It can be foreseen that computers will be used much more widely in fields such as industry, communities and the home, following the current trend of information technology (IT), represented in particular by the Internet, being developed and disseminated globally. It is even more likely that the development, distribution and use of computer software, one of the most important elements of information systems, will grow exponentially.

The Software Information Center (SOFTIC) was established in December, 1986 with the support of the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry at present), the Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology at present), and many other concerned institutions and companies. Since then, SOFTIC has conducted a variety of activities such as research and education related to software products, research on the protection of rights related to software, and the registration of copyrightable programs as a "designated registration organization" commissioned by the Commissioner of the Agency for Cultural Affairs.

Since the Japan Patent Office has revised its "Implementing Guidelines for Examination Procedure for Computer Software-related Inventions", SOFTIC established the Software Patent Information Center in July of 1997 to initiate the electronic information compilation activity for the construction by the Patent Office of a Computer Software Database which contains non-patent literature including business-related documents.

Additionally, SOFTIC started the registration of the semiconductor circuit layout rights from September 2004 as the only registrar approved by the Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry.

From its activities and achievements SOFTIC has come to be recognized domestically and abroad as a center for basic information on software. SOFTIC intends to continue to stay active in building the IT society, which eagerly awaits developments such as electronic commerce, and we appreciate your continued support and cooperation in these endeavors.

president.jpg NOMURA Toyohiro
Software Information Center