The first commissioner of the Japanese Patent Office and later prime minister of Japan
IP Hall of Fame inductee in 2006
Korekiyo Takahashi was the first commissioner of the Japan Patent Office. He was later president of the Bank of Japan, minister of agriculture and industry, minister of finance and prime minister of Japan. During a visit to the US Patent and Trademark Office in the early 1880s he is reported to have said: “We have asked, ‘What is it that makes the United States such a great nation?’ and found that it was patents, and so we will have patents.” On 18th April 1885 he introduced Japan’s first patent system by promulgating the Patent Monopoly Act. With this Act, Takahashi began the transformation of Japan into a technology-based nation and one of the largest users of the international intellectual property system.