(Sankei: January 1, 2015 – p. 2)
The Japan Patent Office (JPO) will cooperate with the National Police Agency (NPA) and other agencies under the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) to develop a system to protect trade secrets, it was learned on December 31. Amid growing information leakage through industrial espionage or cyber attacks, the project is designed to swiftly initiate investigations by sharing information with the NPA. The plan includes the creation of a “safekeeping” system in which trade secrets will be encrypted for storage. The government is thus making all-out efforts to protect intellectual property as the source of the nation’s competitiveness.
With the cooperation of the NPA and “the Information-technology Promotion Agency (IPA),” an independent administrative agency, the JPO will set up 57 consultation centers across the country in February 2015. Former company employees and lawyers who are familiar with issues related to intellectual property will provide free counseling.
If the counselors detect a possible case of information leakage by former employees or a cyber attack, they will contact the NPA or the IPA through the JPO specialists.
When a cyber attack is suspected, the IPA will send a “rescue team,” a specialist group composed of about 20 “white hackers” with network skills, to the targeted company to determine whether the company has sustained a cyber attack.
If the rescue team can verify that a cyber attack has occurred, it will assess the damage and notify the NPA of the attack, in addition to determining the cause of the incident and advising the company on countermeasures.
The government will also establish a “safekeeping” system to manage trade secrets. Within a few years, the JPO will entrust the service to a public organization that will encrypt companies’ trade secrets such as product development schedules and technical information for storage.
The aim is to provide solid protection against cyber attacks and information leakage by setting up a system administered by the government.