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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO compared patent protection for U.S. products in Japan to that in the United States and Europe, focusing on: (1) U.S. companies' experiences in obtaining patents in Japan; (2) the sources of U.S. companies' patent problems in Japan and recent changes in the Japanese patent system; (3) U.S. companies' enforcement of patents in Japan; and (4) progress toward greater international patent harmonization and U.S. companies' views on whether harmonization would improve their patent experiences in Japan.

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