Kawasaki City, an industrial core for the Tokyo metropolitan area, has been promoting wider licensing and use of patents released by big corporate owners, by small and medium-sized companies in Kawasaki. The municipal effort has gained national attention for connecting IP "seeds" with the needs of companies.
In September 2018, the municipality brought in innovation consultants to help the smaller corporations' representatives imagine what kind of technologies may combine well with their existing core competencies. Thus the city's aim is not only to let entrepreneurs know what technologies are available, but to stimulate innovative integration of the released patents with products that fit with their strengths.
Thus, innovation is needed to profit from innovation. Kawasaki plans to co-host about three matching meetings per year including the innovation "creators" from Creek & River Ltd. The idea is gaining traction, and other regions and cities around Japan are trying to learn how to promote IP matching like Kawasaki is doing.
As patents are being released by major corporations like Microsoft, and open innovation and seeds-and-needs matching (such as Japan Technology Group) advances, this local, face-to-face work that Kawasaki is doing may seem quaint but also builds on the Japanese love to meet and connect personally. It is one model for encouraging exploitation of the innovation so many have labored to achieve.
Kawasaki City. "大企業と中小企業の知的財産マッチング支援 [Intellectual property matching support for large and small-to-medium-sized corporations]," accessed October 27, 2018.
Newswitch by Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun Ltd. "川崎市の知財マッチング、クリエーターが解放特許の活用アイデアを紹介 [At Kawasaki city matching event, innovators offer ideas for using released patents]," October 12, 2018.
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