Intellectual Property Rights Policy Research Unit

Established : Dec. 18, 2008

Photo by AP/AFLO



The effect of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) system on innovation today is becoming more and more complicated. Recent progress in innovation strategies, such as open innovation, rapid increases in the number of IPR applications, enhancement of linkages between science and industry, and economic growth in emerging countries are all influencing the effect and leading to roadblocks in the innovation landscape. “How should the IPR system be to promote innovation?" is a key question we face. In order to clarify the effect of IPR on innovation and to propose next generation IPR systems to enhance innovation, we study the IPR system we presently have. Our research focus is mainly on the patent system and we emphasize empirical study. We make IPR policy proposals based on our research results.


World intellectual property rights systems are in a phase of structural change. We show options for systematic reform of the current IPR system on the basis of empirical study on the effects of IPR on innovation systems, especially on open innovation strategies. Our study includes examination of the balance between the protection and the use of rights, ideal systematic reforms and international cooperation to improve patent quality, and the way patent management should be in increasingly complicated cases such as in international university-corporate collaboration or in universities. IPR and innovation in China, virtual reality and IPR systems, and standard and patent systems are also our recent research topics. Adding to these researches, we make proposals on the operating infrastructure of intellectual property rights systems, such as seamless search systems that cover both patents and academic information.

Intellectual Asset-Based Management Research and Education Program (Japanese)


  • Toshiya Watanabe (Vice Director and Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute / Professor, Department of Technology Management for Innovation, Graduate School of Engineering / Executive Director, Executive Vice President, the University of Tokyo)
  • Ichiro Sakata (Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute / Professor, Graduate School of Engineering / Special Advisor to the President)


  • Kazuhito Hashimoto (Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)
  • Kazunori Kataoka (Project Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)
  • Hisashi Yoshikawa (Project Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute / Graduate School of Public Policy)
  • Junichiro Mori (Associate Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)
  • Masahiro Sugiyama (Associate Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)
  • Yuri Hirai (Project Assistant Professor, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)
  • Kazunari Sugimitsu (Professor, Kanazawa Institute of Technology / Visiting Researcher, Policy Alternatives Research Institute)
  • Shigeo Kagami (Professor, Division of University Corporate Relations, the University of Tokyo)
  • Others