Intellectual Property Rights:

U.S. Companies' Comparative Patent Experiences in Japan, Europe, and the United States

T-GGD-93-36: Published: Jul 22, 1993. Publicly Released: Jul 22, 1993.

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GAO discussed U.S. companies' patent experiences in Japan as compared with those in the United States and Europe. GAO noted that: (1) more than three times as many companies were dissatisfied with their overall patent experience in Japan as compared with that in the United States and Europe; (2) 65 percent of the companies reported at least one major problem in obtaining patents in Japan; (3) the problems in obtaining Japanese patents included the length of time involved, the cost, the scope of the patent protection granted, and difficulties in obtaining patents for pioneering inventions; and (4) some of the problems encountered by U.S. firms were due to their lack of understanding of the Japanese patent system, translation difficulties, and poor communication between U.S. companies and their Japanese patent representatives.

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