IV’s Executive Vice President and Head of Japan Masanobu Katoh was the keynote speaker at the Fuji-Sankei IP Business Forum 2011, held on June 27th in Tokyo, Japan. The audience of nearly 400 corporate planning and IP professionals from many of Japan’s leading manufacturers and law firms paid close attention as Katoh walked them through a description of recent trends in both the IT and the IP industries. Specifically, Katoh talked about how the term “IP” has come to have two significant meanings in “Internet Protocol” and “Intellectual Property.” Increasingly these two different worlds are converging, resulting in an environment where professionals who work in one or the other area increasingly need skills in both.

IV’s Masanobu Katoh Keynotes Fuji-Sankei IP Business Forum 2011

Katoh also discussed the need for Japanese IP professionals to think more globally about how they can execute their various missions. As Japanese companies face greater international pressure in markets where they were traditionally dominant, IP will play a more critical role in helping them differentiate and compete. He closed his presentation by giving a high-level introduction to Intellectual Ventures and its multi-faceted business, as well as some of the specific IP-related products and services we can provide to Japanese companies to help them compete more effectively on the global stage. 

Katoh also participated in a lively panel discussion alongside experts in the fields of IP mapping, small and medium-sized business IP management, precision manufacturing, and government IP policy. Traditionally, attendees at these types of conferences tend to consist of about 90% IP industry employees, but this year’s Forum saw a significant shift in attendance as more than 40% came from corporate planning departments at major corporations and “only” about 35% came from IP departments. This shift seems to point to a greater awareness of the strategic value and importance of IP management among senior management at Japanese companies.

Photo provided by Fuji Sankei.