Japan is to introduce legislation that keeps sensitive patents secret, while compensating applicants who have forgone licensing fees, as the country ramps up efforts to protect key industries, the Nikkei newspaper reported yesterday, without attributing a source.
Under the bill, the government would review patent filings for technology that have potential military use, such as developing nuclear weapons and quantum technology, the newspaper reported.
Patents that might pose a national security risk would not be disclosed, and applicants would not be able to file the patents in other countries, it said.
The government said it might announce the framework as early as next month and plans to make it effective in fiscal 2023.
Japan is rushing to boost supply-chain resilience and diversify risk, as industries from vehicles to electronics feel the effects of a global parts shortage.
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has said that national economic security is a key pillar in the country’s growth strategy.
Japan would screen equipment purchases by operators of key infrastructure, such as telecommunication networks and power grids, as well as financial companies, the Nikkei said.
The government would compensate up to about 20 years of licensing income, based on comparable patents, it reported.
Tokyo would set up a team with members from the Japanese Ministry of Defense, the Japanese National Security Secretariat and other agencies to review the patent applications.
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