Policy / Systems / Technology

September 22, 2008


Japan Ranks First in Number of Patents Filed in the Fields of Environment and Energy

Keywords: Environmental Technology Government 

The Japan Patent Office (JPO) announced on April 23, 2008, that Japan placed first in the number of patent applications filed in Japan, the United States, Europe, China, and South Korea in the fields of both the environment and energy, two of the 12 themes of its Patent Applications Technology Trend Survey.

The Third Science and Technology Basic Plan, the result of a Cabinet decision in March 2007, selected eight main fields to focus on: life science, information and communications, environment, nanotechnology and materials, energy, manufacturing technology, social infrastructure, and frontier science. The survey was conducted to uncover recent technological trends under the selected themes, which is expected to increase the number of patent applications and provide potential for future development.

For example, Europe and Japan ranked first and second, respectively, in the field of "technologies to reduce harmful materials in diesel engines," when it comes to the share of patent applications filed in the United States. As for "methane hydrate," this next generation-energy resource is to be commercialized in ten years, since the Basic Plan on Ocean Policy was approved by the Cabinet in March 2008. Japan ranked first, with a 46 percent share of patent applications on technology for development of natural methane hydrate resources, and it also had a 68 percent share of the natural gas transport technology filings for artificial methane hydrate.

The JPO plans to provide the results of the survey to industry, government, and academia so they can use the information as a basis for patent examinations, as well as for making strategic plans for research and development (R&D), industrial policy, and science technology policy. The results were published in a summary of the survey on the GPO webpage in August 2008 (see URL below). The report is also available in public places in Japan, such as the National Diet Library.


Posted: 2008/09/22 09:41:30 AM