[December 29, 2005]

Gov't to strengthen penalties against patent violators: report+

(Japan Economic Newswire Via Thomson Dialog NewsEdge)TOKYO, Dec. 30_(Kyodo) _ The Japan Patent Office has finalized plans to boost the maximum fines to 300 million yen against businesses infringing on such intellectual property rights as patents and trademarks, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported Friday.

Under current law, firms in violation of patent and trademark rights can be assessed fines of up to 150 million yen.

The maximum penalty for infringing registered design and utility model rights is 100 million yen. The necessary legislation to revise the Patent Law and other provisions will be submitted to the Diet next year, with an eye towards the measures taking effect in 2007, the report said.

The penalties against individuals will be standardized as well, with infringement of each of the four property rights becoming subject to maximum prison terms of five years or fines of up to 5 million yen, according to the report.

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