Keywords: patent management, technology management, patent organisation, intellectual property, intellectual capital management
Corporate management of intellectual property in Japan
Intellectual property has rapidly become an area of strategic concern for corporate management and technology management within leading companies, with a concomitant growth of IP (intellectual property) resources. The paper describes how large Japanese corporations organise and manage their IP operations, which is quite different from the traditional patent organisation in Western companies. It appears as if Japanese industry has developed still another area of management from which Western companies have much to learn. The typical IP department in a large Japanese corporation has evolved into a department which is comprehensive regarding IP responsibilities, relatively large, engineer dominated, embedded in a corporate patent culture, and of strategic concern to business, technology and top managers. The paper also describes how this new type of IP organisation could be precursory to further extensions and how IP management could be extended into what could be called distributed intellectual capital management.