Greetings for the New Year 2018

   Happy New Year.
   I would like to start off by wishing you all a wonderful new year.
   Half a year has already passed since I assumed my post as chairperson of the Japan Intellectual Property Association (JIPA). The economic climate has been undergoing constant change during this time, while the rapid development of AI and IoT technologies surrounding IP is on the verge of bringing about a major transformation. As we enter the new year, I feel a tremendous amount of responsibility as the chairperson of this association which leads the country in IP activities.

   As we examine the current state of affairs and our future outlook, one thing to note is that the trajectory of the domestic economy is experiencing gradual growth due to the growth of the overseas economies, the implementation of major economic measures by the government, and the synergy between monetary policy and fiscal policy. Many companies have shifted their mindsets from ensuring short-term profits to adopting more forward-looking strategies, such as making capital investments for long-term profits. Meanwhile, the scope of economic improvement is expanding from the cities to rural areas, and from major corporations to small and medium-sized enterprises. Furthermore, with regard to the overseas economies, the steady traction of economic growth in developed countries and the political achievements of various emerging nations have brought about growth in corporate profits, increase in capital investments, and improvement in employment in many countries. Even when considering the various uncertainties we face today, such as the lack of transparency in the economic policies of the U.S., geopolitical risks such as the situation in North Korea, the impact of the U.K.’s Brexit negotiations, the recent surge in protectionism around the world, and the direction of measures to combat climate change, I think this year’s economic environment can be said, for the most part, to be healthy both in Japan and overseas.

   In addition, with respect to major environmental changes surrounding recent R&D and IP activities, one thing that is worth noting is the rapid development of AI and IoT that I mentioned above. Advanced technology connects people with technology and machines, crossing the boundaries of companies and industries to create new products, services and value, with the reality of a society of “connected industries” in the not-too-distant future. In addition to patents and know-how, big data is becoming a new source of competitive strength for companies. In addition to our own R&D efforts, it is becoming necessary to develop safe and strategic relationships with other organizations in the field to facilitate the mutual utilization and application of know-how, data and other technological management resources.

   Through these efforts, as the environment surrounding society and the industrial world follow the path of globalization, advancement and diversification, IP activities play a crucial role in connecting innovation with industrial growth and transformation of our everyday lives. Accordingly, as our presence as an organization that is leading the way in IP activities in Japan becomes increasingly prominent, the responsibilities that accompany it also become larger.

   Going forward, as the members of our association take precise action to cope with environmental changes, and promote IP activities that play a crucial part in corporate management for maintaining and developing competitive strength, we are striving to focus our energy to face these challenges in order to contribute to Japan’s industrial growth.

   This year marks the 80th anniversary of our association’s founding in 1938. I would like to conclude by wishing ourselves good fortune at this critical juncture in our activities to achieve success that is worthy of our slogan “Creating IP Vision for the World,” and through them, success and prosperity to all JIPA members in the new year.

January 2018

Dr. Hiroshi Sato,
Chairperson of JIPA
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