The Skyrocketing Income of The Japanese Intellectual Property Industry

According to the latest statement released by the Japanese government, in the past decade, the nation’s income from their intellectual property industry has been going through the roof. This monumental achievement can be credited to the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s evergreen advancement gameplan to develop and protect this seemingly highly-lucrative industry. This made the nation focus on further innovation in the pursuit of creating wealth despite its shrinking and aging workforce.

This massive increase in the nation’s intellectual property income comes mostly from intangible assets like patents, copyrights, brands, and industrial designs, which includes famous Japanese hallmarks like Hello Kitty and Super Mario. And of course the pioneering Japanese robotics industry. According to Yuki Masujima, a senior economist at Bloomberg, while the report being published by the Japanese government doesn’t categorize their intellectual property exports by industry, it is clear that the most lucrative industries when it comes to intellectual property income are the high-tech manufacturing and the automotive industry. He also predicts that intellectual property income would also significantly increase in the medical and robotics industries.

Based on a statement released by The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, in the last decade, the Japanese intellectual property exports came second, just behind the United States. And the reason behind this, as reported by Masamichi Adachi, a senior economist at JP Morgan, is that Japan has been exporting more services, which includes intellectual property income, than goods.

Based on a report by the World Intellectual Property Organization, the global highest income in intangible assets come from the following industries:

  • Automobile
  • Electronics
  • Computing
  • Food and beverages
  • Heavy equipment.

First-world countries that are seeing the value of the intellectual property and the amount of impact it gives their economy like Japan and the United States, are giving extra attention in trying to highly protect this industry. Japan almost found comfort around protecting their intellectual property based on the rules stated in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, although it was short-lived when United States president, Donald Trump bailed out at the last minute by throwing the partnership out of the window. The other 11 nations that are part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership have also bailed out of the agreement. China, on the other hand, is proposing a new trade deal that they are calling the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, but Japanese businesses don’t approve of the way the partnership is protecting intellectual property.

According to senior economist Lee Branstetter, intellectual property and the high-technology industries that produce them has become a huge part of the economy for first-world countries, and they would always try to make sure that global trade policies would ensure the protection of their intellectual properties.

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