Leading Program hosts lectures by corporate officials responsible for intellectual property issues

Activity report

On December 11 and 18, 2017, the Leading Program hosted lectures by officials responsible for intellectual property issues at eight companies, marking the conclusion of a series of talks by outside speakers on the subject of intellectual property.

In the lectures, officials from the companies discussed topics including the kind of intellectual property that serves to protect products, strategies for protecting that intellectual property, and ways to deal with counterfeit goods overseas. After hearing explanations of legal instruments such as trademarks, design rights, and patents, the students learned about the importance of keeping expertise confidential in order to differentiate one's company from its competitors. They also learned how difficult it is to deal with a constant stream of counterfeit goods in the never-ending game of "whack-a-mole" that is the reality of today's global marketplace, despite steps to stem the flow by (1) contracting with specialized research companies to track counterfeit goods, (2) monitoring online stores, and (3) visiting customs agencies overseas to directly request they take action to address the problem. Speakers noted that the problem only grows worse in the absence of such measures.

Following their lectures, the guest speakers participated in a free discussion with students, who found information about what kind of human resources the companies anticipated looking for in the future to be particularly useful. The guests offered a number of specific suggestions concerning desirable characteristics for the students to consider, including the ability to express one's views, the ability to think positively about solutions to problems, the ability to look at things from a business perspective that asks why successful products sell well and how business models work, a realization that avoiding action as a way to avoid making errors is not acceptable and that doing nothing is never an option, and an awareness of the need to be interested in a wide range of fields and to enrich one's personal life since one never knows what influences might come together to generate success.

The sessions proved to be extremely useful for students by giving them a chance to speak directly with officials who are active on the front lines of intellectual property policy at their companies and to gain some new pointers to guide their futures.

The Leading Program would like to take this opportunity to thank the guest speakers for taking time out of their busy schedules to share their expertise and meet with students.

Participating companies (in no particular order)
December 11
Lion Corporation
MIZUNO Corporation
December 18
Daiwabo Holdings Co., Ltd.
Kao Corporation.

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