to institutional ownership. Furthermore, the Intellectual Property Working Group of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology’s Council for Science and Technology created a report calling on universities to make systemic changes necessary to shift to institutional ownership of intellectual property at universities.
  • Significance
  • University intellectual property centers are a system for the strategic creation, protection, management, and utilization of intellectual property, consequent to the new system whereby as a rule, discoveries and inventions made at universities become the property of the institution.
    The fact that the creation and utilization of outstanding knowledge directly vitalizes the economy and society is thought to be highly significant for fulfilling the “third mission” of universities: contributing to the society.
  • About the University Intellectual Property Center Creation Program
  • The following points are vital for the creation of university intellectual property centers:
    1. Establishment of a clear intellectual-property policy and other rules
    2. Creation of an organized, university-wide management system
    3. Hiring (outside) experts in intellectual property
    4. Enhancing an effective and efficient utilization readiness

    In order to support universities needing to create a system for nationwide intellectual property strategy, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology began the University Intellectual Property Center Creation Program in fiscal 2003. This program supports 43 selected model universities and other institutions nationwide, with the above points in mind. Through this program, about 100 or more public and private universities nationwide have been creating systems for the management and utilization of their intellectual property.

Proposal for Institutional Ownership and Management

  • • Excerpt from Intellectual Property Strategic Network (Jul. 2002)
  • Article 2. Basic Direction
  • 1.Creative Strategy
  1. Creation of intellectual property at universities, public research institutes, etc.
    Upon the incorporation of national universities, intellectual property shall as a rule belong to the institution; additionally, the inventor must be compensated for his efforts, and a handsome return provided for the inventor and research expenses.
  •  
  • • Excerpt from Intellectual Property Working Group Report (Nov. 2002)
  • II. Revision of Ownership and Creation of System for Intellectual Property, Etc.
  • 2.Handling of Patents, Etc.
  1. Work-related inventions and university educator discoveries under patent law
  1. Third mission of universities and revision of ownership of rights relating to inventions
    From the point of view of the development of scientific research, directions in science and technology, and more effective utilization, etc. of intellectual property, as of the present time, if the “best path” is to be selected, it is proper to revise the scope of patent rights and the like relating to work-related inventions made by educators at universities, and for ownership to as a rule go to the institution, with the presumption that the university has the capability to protect and manage intellectual property, etc., and plan and maintain its effective use.

Suggestion Relating to University Intellectual Property Centers

  • • Excerpt from Intellectual Property Strategic Network (July 2002)
  1. Putting personnel and systems in place for the acquisition and management of intellectual property
  • Enhancing the intellectual property management function
    In order to discover intellectual property and convert it into rights from the stage of implementation of research and development, promote the utilization of attorneys and private-sector experts in universities, public research institutes, and the like starting in fiscal 2002, as well as enhance the partnering organization between industry, academia, and the public sector. Additionally, begin the creation of “intellectual property centers” and the like at a dozen or so major national and private universities nationwide ahead of other universities by fiscal 2003, to comprehensively support the creation and utilization of intellectual property, making use of private-sector personnel with experience in industry, and in partnership with TLOs.
  •  
  • • Intellectual Property Basic Law (law 122 of 2002)
  • Article 13.
    Promotion of Transfer of Research and Development Results, Etc.
  1. Considering that Research and Development results achieved by universities, etc. are useful for the development of new business fields and the improvement of industrial technology, the State shall take necessary measures to encourage universities, etc. to properly manage their Research and Development results and smoothly transfer the results to business enterprises, such as improving systems in universities, etc. to utilize human resources that have technical knowledge on intellectual property, improving such proceedings as registration for establishment on intellectual property, carrying out market research and surveys and providing market information.

The University Intellectual Property Office Creation Program

• Supporting the creation of a university intellectual property office system

  • [ Purpose ]
    • Knowledge is the resource of universities, and the purpose of this program is to promote the creation of universities that contribute to society through the utilization of intellectual property, by creating university intellectual property offices aimed at managing and utilizing intellectual property at a university-wide level, in order to promote the strategic and systematic creation, management, and utilization of intellectual property at universities.
      (As a rule, continued for 5 years; interim assessment after 2 years)
  • [ Key Points of the Program ]
    • • A new management system based on freedom of thinking by universities
      • Actively tap into people with experience in private enterprise and other outside personnel
      • Enhance partnerships with TLOs and other outside organizations
  • [ Targets of the Program ]
    • • Institutions implementing the University Intellectual Property Office Creation Program: 34
      • Institutions targeted by the Program to Support Functionality for the Management and Utilization of Intellectual Property with Originality: 9

Supporting the creation of a university intellectual property office system

• Support for Creation of Super Corporate Relations Centers (new in fiscal 2005)

  • [ Purpose ]
    • Further promote partnerships between industry, academia and the public sector by creating Super Corporate Relations Centers, serving as a system to systematically promote partnerships between industry, academia and the public sector, gathering together the university’s research resources with the University Intellectual Property Office as the core.
  • [ Key Points of the Program ]
    • • Build a system for partnership between industry, academia and the public sector on an equal footing with major foreign universities
      • Promote systematic joint research
      • Attract active investment from the private sector
      • Contribute to the development of the Japanese economy and society
  • [ Targets of the Program ]
    • • Selection of roughly 5 universities implementing the University Intellectual Property Office Creation Program

Support for Creation of Super Corporate Relations Centers

Current Management and Utilization of Intellectual Property by Universities and Other Institutions

The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology conducted the following survey of partnering between industry, academia, and the public sector by public and private universities and other institutions nationwide as of June 2004.

1.Does the university assume ownership of intellectual property?

Institution has ownership as a rule P.C. Individual has ownership as a rule P.C. No system in place P.C. Num.
res
Total 182 38.2% 45 9.2% 258 52.6% 490
National
universities
82 87.2% 4 4.3% 8 8.5% 94
Private
universities
85 24.8% 29 8.5% 228 66.7% 342
Public
universities
20 37.0% 12 22.2% 22 40.8% 54
Does the university assume ownership of intellectual property?

2.Do you have a system in place to manage and utilize intellectual property (e.g. University Intellectual Property Office)?

We already have one P.C. We plan to create one in the future P.C. We have no plans to create one P.C. Num.
res
Total 119 24.3% 174 35.5% 197 40.2% 490
National
universities
62 66.0% 19 20.2% 13 13.8% 94
Private
universities
45 13.2% 138 40.3% 159 46.5% 342
Public
universities
12 22.2% 17 31.5% 25 46.3% 54
Do you have a system in place to manage and utilize intellectual property (e.g. University Intellectual Property Office)?