Japan IP News

JPO Publishes Japanese Inventions that Contribute Innovation Globally. You Might Be Surprised.

JPO Publishes Japanese Inventions that Contribute Innovation Globally. You Might Be Surprised.

The JPO regularly publishes what it considers to be noteworthy Japanese inventions that contribute to innovation globally.  As might be expected, many Japanese inventions have truly changed the world, in ways that may surprise you.

Is it shameless self-promotion? Well, perhaps, but what’s wrong with that? Especially when considered in the context expressed by the JPO:

“We are pleased to introduce examples of “Japanese Inventions that Contributed to Innovation” with little-known stories of their developments. By learning about the inventions that were first developed in Japan and have spread throughout the world, we hope that a wide range of people including young people will be encouraged to produce inventions that create innovation.”

Kimura & Partners writes regularly on notable updates to Japanese IP law. Our focus is on Patent and Trademark law of relevance to the global SME market seeking strong IP protection in Japan. We also have a long history of supporting Japanese SMEs in Japan, and globally, using our unique approach to client relationships and “fighting on the IP Battlefield”.

October Highlighted Inventions are found here


It is not commonly known that a Japanese car parts manufacturer, DENSO CORPORATION, invented Quick Response (QR) codes, though these are such a widely used technology that you see them almost every day. This article introduces how QR codes, an innovation made in Japan, were invented and why they have become widespread.

Dishwashers (Panasonic Corporation)

Panasonic continues to follow the mission statement set by their founder, Matsushita Konosuke, to “devote ourselves to the progress and development of society and the well-being of people through our business activities, thereby enhancing the quality of life throughout the world. “As part of their efforts to follow this mission statement, the company started to develop dishwashers that embody their founder’s strong hope to free Japanese women from housework, launching the first dishwasher in Japan in 1960.

Microalgae Cultivation Technology (Euglena Co., Ltd.)

Euglena is a venture company that aims to solve social issues that have attracted great attention around the world: the nutrition problem especially in less developed nations, and climate change due to CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Euglena, in a world first, has successfully invented technology for mass cultivation of edible microalgae called Euglena (in Japanese, Midorimushi, which means “green bug”).

Cooling Gel Sheet (KOBAYASHI Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.)

Under the motto of “You make a wish, and we make it happen,” Kobayashi Pharmaceutical has identified unprecedented needs and created new products and markets. As an example, this article introduces how the company invented the cooling gel sheet, in response to the market gap expressed as: ”It’s a nuisance when I have a fever and the wet towel slips off my forehead while I’m asleep.”

Per our title… Japanese inventions that contribute innovation globally.  You Might Be Surprised.

By Takaaki Kimura

Managing Partner and Patent Attorney with over thirty-five years of IP law experience.