Japan - Commercial Guide
Joint Ventures/Licensing

Discusses the legal requirements/options for joint venture/licensing in this market.

Last published date: 2019-10-13

U.S. companies often consider joint ventures or licensing agreements when looking to enter the Japanese market. For the latest information on regulations and procedures for establishing an operation in Japan, please visit the JETRO website (https://www.jetro.go.jp/en/invest/) and consult with experienced and reputable legal and tax counsel.  Licensing Agreement can cover any or all of the following issues such as Copyright, Know-how, Patent, Service mark, Trade secret, and Trademark. Business practices such as franchising, technology transfer, publication and character merchandising entirely depends on the licensing of intellectual property.

Another licensing issue for U.S. commercial exports to Japan is export license: The export of technical data from the United States can be subject to U.S. export control laws. In such cases, a thorough review of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Export Administration Regulations (EAR) should precede the signing of any licensing agreement. To learn more about the EAR, please visit the following website:
Government Printing Office's govinfo
Bureau of Industry and Security