An interview with Tetsuhiro Hosono


Japan’s patent office is one of the world’s busiest and most influential. WIPR spoke to Commissioner Tetsuhiro Hosono about challenges and strategies at home and abroad.

In 1721, the Tokugawa government prohibited inventing in Japan through the shinki gohatto law. In order to maintain feudal authority over the Japanese populous, it ensured that no one could develop anything that might dramatically improve people’s lives.

Thankfully, times have changed. Today, Japan is a hotbed of invention, and its patent office is one of the world’s most active and well respected. And Japanese patent law is 125 years old this year.

Tetsuhiro Hosono became the 78th commissioner in charge of the Japan Patent Office (JPO) on July 14, 2009. Before that, he was director general of the Manufacturing Industries Bureau in the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI). The bureau administers the development of manufacturing industries in Japan.

Interview, Tetsuhiro Hosono