Harnessing the Creative Spirit in a Diverse World
Edited by Uma Suthersanen, Graham Dutfield and Kit Boey Chow
Graham Dutfield and Uma Suthersanen 7.1 Economic and Innovation Climate in Japan Does an expansion of the scope of patent rights induce more innovative effort? An analysis was undertaken in 2000 gauging whether the 1987 Japanese patent reforms had had any impact. The reforms had expanded the scope of patent: however, the authors found no evidence of a statistically or economically significant increase in either R&D spending or innovative output that could plausibly be attributed to these reforms. In a more recent 2004 report, Japan ranks ninth in terms of competitiveness though much of its R&D spending is by large corporations, rather than SMEs. Nevertheless, another report states that Japan languishes in the middle of the OECD nations in terms of investment in knowledge creation, R&D by SMEs and venture capital investment as a percentage of GDP; the same report gloomily states that as Japan’s technology gap with the United States widens, its edge over China is shrinking. Does the shrinking SME contribution explain why Japanese UM registration statistics are falling? 7.2 Historical Background The first patent law was the ‘Patent Monopoly Act’ which was proclaimed publicly in 1885. In addition to this, the UM law was enacted shortly after in 1905, in order to complement the patent system. The main aim of the UM system was to protect less significant inventions and to foster technologies of small Sakakibara, M., L. Branstetter and M.P. Page (2001), ‘Do stronger patents induce more innovation? Evidence from the 1988 Japanese...
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