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With advances in recent technical innovations, progressive trends from a manufacturing-oriented economy to a service-and-information-oriented economy, the further deepening of mutual interdependence in the global economy, and progress in the globalization of corporate activities, the importance for the intellectual property system to protect the property value of information and the necessity to promote international harmonization have been increasing. With these backgrounds, various arguments with respect to intellectual property have been made domestically and internationally.

The Institute of Intellectual Property has made steady progress since its establishment in June 1989. It has promoted many projects such as research and study on various issues concerning intellectual property, research and development of information retrieval systems, collecting and making information related to this field available, hosting international symposiums, as well as international exchange and human resources development of researchers. In addition, we have gradually upgraded the basis for our activities by concluding exchange agreements with overseas research institutes while accumulating and providing public access to books, research papers, court cases, and patent-related statistical data.

Amongst the research projects carried out by the Institute, there have been those that led to the revision of pre-existing law systems such as the Patent Law, the Utility the Model Law, the Trademark Law, and the Unfair Competition Prevention Law. Also, the Washington D.C. Office was established in 1993 for the purpose of expanding our research and study activities. In addition, we have dispatched and received more than 100 intellectual property researchers to date. I earnestly believe that your understanding and support have put our activities on track.

We recognize that the intellectual property system is an important system supporting the development of modern society, not only affecting management strategy of each business enterprise as a basis for commercial transactions, but also affecting the medium and long-term competitiveness of Japanese industry and the basis for corporate survival as the foundation of the current economy.

In light of this recognition, the Institute, with a view to the sound growth of Japanese society and economy in the 21st century, intends to incorporate activities aiming at becoming a comprehensive research organization on intellectual property and to contribute as much as possible in order to secure appropriate protection of intellectual property and promote international harmonization in this field.

We would like to ask for your continued guidance and advice for the future.

Nobuhiro Nakayama