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Campus Now

July

Pro-logue

Intellectual property rights exist to maximize outstanding technology and culture

Professor Ryu Takabayashi
School of Law

I was influenced by my father, who served as a judge, and decided upon pursuing a legal career when I was still a small child. My father had worked in an office before becoming a judge, and he often spoke of the independence of a judge. "Unlike the work of a businessman, a judge can always select the path which he believes is correct." This statement was typical of my father, who was a somewhat stubborn man. I myself may have inherited that same disposition. After all, I am called temperamental by my students and it seems that I am thought of as a scary instructor. But, I don't mind if I am viewed as such, since I think it is only natural to reprimand students who don't obey rules (no taking, no using cellular phones, no sleeping) during class. Of course, I am a kind instructor to students who study as hard as they can!

I specialize in laws relating to intellectual property rights. This is a field which I was responsible for when I served in the special division of district courts and as an examiner in the Supreme Court. The work of an examiner is to gather required legal documentation and assist the judge in making a decision. However, while researching various laws, an examiner also writes a number of papers, so the position resembles that of a scholar. The field of intellectual property rights contains a high level of specialty which I found to be very interesting. I devoted myself to research and had the good fortune of returning to Waseda, my alma mater. In my case, I was able to work in the field of intellectual property rights and was able to become a university researcher because of chances received at opportune times. I think I had some good luck, but I also believe that paths will open to those who devote themselves to their work.

In seminars taught by Professor Takabayashi, students create and act in mock trials. Students are drawn in by the realistic acting and gain a deeper understanding of copyright laws. These mock trials end when reconciliation is reached. Professor Takabayashi wants to convey the idea that judges are resolvers of conflict, and that providing guidance towards reconciliation is a major source of satisfaction for a judge.

I can still remember the first lecture that I gave. I had believed that a good lecture could be given by speaking about my experiences as a judge and about vital points in the field of intellectual property right law. However, I was shocked when students couldn't keep up with my lecture. For awhile, I was somewhat uncomfortable standing at the front of a classroom. However, I travelled to America for overseas research and had the positive experience of coming into contact with many different scholars. When I returned to Japan, giving lectures had become very enjoyable for me. I believe that an instructor must be entertaining in order to elicit interest from students. When I am asked a good question, I am as happy as an actor who has received a round of applause after a performance. Young people have unique ideas, and I am often impressed by the perspective of their questions. I feel that research and education reciprocally supplement each other.

One of the projects that I am currently working on is the construction of an English database of cases in Asian intellectual property rights. There is no border in the conflict of intellectual property. In the future, Asian countries will continue to develop and possess more technological power, leading to an inevitable increase in the number of countries which are, like Japan, built on intellectual property. However, the protection of intellectual property is not necessarily always a positive thing. There is no meaning in protection if it does not lead to global merits. I believe that the sharing of knowledge between countries is of great meaning in developing a balanced sense of intellectual property. My dream for the future is to continue further development while including Europe.

Professor Ryu Takabayashi
School of Law

Graduated from the School of Law in 1976. After graduating, served as a judge for 17 years, presiding over civil suits and suits related to intellectual property rights. In 1995, became an Assistant Professor in the School of Law. Became a Professor in 1996. Since 2004, has also served as a Professor in Waseda Law School. Specializes in laws relating to intellectual property rights.