On September 30, 2011, the change of regulation regarding technology transfer license exception was announced in Japanese METI web site.
This update is not significant change, but slight words addition in order to prevent evasion of the law or abuse in license exception under "publicly available" technology.
The regulation change is the Article 9 (2) (ix) of "Ministerial Ordinance on Trade Relation Invisible Trade, etc." which define various license exceptions of technology transfer. Like any other countries, Japan also define the licence exception of publicly available technology, currently as below.
Article 9 (2)
(ix) transactions through which technology in the public domain is provided or technology is provided to make said technology known to the public, and which fall under any of (a) to (e) below:
As of September 30, 2011, following new additional provision is added and effective immediately.
(Except the transaction which aim to provide specific technology to specific person by making it in public domain)
What does it mean? Well, let me give one example case.
One Japanese company aims to provide license required technology to a foreign company. But, as the license application is troublesome and takes time, they try to make use of the license exception of publicly available technology. For example, a Japanese company upload the licensed technology into their web site (making it publicly available) and the upload time onto the web was actually informed to the partner foreign company beforehand. Just after the foreign company download the specific information, the Japanese company immediately delete the information on their web site.
This transaction was not illegal (but seems evasion of the law), but not any more.